What Are My Mattress Options for Back Pain?
Back pain is part of getting older but does not have to be from an old mattress. Sleeping on a mattress that is the wrong firmness for your body type, you could be suffering.
When is the last time you woke up feeling great and pain-free from a decent night’s sleep? Are you ready to trade your old mattress for a new one and start having pain-free sleep? Let’s take a closer look at the mattress options and how they pertain to your sleeping style so your back pain can go away.
Signs That You Need a New Mattress
Depending on several factors, mattresses usually last about 7-10 years before they need to be replaced. Mattresses can be a major purchase, so thank goodness they last for years. Other than counting how many years have passed, what are some other ways to tell if you need to replace your mattress?
- Sagging or sinking in the middle
- Back pain
- Hip pain
- Restless sleep
If you are having these symptoms from your mattress, it is time to start shopping. Each day that passes with a mattress that is old or is not right for you means body aches and poor sleep.
Contrary to popular belief, a softer mattress does not always mean that it will be better for back pain relief. The best mattress for you depends mostly on your natural sleeping position.
Your sleeping position is dictated by your body shape and size, how you breathe and your partner’s sleeping position, as well.
For the Stomach Sleeper
The stomach sleeper typically has their arms up over their head and at least one of their legs bent, with their head turned to the side. Experts say this is the worst sleeping position because of the side effect it can cause.
People who sleep on their stomachs tend to hand the worse back pain when they wake up.
If this is your preferred sleeping style, it is suggested to choose a firmer mattress. A softer mattress may allow your body to be contoured into more unhealthy positions.
For the Back Sleeper
Sleeping on your back is what medical experts recommend as the most healthy sleeping position, yet a small percentage of people prefer it. Keeping the spine aligned while you sleep is very important for your health, and for keeping back pain at bay.
A medium-firm mattress works well for back sleepers.
For the Side Sleeper
Side sleepers may have one side that they prefer to sleep on, yet will often rotate from side to side as their mattress creates pressure on their shoulders and hips. A side-lying position does help to keep the airways clear, and can be the most comfortable for a pregnant person.
The most common sleeping style is best done on a soft-medium mattress.
How Body Size Can Play a Role
Did you know that your body size affects the type of mattress that is best for your body? Personal preference matters, but these facts are proven by science.
Bodyweight not only plays a role with mattress firmness but also with mattress thickness requirements. The general rule is as body weight increases so should the firmness and thickness of their mattress.
Though mattresses made with metal coils have been phased out over the past decade, they are still being made and preferred by some. A coil mattress is often more firm than others, and heavier.
A memory foam mattress is often plush and allows the body to “sink” in rather than lay on top. The mattress will contour around your body giving a comforting feeling.
Firm memory foam is available, and also combination mattresses are made with gel or coils for different effects.
Adjustable beds are nice for partners because if the pair prefer different mattress firmnesses they can adjust their side accordingly and have the best of both worlds. Each person will have their own controller that they can make their side more or less firm.
There are also adjustable bed bases that raise the elevation of the head end, or foot end of the bed.
Passing the Test
The best way to shop for a mattress is in person. Reading online reviews is helpful, but how are you to know how a mattress truly feels unless you test it out in your natural sleeping position?
Grab your partner and head to the shop to test out the mattresses on display and talk to the staff about their different options.
Why a Mattress Matters
Your health depends on the quality of your sleep, and your body position while you are sleeping. Over time your spine can become misaligned, your muscles can stretch and weaken (or tighten), and can have a serious effect on your breathing.
The importance of sleep has an immense influence on your mental and physical health. When you sleep your body repairs itself. A loss of sleep or poor quality sleep can also make you cranky and underperforming.
Fun fact: Do you know where the phrase “sleep tight” comes from? In olden times mattresses were held onto the frame by interwoven ropes that needed to be tightened before bed or your mattress could fall through! Thankfully mattresses have come a long way since then.
A new mattress can work wonders for the body. After choosing your new mattress, these tips can help your quality of sleep, as well:
- Decrease amount of light and sound in the room
- Limit the amount of screen time before bed (phone, computer, and TV)
- Eat less several hours before bed
- Get plenty of exercise during the day
- Calm your mind
Your mattress is not the only factor in getting a good night’s sleep. Here’s to some sound sleep and zero back pain.
Now that you have a better idea of what the different types of mattresses can do for your body, it will be easier to make an educated decision when you go to purchase a new one.
Mattress options range from soft to firm and can come in several different materials or be a hybrid style. Call on the professionals at Mattress Outlet to help you choose your new mattress.