How Your Pillows and Mattress Affect the Quality of Your Sleep
Have you ever wondered how, despite getting eight hours of sleep, you still end up feeling lousy the following morning? You may think you have had eight hours but in reality, there was much discomfort it in. Your neck may not be getting the support that it needs; the same is true with your back. For you to sleep soundly at night, it’s essential that you’re getting optimal support and comfort from your pillows and mattress.
One of the reasons why you still wake up feeling groggy in the morning is because you continue to use a pillow and mattress that don’t support your neck and back. Investing in pillows for good sleep and mattress that encourages proper spine alignment is vital. You’ll spending a third of your life sleeping, and you can only enjoy the health benefits of sleep if you’re using the right pillows and mattress for your needs.
The Importance of the Right Pillow and Mattress
You may have known that your mattress and pillows affect the quality of your sleep but you haven’t really paid much attention. They actually have a profound effect on the way you sleep. For one, using pillows and mattresses that doesn’t support your sleeping position will only cause you to twist and turn every night, and even trigger neck and back pains. Hopefully, these tips will help you choose the right pillow and mattress for you to get some good sleep.
A lot of people recognize the importance of these things towards a good night of sleep. In fact, studies show that around 92% of people believe this. However, they do not necessarily know the specifics as to why. Let us begin with how good mattresses help you get better sleep.
How a Good Mattress Helps
Some people believe that mattresses are expensive and will not replace it until it is totaled. Save yourself restless nights and replace your mattress as soon as you feel that it is making it harder for you to sleep.
You should also take tossing and turn as a sign to change. If you cannot even get to sleep because of your mattress and spend a lot of time looking for a comfortable position, it is time you change it.
Another sign that you should change your mattress is when you notice that you’re experiencing allergic reactions, such as runny nose, itchy eyes, and itchiness, whenever you’re in bed. These signs usually mean that your mattress has become the breeding ground of dust mites or, worse, bed bugs.
The mattress you use can affect your ability to sleep every night, which is why you should be willing to exert time and spend money to buy the best one. In fact, mattresses are one of the most important purchases you’ll make in your life because they can influence your overall health and wellness. Sleeping in a mattress that’s too soft or too firm to your liking can cause many health problems in the long run.
Do not buy into labels such as “plush” or extra-firm as these are all subjective. Again, the firmness level depends on what you need. Remember to test out mattresses before you buy them to find the perfect fit for you. You should also research the different materials used in mattresses for you to narrow down your options.
A good mattress can help you in a couple of ways, such as:
- It helps you deal with stress.
The first way a good mattress helps you sleep better is through decreasing your stress levels. Studies have shown that sleeping on a comfortable mattress helps people with chronic stress issues. Those who participated in this study reported experiencing less of the following:
- Worried thoughts
- Racing thoughts
- Irritability and high temper
- Trembling and tremors
The subjects in the above-mentioned study used medium-firm mattresses. A lot of people prefer this level of firmness. However, it is important to remember that mattress firmness is a subjective thing. If they felt comfortable in it, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you, too. Choose a mattress according to your level of comfort. Sleeping on a mattress that suits you will decrease stress as it decreases pain and discomfort during sleep.
- It is healthier.
Another reason as to why a new mattress could help you sleep better is decreased allergens. If you are allergic to some things, there is a chance that your mattress actually contains these allergens.
One of the most prominent allergens possibly present on your mattress are dust mites. Data shows that nearly 20 million people in America alone are allergic to these. They are also bad for people who suffer from asthma. It could help to frequently wash your sheets as well as vacuum your mattress to get rid of them. Replacing your mattress effectively removes these allergens and helps you get a better night of sleep.
You can make your mattress more comfortable for sleeping by using it for just that. A lot of people, especially those who work at home, use their mattress as an office. If you continuously do this, then your body will associate work with your bed. This would make it harder for you to sleep. Your brain would want to work or answer e-mails instead of letting you doze off.
How Good Pillows Help You Sleep Better
Another thing that would affect your quality of sleep is your pillow. Aside from your mattress, this the other major thing providing you comfort when you are snoozing. Investing in a high-quality mattress will still be useless if you continue to use pillows that are uncomfortable. These two items—your pillow and mattress—should provide optimal comfort to ensure that you can easily fall and stay asleep at night.
There are many ways with which your pillows affect the quality of your sleep.
- It helps with spine posture.
The first way pillows help improve your sleep is through improving spine posture. Poor spine posture when you sleep may lead to pain and discomfort when you wake up in the morning. The right type of firmness and support is crucial for people with existing spinal issues.
- It helps with body alignment.
Another way a person’s sleep could be improved by buying better pillows is through aligning the body. Naturally, the neck curved forward due to the weight of a person’s head. This curve should be maintained when you are sleeping to avoid pain and discomfort.
If your pillow is too high or too low, this may go against the body’s natural curvature. In turn, this will cause prolonged muscle strain while you are sleeping. This may also cause narrowing of the air pipe, which may make it hard to breathe. Simply put, different people need different heights of pillows to suit their needs.
Here are pillow tips for the kind of sleeper that you are:
- Side Sleepers: People who sleep on their side need a high-loft or a thicker pillow. When a person sleeps on their side, they need their pillow to be high enough to keep their spine straight. However, the pillow must not be too thick that it would misalign the neck instead.
- Back Sleepers: Those who sleep on their back need something thick enough to fill the space between them and the mattress. However, it should not be too thick that they are no longer in their body’s natural curvature. Something in the middle would work well for them.
- Stomach Sleepers: Those who sleep on their stomach need a lower pillow. If their pillow is too thick they may find that their spine will be bent at an unusual angle. This will cause much pain and discomfort.
Similar to the height of the pillow, its firmness is also an important factor to you getting a good night’s sleep. Here is a quick guide for you to find the perfect pillow thickness:
- Side Sleepers: People who sleep on their side would benefit from a firmer pillow. This is to prevent their pillow from collapsing and placing their spine in an awkward position. Folding your pillow will not give you as adequate of support as a firmer pillow.
- Back Sleepers: Similar to pillow height, a back sleeper would benefit from something in the middle with regards to thickness. This would keep your head straight as you sleep, preventing lateral twisting on your neck.
- Stomach Sleepers: For people who sleep on their stomach, a thinner pillow is ideal. This is because they do not retain as much heat as thicker pillows. This will keep you cool and help you get a refreshing night of sleep.
Aside from your pillows and mattresses, there are other factors that affect the quality of your sleep. It helps to create an ambiance that is conducive for sleeping. You can set the mood with lighting, or by having nice sheets. Some people find that scented candles and/or oils work for them. Sleep is really a subjective thing so make sure you know what works, and what doesn’t work for you.