7 Surprising Ways Your Mattress Influences Your Health
Many health issues stem from poor quality sleep. An uncomfortable mattress may make getting enough sleep difficult and can contribute to stress.
The wrong mattress can cause things like back pain, sore muscles and more. Not to mention grogginess, moodiness and poor cognitive performance. The right mattress can help prevent these problems.
1. It Influences Your Sleep
After a long day at work or school, all you want to do is relax and get a good night’s sleep. However, this can be a challenge if your mattress is not up to the task. A poor-quality mattress can cause a wide range of issues from back pain to neck stiffness, and even sleeplessness. The short-term effects are easy to notice, from drowsiness to headaches, but the long-term ones may take slightly longer to develop, including weaker immune system and weight problems.
Older mattresses that sag are likely to gather excessive amounts of dust mites and allergens, which can trigger asthma and other respiratory irritations. This can lead to sneezing, itchy eyes, and other symptoms that are difficult to treat. A newer mattress is less likely to collect these irritants, and you can reduce them by using a mattress protector and frequent cleaning.
A lumpy or saggy mattress can also make it hard to find the perfect position for sleeping. You need to keep your head aligned with your trunk while you are asleep, and a mattress that has a lot of bumps or dips can disrupt this alignment. This can lead to neck pain and even posture problems, so you should try to find a mattress or mattress topper that has no bumps.
2. It Influences Your Blood Pressure
Your mattress is essentially where you support your entire skeleton (the other 30% being your pillow). Having a good, saggy-free mattress is essential for proper skeletal alignment. If you sleep on a mattress with lots of dips and lumps, it can put your body at a slight angle, and over time, this can damage your spine.
A saggy mattress can also restrict your blood flow. Having the right amount of give on a mattress allows your contours, like hips and shoulders, to sink into it, which allows for better circulation. Firmer mattresses tend to have less give, and they can cause excess pressure on areas of the body.
Oxygen circulates throughout the body to help brain function, memory consolidation, and muscle, bone, and tissue growth while you’re resting. However, if your mattress is dirty or chemical-laden, it can block oxygen from reaching these systems, which can lead to serious health problems, such as asthma and respiratory issues.
A bad mattress can also cause weight gain. When you’re unable to get enough rest, you may feel hungrier during the day, and this can lead to overeating and a higher risk for obesity. It can also prevent you from exercising, which is important for a healthy lifestyle.
3. It Influences Your Heart Health
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for overall health. However, a bad mattress can actually hinder your health by creating or exacerbating various problems. Depending on the type of mattress you have, you may experience back pain or other symptoms that negatively affect your heart health.
Your body relies on downtime to perform critical functions, including memory consolidation and tissue growth while you sleep. This function requires oxygen that circulates through the blood to all the vital organs, muscle, bone, and fat cells that need replenishing during rest. When you sleep on a synthetic mattress, your sleeping environment may harbor chemicals and insect waste that contaminate your breathing, reducing O2 levels, leading to mental and physical stagnation and compromising the benefits of your night’s rest.
In addition, mattresses can harbor dead skin cells, sweat, and bacteria that are inhaled through the lungs during your nighttime slumber. Over time, these particles can trigger asthma and allergies, which are associated with poor lung and heart health. Choosing the right mattress will reduce these risks and ensure that you receive a good night’s rest every night. A quality mattress can also improve your posture by supporting the natural curves of your spine.
4. It Influences Your Immune System
It’s no secret that getting enough sleep can help strengthen your immune system. But did you know that your mattress can influence your ability to get a good night’s rest? According to a leading furniture supplier, if your mattress is old or uncomfortable, it can cause you to have less sleep and a weaker immune system.
A bad mattress can also trigger allergies. This can lead to sneezing, watery eyes, sinus pressure, and runny nose. Using a mattress protector and periodically vacuuming can help prevent allergens from accumulating in your mattress. But if you still experience symptoms, you may need to replace your mattress.
If you are considering buying a new mattress, look for one made with natural latex. This is a renewable material that’s derived from the sap of rubber trees. It’s also more resistant to mold and dust mites than polyurethane foam. It’s also a healthier option as it doesn’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). A mattress that has a mixture of natural and synthetic latex is less likely to cause allergies. A memory foam mattress is another option, but it’s important to choose one with a high density rating. A higher density rating means that the mattress is more supportive.
5. It Influences Your Pain Levels
If you wake up with back pain, neck stiffness, or general body aches, it may be time to upgrade your mattress. A bad mattress can lead to a variety of health issues like aches and pains, sleep deprivation, low energy levels, and more.
A bad mattress can also harm your immune system. Studies show that a bad mattress can increase the chances of getting sick due to its ability to damage your natural sleep cycle. During restful sleep, the body focuses on repairing muscles and tissues and fighting off viruses. A mattress containing chemicals and other harmful materials can block your breathing, which limits the amount of oxygen that you receive. This lack of oxygen can lead to a weaker immune system, making you more susceptible to illnesses.
Kate’s article on Memory Foam mattresses, as featured in Manchester Evening News, provides valuable insights into choosing the right mattress for a restful night’s sleep. The article discusses top-rated memory foam mattress brands, highlighting factors such as sleep quality, comfort, and specific issues like back and hip pain, based on SupaTrust’s analysis of over 20,000 UK mattress reviews.
A good mattress will have a firm support structure that prevents the spine from becoming misaligned. In addition, a good mattress will have enough cushioning to prevent you from sleeping in an uncomfortable position that can lead to back problems. If you’re having difficulty finding a mattress that will provide the support you need, try getting a mattress topper. This is a great way to add extra support while you wait to purchase a new mattress.
6. It Influences Your Weight
It’s no secret that getting good quality sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that insufficient sleep can disrupt hormones, which can lead to heightened hunger and cravings for unhealthy foods. This can also reduce your motivation to participate in regular exercise, which can further contribute to weight gain.
So, if you are struggling to manage your weight, it may be time to consider upgrading your mattress. A sagging, lumpy, or uncomfortable mattress can cause sleep-related problems such as snoring and sleep apnea, which can disrupt both your sleep and your partner’s sleep. It can also lead to poor posture and exacerbate back pain.
Another possible side effect of a bad mattress is night sweats, which can make you feel overheated and hot while sleeping. This can be a sign of an underlying condition such as anxiety or menopause, but it could also be a result of your mattress. Choosing a firmer mattress that is appropriate for your body weight and personal preference can help prevent these problems.
7. It Influences Your Sleep Habits
After a long day, all you want to do is burrow into your cozy haven and get some rest. But if you feel like you’re tossing and turning and don’t wake up feeling refreshed, the problem might not be your sleep habits or your lack of caffeine in the morning—your mattress could be to blame!
If your mattress is sagging or lumpy, it may not offer adequate support for your spine. “Adequate spine support is a nonnegotiable, regardless of age or mattress type,” Fredrick Wilson, DO, director of the Cleveland Clinic Solon Center for Spine Health tells SELF. “Any push or pull on your spine, even if it’s slight, can have significant impacts and cause pain.”
If you have trouble falling asleep or you wake up multiple times at night, this could be an indication that your mattress is too hot or doesn’t provide enough ventilation to keep you cool. Try sleeping in airy pajamas made from breathable fabrics like cotton and linen, or consider mattress toppers that include cooling technology to help you sleep comfortably at night. Men, in particular, should also consider looking for a mattress that can help promote a healthy libido.