There is nothing more comforting and relaxing than jumping onto your mattress and in your cozy bed, after a long exhausting day at work. You think of the eight hours of sleep that awaits you. But more often than not, your mattress makes this an extremely hard.
If this cycle occurs every now and then, then your mattress may be doing more harm than good for your health. Over a period of time, your mattress starts to wear and tear and at times even get infested with bugs. All these if not taken care of can have various impacts on your health. Here is a list of ways in how your mattress could be affecting your health.
- A mattress that is not firm enough, can cause back pain
Adequate spine support is a must when it comes to mattresses of any kind.
A spine is made up of different bones, called vertebrae that are locked together in a curve. You want to sleep on a mattress that provides adequate support for these natural curves. If you sleep on an overly soft or saggy mattress any slight movement might put tremendous pressure on the connecting ligaments and tendons that connect the spine to the rest of the bones and muscles. This will cause the spine to bend which in turn will cause discomfort and pain. The most common sign to identify if your mattress is giving you a backache is waking up with a sore body. It is a sign to upgrade to a new mattress or invest in a mattress topper which will provide the added support.
- An extra firm mattress can lead to joint pains
Sleeping means releasing your full body weight onto a surface for hours at a stretch, this means that your mattress should have adequate firmness. Sleeping on a mattress that is extra hard means added pressure on areas such as your shoulders, hips, knees, and sides. This leads to aches and pains, particularly in the joints.
As surprising as it sounds, a mattress can cause you to snore. It is the most overlooked cause that leads to snoring. If a mattress is not supportive enough, your airways will be tense which leads to snoring.
Even old mattresses contribute to snoring. Since mattresses take the shape of your body, it is easier to block airways. Even though snoring is nothing uncommon, not everyone fully understands the dangers of snoring, which can also be fatal sometimes.
- Mattresses often trigger allergies.
Over a period of time, most mattresses get infested with bed bugs and dust mites. These creatures feed on the dead cells that are shed by your body. Even if you keep your bedroom and bed spic and span, bed bugs and dust mites can make your mattresses their own homes. This is because they thrive in warm, humid spots like beds and mattresses. Since your mattress is their home, you are at the risk of various health issues that can be caused by their feces and decaying bodies. The most common ones are allergic reactions such as coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose. For those of you, who from asthma, this could trigger problems such as shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing and chest pains. They also lead to skin allergies.
Though it is impossible to completely get rid of bed bugs and dust mites, you can minimize the risk of having your mattress infested with them. The easiest way is to invest in allergy free bedding and washing your bedding at least once every week.
- Mattresses can cause night sweats.
Do you often wake up in a pool of your own sweat? Though night sweats are mostly attributed to antidepressants or conditions like menopause or anxiety, quite often there is no cause for these episodes of night sweats. Your mattress can make you feel super hot at night while you sleep. This depends on the material used in making the mattress. A mattress made out of dense foam will capture the heat that is released from our body which leads to excessive heat retention and sweating. Sleeping in nightwear made out of airy fabrics like cotton or linen. Mattress toppers that come with a cooling gel are also a good option.
- Your heart will pay the price.
Sleeping on a poor quality mattress or one that does not suit your needs means fewer hours of sleep for you. When you do not sleep well for a continued period of time, you are at great risk of developing heart conditions. Though there is no particular reason as to why this happens, researchers believe that lack of sleep affects various bodily functions such as blood pressure, metabolism etc.
Lack of sleep can cause certain chemicals to be released into the body which lowers the blood pressure and heart rate. People who suffer from sleep apnea are a greater risk of suffering from heart conditions.
- An old mattress can also increase stress levels.
When you sleep on a mattress that is old and worn out, the quality of your sleep is not good enough. You will find yourself lying awake, tossing and turning trying to find a comfy position to sleep in. Lack of sleep causes irritability and has a physical and emotional impact on your health. All this increases your stress level which in turn affects your day to day life.
Even though the most common causes of obesity are your diet and physical activity, it is often caused by lack of sleep. Sleeping on uncomfortable or old mattresses means lack of sleep. Lack of sleep leads to the secretion of hormones called ghrelin. This hormone increases appetite. This means that when you don’t get proper sleep, you tend to eat more and more which leads to weight issues. Very often you might find yourself binge eating at night when you cannot sleep.
A mattress has more impact on your health than you realize. You need to put in more thought into the kind of mattress that you sleep on as well as its condition. Saving a few bucks on a mattress might lead to life-threatening health issues.