Millions of people are suffering from chronic back pain in the US. As a result, they often had a disruptive sleep due to persistent discomfort. Not only you’ll suffer from sleepless nights, but also short or long-term health risks of interrupted sleep. It’s already an acceptable reason to look for a comfortable, supportive bed that can provide you with a smooth sleeping experience.
Unfortunately, there are no specific scales or algorithms that everyone can follow to figure out a perfect mattress, according to Dr. Leigh Hanke, MD, MS. Also, what might be comfy for you is not necessarily a restful night’s sleeping experience for someone else. That being said, we’ve listed down the medically recommended qualities of a bed that can prevent back pain.
The Signs that Your Mattress is Causing You Back Pain
Before anything else, there’s a need to understand why we should blame our beds for our back pains. One research mentioned on The Joint Chiropractic has summed up a list of sleep-disturbing signs that are associated with your mattress. Based on this study, you may want to replace your beds if you are experiencing the following:
- Frequently waking up at night without apparent reasons
- Unable to feel comfortable even after turning and tossing around on your bed
- Suffering from increasing pressure on some part of your body when lying in specific positions
- Feeling swallowed by your bed
- Waking back pain disappears after about 20-30 minutes
If your bed is five years old or more and you’re experiencing the said signs, perhaps it’s time for your change your bed. Doctors and experts say that you should replace your mattress every after 8-10 years. Needless to say, if it’s new and it’s causing you pain, look for something better. How to choose?
Promotes Spinal Alignment
According to Dr. Arya Nick Shamie from Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, a mattress should support your entire body in a neutral position. This bed holds up your spine, which results in a subtle curvature. Consequently, your head, shoulders, buttocks, and heels would be in proper spinal alignment.
In addition, an article posted on Sleep Advisor listed two essential qualities that you should keep in mind when choosing a mattress. The bed should be:
- Not too firm, lest it presses your main spinal pressure points and takes you out of the alignment
- Not too mushy or soft, lest it allows your spinal pressure points unsupported while generating spinal curvature
Good posture is essential when sleeping. Both of your ligaments and muscles should relax while you’re resting. It shouldn’t be too firm or soft. Otherwise, it wouldn’t properly support your spine at your lower back or neck the way it supposed to be.
A bed’s firmness, which is a factor in promoting spinal alignment when sleeping, depends on every person. For instance, if you have wider hips, a softer bed surface is recommended for you. In contrast, a firmer bed is better for people with narrower hips.
On the other hand, a post from Harvard Health Publishing mentioned that the disadvantages of a firm and plush bed. First, firm mattresses are known to cause lower back pain. It’s even more not advised when you’re suffering from any joint problems like arthritis or scoliosis.
Also, while a soft mattress can conform to your body’s natural curves that can help your joints align favorably, it deeply sinks you into the mattress that your joints may twist and be painful at night.
In a study, 56% of subjects who rested on beds that were medium-firm mattresses experienced less back pain in the morning than their softer or harder counterparts. Even nowadays, many medium-firm beds, like bolster mattress, receive excellent feedback from many clients.
Natural and Organic Beds
Traditional mattresses are made from synthetic materials, such as polyester fabrics or polyurethane foams. The said toxic chemicals contribute to off-gassing, which can be detrimental to one’s health. A few of its short-term symptoms include dizziness, irritation, and memory problems, whereas potential long-term risks include cancer and organ damage.
Natural and organic beds are made from hypoallergenic materials. Not only they are made through non-toxic fire barrier methods, but these mattresses are often customizable. That means these beds are specifically designed for all sleep positions, body types, and various body pains and aches.
What’s more, 100% natural mattresses are durable. The materials used are often raw materials like organic wool or cotton. Organic cotton is well-known for sturdiness. Also, organic wool can alleviate pressure. Meaning, it goes back to its original form even after being exposed to heavy body weight, which is advisable for back relief.
Invest in mattresses that would surely offer you quality and sound sleep. Again, uncomfortable beds prompt sleep disruptions, which lead to many health risks. Think about it. The possible health consequences from not having enough rest would cause you a fortune, more costly than a high-quality bed. Hence, it’s best not to be frugal when purchasing beds. Though if a new mattress isn’t financially viable yet, consider a mattress topper for back pain as an alternative.
Analisse Weathers is a writer who enjoys sharing her works with her readers. She loves writing about health and lifestyle. When Analisse isn’t writing or working, she often goes to the beach to relax and have fun.