How to Get the Best Night's Sleep Ever: Tips for Choosing the Right Mattress
A good night's sleep is what we all need to wake up rejuvenated in the morning, ready to take on the world.
Without the necessary rest it is a battle to get through the day, maybe even painful. But did you know that the benefits of good sleep go beyond our wakefulness and play a role in our overall health?
We are at a time when so many Americans are choosing to live a healthy lifestyle. What some of us don't know is just how important getting restful sleep is to make that a reality. Getting adequate sleep each night is a key element of a healthy lifestyle, benefiting your mind, weight, heart and more.
Knowing how to choose the right mattress for your best sleep is essential as the quality of your sleep affects your health in the following ways:
- Improved mental performance and creativity are linked with good sleep habits.
- Too little or too much sleep is associated with shorter lifespans and poor quality of life.
- Six or less hours of sleep can cause higher levels of inflammatory proteins in your blood making you at an increased risk for premature aging, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis.
- Adequate sleep improves your overall physical performance and energy level.
- Well rested dieters lose more fat and experience less hunger than those that are sleep deprived.
- Sleep reduces levels of health stress, giving you better blood pressure control and healthier cholesterol levels.
- Inadequate sleep for one night can be as dangerous to your driving ability as consuming an alcoholic beverage.
- Sleeping well can reduce your anxiety and a lack of sleep is a contributing factor for depression.
Now that you may be a little more familiar with the importance of a good night's sleep, we will explore some tips to help you choose the right mattress to improve your sleep and health.
Compare Mattress Types
The variety that you are offered when choosing a new mattress can be overwhelming. To choose the mattress that will provide you with the best support we'll review the major types.
- Memory Foam: This mattress is mostly polyurethane with a variation being latex foam which is claimed to be hypoallergenic. This seems to be a favorite mattress among those who suffer from back and joint pain. Memory foam softens as you lie on it, molding to the shape of your body. When you awaken in the morning the mattress takes on its original shape. Some users have reported that it can be difficult to change positions on this mattress and that it sleeps hot. Models are available with infused gel to help you keep cool.
- Innerspring: The traditional mattress, comprised of steel coils in numerous configurations. If price is a concern these mattress are often less expensive. As the most widely sold, they can be purchased with a pillowtop layer, infused gel, or special layers of cushioning. A "hybrid" has one or more layers of foam covering the top of the springs. Changing positions is easier on this mattress but some don't appreciate the accompanying bounce they feel when their partners do so.
- Adjustable Air: This mattress can be inflated using an electric pump to meet your desired firmness. Typically, additional layers are included on top, such as foam. This option is beneficial to those who wish to have their own desired firmness on each side of the bed, suiting both partner's needs.
Also, even the best mattresses should be replaces every eight years, along with the box spring. If kept longer the materials begin to degrade which makes the mattress less comfortable to sleep on.
Shop for Your Comfort
Everyone has their own idea of comfort, therefore, you will hear conflicting claims about the comfort of different mattress types. It's important to remember that purchasing a new mattress is all about your comfort and getting the best night's sleep.
- Try It Before You Buy It: This means even bringing your own pillow along for the ride. Before making a final decision on any mattress you should be sure to do the "sleep" test. Lie on the bed as you would at home for at least 15 – 20 minutes to determine if the mattress provides the level of comfort and support you are looking for.
- Be Sure the Mattress Fits Your Body: Chiropractors promote spine health by educating clients on the importance of finding a mattress that conforms to their spine's natural curve, distributing pressure evenly throughout the body. You may need to bring a friend along for this as the best way to determine if your body is getting proper support is to lie on the mattress and have your friend observe if your spine remains fairly neutral. If your spine is overly-curved or sagging continue searching until you find a mattress that helps to maintain neutral alignment of your spine.
- Avoid purchasing a vintage mattress as its proper structure is likely lost.
- You don't necessarily need to make a name brand purchase. All mattress coils are produced by the same manufacturer. A larger price tag doesn't guarantee the best mattresses.
- Just because a mattress is thicker doesn't mean it has added comfort. Thickness is often a visual ploy on the manufacturer's part to give people beliefs they are purchasing a more comfortable mattress. Not saying that thick mattresses are bad, you just need to remember that the comfort needs to be tailored to you, regular or thick, whichever your body prefers.
- When sharing a bed, both parties should be afforded individualized comfort. Consider a mattress that allows each person to adjust their firmness to fit their needs.
- Be aware of the return policy. It can take a couple of nights to get adjusted to your new mattress, even if you loved it in the store. Give the mattress a chance over a few days to transform your quality of sleep. If the mattress doesn't meet your expectations, a return policy is helpful and keeps you from being stuck with no other options.
- On delivery day you will be excited to finally have a new mattress and a chance at restful sleep. However, you shouldn't accept the delivery without doing an inspection of the mattress. Be sure the label verifies its all-new-material and the mattress itself is free of stains and other damage.
Freeograph / Shutterstock