Most of us would immediately fall in love with a soft, cushony mattress the first time we tried it out, yet somewhat counter-intuitively, this kind of bedding can sometimes have a negative impact on your health. The reasons why can be fairly straightforward, though we may not at first consider them. As the Sit n' Sleep Blog points out, firmer mattresses can often be more comfortable simply because they offer more support. This can have a dramatic impact on your ability to rest and rejuvenate fully over the course of an eight-hour-long sleep session, particularly for older individuals.
We've extensively covered the need to achieve a proper night's rest here on the Green Blog. Whether it's off-gassing from a chemically treated mattress or a negative micro-climate caused by ineffective bedding, anything that interferes with your body's ability to adequately rest for a set period of time will eventually wear down your overall health and well-being. Our bodies require a great deal of rest and rejuvenation, which is often hard to come by in modern society. Skimping on sleep or resting on bedding that directly impedes our ability to regenerate can have dramatic impacts both on our appearance and health, leading to measurable changes in happiness, attitude, and general outlook. How much we sleep, and exactly how we rest, is directly tied to our ability to function.
Proper posture matters when it comes to overall health, and this fact is true not only during waking hours, but also during our sleep cycle. Firm mattresses help promote this by keeping the spine in a positive alignment. Your body can never truly be at rest if it is constantly fighting for support, and an eight hour period where your backbone is out of alignment can leave you both tired and sore for the next day. Stiffer mattresses help to prevent lower back strain problems, and they also alleviate certain pressure points through adequate alignment. This leaves you less apt to suffer from scoliosis and even bedsores. These problems regularly afflict individuals with low mobility or who are confined to beds, and can at times largely be combated through changes in bedding.
Changing over to a harder mattress will likely be difficult if you've slept on a softer surface for years. You can expect some initial discomfort while getting used to your new paradigm, but the long term benefits will eventually assert themselves. In addition, people with already extant issues like rheumatism, scoliosis, arthritis or weak capillaries may want to shy away from excessively hard mattresses, and instead opt for spot-specific support, as BeWellBuzz points out. This kind of reinforcement can be achieved with specially designed pillows, like those made from flax seed and other organic materials.
Proper support is absolutely essential when seeking a full night's rest. Through choosing a firm mattress at the outset, consumers can often tilt the balance in their favor, reaping the health benefits of their decision for years to come.
[Images: Aweisenfels - Own Work via Wikimedia Commons | Resized | CC BY-SA 4.0
Mikael Häggström via Wikimedia Commons | CCO 1.0 ]