Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the keys to living a healthy life. Our bodies need that time we spend in dreamland to recover from the day just passed and the day coming ahead. It is while we sleep that our muscles rebuild themselves, that our bodies fight off germs, etc. In spite of this knowledge, most of us probably aren’t getting the kind of rest we need for our bodies to function properly. And even if we’re getting our recommended eight hours, we probably aren’t sleeping well. And that is most likely due to the mattresses on our beds.
Having a good mattress is the key to getting good quality sleep and trust us: this is not something on which you can afford to skimp. It is better to save up for quality mattresses that will offer you the support and comfort you need than it is to make do with whatever you can afford right now. So how do you find the right mattress? Here are some tips.
Choose the Right Structure
There are several different types of mattress structures. Most of us are familiar with the inner spring models because this is what we have all grown up with. Lately, however, memory foam mattresses have become increasingly popular. There are benefits and drawbacks to each structure.
Memory foam is fantastic for people who don’t move around much in their sleep. This mattress offers ample support and will shift to mold itself to your body. According to Consumer Reports, some people have complained that the mattress is too “warm” and that shifting position can be difficult so if you run hot at night or toss and turn during the night time, memory foam might not be the best choice.
Inner springs, on the other hand, allow for shifting and turning during the night and are more likely to absorb body heat instead of reflecting it back to the sleeper. If you sleep with a partner, however, your movements could cause them to experience bouncing and other residual effects.
Firm or Soft?
Some people like a firm mattress while others prefer something soft and vaguely squishy. While there are methods to help you “soften up” an overly firm mattress, like employing a feather bed or other padding, it is difficult to “firm up” a mattress that is too soft. This is why, though it might feel awkward, you should always test out a mattress before you buy it. Lie down on it. Roll around a little. Assume your usual sleeping position and see how it feels. Trust us: mattress store employees are trained to not notice this.
When you are shopping for a new mattress, you also need to remember that mattresses aren’t just for providing you with a cozy night’s sleep. They are also built to support the different parts of your body to help prevent and even to comfort and cure pain. If, for example, you suffer from back pain, look for mattresses that are built to help alleviate those symptoms. If you have sensitive joints, look for mattresses that comfortably accommodate side sleepers. Your weight is also a factor. Cheaper mattresses don’t hold up even under small children’s weights. You need something sturdy and that will properly support you.
Getting Good Sleep
Obviously, choosing the right mattress is a huge factor in the length and quality of your sleep. It is not, however, the only factor. Here are some other tips and tricks to help you catch healthy and healing Zs:
Avoid Caffeine: Drink all the coffee you want to get going in the mornings, but switch to decaf or, better yet, regular water in the early afternoon. This will give the caffeine time to leave your system; making it easier for you to relax when it is time for you to greet your pillow.
Step Your Lighting: One of the best ways to tell your brain that it needs to start getting ready for sleep is to adjust your lights throughout the evening, slowly turning them down. Our brains are wired to associate light with the need for being awake. Simply switching from bright rooms to darkness is a difficult transition and is part of the reason you might have a hard time winding down.
Cool it Down: We all love being warm and cozy in our beds. The best approach, though, is to let the blankets do the warming. Turn the thermostat down a notch in your bedroom. Our bodies sleep better in cool ambient temperatures.
Getting a good night’s sleep is imperative for every part of our health. Use these tips to help you find the right mattress and to get the best possible night’s sleep every night.