A mattress is a mattress, right? Not exactly. While there may seem to be very little difference visually between a high-end mattress and a low-end mattress, don’t let their outward similarities fool you. Not to sound cliché or trite, but when it comes to mattresses, it really is what’s inside that counts. According to recent studies, a quality mattress may be exactly what you need to get quality sleep night after night.
Mattress Support and Daytime Function
Research Triangle International recently conducted a study with the help of Drs. Jack Edinger and Andy Krystal from Duke University. The aim of the study was to find out how various levels of mattress support impacted daytime functioning, sleep, and pain. The study evaluated 128 different subjects over 16,000 nights of sleep and revealed some very important information. According to study results, even very small changes in mattress support had notable impacts on sleep and pain. Even more surprising is that some subjects were unable to decide which mattress was the best choice for their needs while they were awake.
The reason that individuals might make poor decisions when shopping for a mattress may be because of the way the body reacts when undergoing “rapid eye movement” (REM) sleep. During this stage of sleep, the body loses skeletal muscle tone in order to prevent itself from acting out dreams. During this state of complete muscle relaxation, the spine is no longer supported and the wrong mattress could lack sufficient support for the spine. Since the muscles that support the spine are not completely relaxed while the body is awake, a mattress may feel firm and supportive to a person who is mattress shopping but may not feel as firm and supportive when that same person is sleeping.
Why Is Sleep Quality So Important?
Why is it so important to experience high-quality sleep, anyway? There are countless studies that illustrate the importance of quality sleep on practically every aspect of physical, mental, and emotional health. In fact, a 2009 study revealed that women and men who slept on new, medium-firm mattresses reported significantly lower stress levels than they did when they slept on their regular mattresses. This improvement in mood was attributed to the decreased discomfort and increased sleep quality the study participants experienced after getting better sleep in the new beds.
Is It Time for an Upgrade?
It can be difficult to tell whether your bed is providing you with the level of support you need for optimum sleep, but if you frequently feel tired in the morning or if you find that you toss and turn all night, it may be time to shop for quality mattresses online. After all, your long-term health and comfort are well worth the small investment.