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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Reduce Morning Aches and Pains with the Right Mattress

As you age, aches and pains become more common and interfere with your sleep. However, adequate sleep is essential for everything from the immune system to appetite control. The right mattress that supports your sleep style, height, and weight can help reduce aches and pains so you can get the sleep you need.

Sleep and Pain: A Cyclical Relationship

Sleep and pain have a tumultuous relationship because pain can interfere with your sleep. At the same time, lack of sleep can magnify pain. A 2006 study published in Sleep compared pain tolerance in participants who eight hours of sleep to those who’d only gotten four. With only four hours of sleep, pain tolerance was reduced by 25 percent.
A similar study compared pain tolerance and sensitivity in individuals who’d gotten a full eight hours of sleep to those who’d been in bed eight hours but hadn’t slept well. Again, the results showed that sleepiness increased pain sensitivity. Getting a good night’s sleep in and of itself can help reduce morning pain, but you need the right mattress to do it.

How to Find the Right Mattress

Not all mattresses are made the same. Their design may include inner springs, memory foam, latex, or a hybrid of materials and technology. To help you find the right mattress, there are five factors to consider.

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1. Firmness
Firmness refers to how much “give” a mattress has when you first lie down. Mattresses are given a firmness rating between one and ten, ten being the firmest. A super-firm mattress almost feels like you’re floating above the mattress while a soft one allows the body to sink in. The right firmness for you will depend on three things, your sleep position, weight, physical ailments.
Each sleep position – stomach, side, back – works best with a different mattress firmness. For example, back sleepers do best on a medium-firm mattress, that’s a rating of five or six. Side sleepers do better with a firmness rating for four or five so that the curves of the body sink into the mattress. Stomach sleepers need a firmer mattress to prevent an arch in the back while sleeping.
However, those who weigh under 130 pounds sleep better on softer mattresses, while those over 230 pounds need a firmer mattress to support their weight.
If you’re unsure of the right mattress firmness, a medium-firm mattress (five or six rating) works for the average-size person and has been shown to alleviate low back pain.

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2. Support
Support refers to how well the mattress keeps your spine in alignment. The spine should be aligned from your shoulders to your hips so the muscles fully relax.

3. Temperature Regulation
Most people sleep comfortably between 60 to 68 degrees. Some mattress types, particularly memory foam, trap heat against the body and raise the body temperature. If you sleep hot, a mattress that doesn’t allow the body to sink in provides better airflow and prevents overheating.

4. Motion Isolation
A mattress that absorbs and isolates movement will prevent nighttime disruptions from a partner or pet. Memory foam and memory foam hybrids offer some of the best motion isolation available.

5. Edge Support
Some mattresses become less comfortable the closer you get to the edge. If you sleep with a partner or frequently sit on the edge of your bed, innerspring and innerspring hybrids that incorporate innerspring technology provide excellent edge support.

The right mattress can allow you to stop an ongoing cycle of pain and sleeplessness. Better sleep means a happier, healthier you.  

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