March 30, 2021

Scottsdale Living

What to consider when choosing a new mattress

The three pillars of optimal health are diet, exercise, and sleep. Sleep is arguably the most important of the three because it can impact your quality of life in so many ways. Inadequate sleep has been linked to increased rates of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and inflammation. It is also associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes because poor sleep habits can impact glucose metabolism, blood sugar levels, and insulin sensitivity. Moreover, sleep habits can affect your mental health. Inadequate sleep can impact your ability to focus and can increase your long-term risk of depression and suicide.

Because sleep can impact so many facets of your life, it’s important to do everything you can to optimize your sleep, including choosing the right mattress. Follow these steps to find a mattress that can help you get the sleep you need to feel your best.

Understand Your Options

Mattresses come in a variety of sizes, including Twin, Twin XL, Full, Queen, King, and California King. When choosing the best size, it’s wise to pick the largest size that will fit in your space. This is especially true if you have a partner sharing your bed because science shows that bigger beds help isolate movement and, therefore, reduce sleep disruptions.

There are also a variety of mattress types:

• A traditional innerspring is constructed with interlocking spring coils that come in a variety of comfort options.

• A memory foam mattress is designed to soften under pressure, and thus, conform to the body of the sleeper.

• A hybrid mattress can provide the best of both worlds by using an innerspring support system topped with memory foam.

Consider How You Sleep

Your preferred sleeping position can impact the type of mattress that works best for you. Although tossing, turning, and switching positions can be quite common when you sleep, most people ultimately favor one position more than the others.

Side sleepers do best with a softer mattress that can provide pressure relief for the shoulder and hip joints. The cushioning can contour the curves of the body, preventing unnecessary pain when you stay in one position for an extended period of time.

Those who sleep on their stomachs have very different requirements. When the mattress is too soft, the hips can sink and misalign with the rest of the spine. For this reason, stomach sleepers do best with a very firm and supportive mattress that keeps the hips well-aligned with the shoulders.

If you are a back sleeper, the choice can be more complicated. If the mattress is too firm, it can create unnecessary tension in your lower back or shoulders, but if it’s too soft, you can have alignment issues that cause problems like a bowed back or sciatica. For these reasons, side sleepers are best off with something between the two extremes. Try mattresses that rate in the middle range of the firmness scale.

Sleep consumes a bigger share of your life than any other activity and can have an enormous impact on your health. By putting forth the time and effort needed to shop for the right mattress, you can reap the rewards of a good night’s sleep.