Consider the importance and value of a good night’s sleep (beyond the price tag) when you are looking for a new mattress. Your back will thank you
Lack of sleep can have a significant impact on your quality of life, social interactions, and even your mood1. Sleep deprivation can also cause a decrease in your work productivity, the greater number of sick days used, and result in increased injury rates due to poor response time and accuracy.
A 2011 study by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) reports that 41% of women and 36% of men claimed their back pain was exacerbated by a poor night’s sleep2. The pain can often be attributed to the firmness, size, or the offered back support of the mattress. If you’ve ever woken up with a sore neck or back, you may want to evaluate the quality of your mattress. Your mattress can play an important role in maintaining your musculoskeletal (MSK) health. Here is what to keep in mind when making a purchase.
When to replace your mattress
Waking up from slumber with a sore back on repeated occasions can be a sign that it is time to switch to a newer mattress. Typically, it is said that after 10 years, the bed will begin to deteriorate, which is the best time to consider buying a new one.
Current research suggests that1:
- Medium-firm mattresses can be beneficial for individuals with chronic mechanical low back pain and are considered more comfortable compared to soft mattresses. They also have been shown to improve sleep quality by 55% and decrease back pain by 48%.
- The standing posture of an individual’s spine should be similar to their sleeping posture. Since standing posture varies from individual to individual, mattresses that are custom made may be more beneficial in reducing pain.
- Using an adjustable bed based on individual preferences is associated with increased sleep quality.
- Mattresses that promote skin warming may improve sleep quality by reducing early morning awakening and enhancing deep sleep.
- Soft mattresses decrease excessive compressive forces on your joints, however, mattresses that are more firm help to maintain proper sleep posture as they prevent sagging of the hips.
Take time to try out the bed before you buy and see if it’s right for you. There are many options to consider when it comes to purchasing a mattress. Make sure to take the time to explore and do your research, especially if you are looking for specific features to meet your needs. A good night’s rest is important for your MSK health and ensures you can continue doing your daily activities. Consider these tips for your next mattress—your back depends on it!
1 Radwan A, Fess P, James D, Murphy J, Myers J, Rooney M, Taylor J, Torii A. Effect of different mattress designs on promoting sleep quality, pain reduction, and spinal alignment in adults with or without back pain; systematic review of controlled trials. Sleep Health: Journal of the National Sleep Foundation. 2015 Dec 1; 1(4):257-67.