Many people underestimate how important sleep is in helping the body recuperate from injuries or deal with existing conditions. When you’re asleep, your body has the chance to correct chemical imbalances, replenish blood-sugar and rejuvenate damage – helping you along the path to recovery.
The body’s capacity to heal can be maximized during restful sleep – if you’re tossing and turning, or waking up throughout the night, you’ll lose any positive benefits and wake tired and achy. Finding the right mattress can enhance your body’s ability to heal during sleep – but what should you look out for to ensure you get the best possible night’s rest?
If you feel your mattress isn’t doing the job you want it to – and affecting your sleep negatively – your first instinct should be to check whether or not it actually needs to be replaced. If you have a sprung mattress (coil springs within a frame), the older it is, the more likely springs will have worn away at the fabric – and even burst through. Exposed spring coils are a sure sign that your mattress is on the way out and, worse still, could be actively harming you during the night. If springs are digging in, or forcing you to sleep in an unnatural position, your quality of sleep is going to be reduced.
Another drawback of sprung mattresses is the problems they have in properly distributing the body’s weight. If you have joint, neck or back problems, spring coils can create pressure points – aggravating existing pain during the night and keeping you awake.
Weight distribution problems may be solved with foam mattresses – which hug the contours of the body and support large areas, rather than concentrated points. Anyone suffering from rheumatism, joint inflammation or arthritis could benefit from memory foam, which is designed to change shape with your body and reduce the need to shift position. Foam mattresses have the added bonus of being able to breathe – adjusting to sleep-disruptive temperature changes during the night by ensuring you don’t get too hot or too cold.
With their added support benefits, foam mattresses are more expensive than sprung varieties – but a cheaper option is to obtain a memory-foam ‘topper’ to lay on top of your existing mattress.
Understand your injury
Injuries prompt you to subconsciously adjust your body to alleviate pain. Even when you’re lying down in bed, your muscles will tense and relax to find the most comfortable position. While you may feel initially fine, an extended amount of time will slowly exacerbate existing joint problems.
Don’t simply put up with your current mattress if it’s causing problems: investigate the specifics of your injury or condition and find a solution. From turning off the laptop or tablet, to avoiding certain foods, there are plenty of ways to modify your bed-time conditions to ensure a good night’s sleep – if you’re struggling with an injury or medical condition on top of that, the right mattress could have surprising results.