#TACTIX :: Choosing a Mattress for Better Health

Choosing a mattress

Sleep is one of the most important actions one needs in keeping your body and mind healthy. Most adults need seven or more hours to sleep, but the most important aspect is the quality of that sleep. You should always feel rested when you wake up. Getting good sleep helps with weight, health risks, stress, mood, maintaining positive relationships, making good decisions, and avoiding injuries and accidents. Ensuring a positive sleep experience often starts with choosing a mattress for better health. A good supportive mattress can make all the difference in having a good night’s sleep and positive body alignment.

Lots of choices

To decide what mattress you need, you need to navigate through all the options, and there are many. The most common mattress is the innerspring mattress, which has a coil-based support system and a few other layers. There are several different types of coils also that provide a multitude of support options. While the coils offer some support, innersprings often lack pressure relief. Plus, these mattresses tend to be bouncier with limited motion isolation.

Foam mattresses are made entirely with foam and no coils. They tend to provide above-average contouring to the body, pressure relief, and motion isolation. Foam mattresses, like memory foam, make a good fit for side sleepers and couples.

Latex mattresses offer top-notch bounce and durability with moderate contouring. When made with natural and organic latex, they are a top pick among eco-conscious shoppers.

Hybrids have two central elements: an innerspring support core and a substantial foam comfort system. The comfort layers can include foam or latex and sometimes will even include a shorter layer of coils (called micro-coils). These mattresses provide a blend of bounce and contouring with low heat retention and can be a good fit for sleepers in any position depending on exactly how they are built.

How to choose

The best mattress should keep your spine aligned and feel comfortable to you. People with back pain used to be told to go as firm as possible with their mattress pick. That’s not the case anymore. Usually, a medium-firm mattress is a good starting point to try with finding the perfect mix of alignment and comfort.

While you sleep, the muscles and ligaments in your back need to relax. A mattress that is too firm or overly soft may not support your spine properly at your neck or lower back, the way it needs to. Firmness is different for everyone. Hip size may also need to be accounted for with the firmness levels.  

In one research study, researchers assigned new mattresses to more than 300 people with low back pain. They used either “medium-firm” or “firm” mattresses for 90 days. Those using medium-firm mattresses reported the least amount of discomfort.

What’s best for me

A memory foam mattress molds to your body, isolates motion well, and falls into that medium firm option. The downside is they tend to keep in heat which may make for sleep uncomfortable to those who like the mattress “cool.”

The coil unit in an innerspring bed delivers plenty of airflow, preventing the comfort layer from overheating, but causes significant motion transfer.

Gel mattresses are designed to cool the sleeper by pulling the heat away from the body, are slightly more responsive and adaptive, and have good motion isolation.

Latex mattresses are a good choice for people struggling with joint and back pain. The materials cushion and comfort the body, promoting natural spine alignment to help ease the pain.

Hybrid mattresses feature foam layers and steel coils. This brings the best of both styles. choose from different materials in the comfort layers, the number of layers, and special features like zoned support and added cooling. Hybrid mattresses provide excellent support, thanks to the combination of coils and foam layers. The coils serve as the main support system, while the foam layers provide added support, ensuring the sleeper’s spine remains in good alignment. 

Other helpful tips

Know when it’s time to get a new mattress. If an old mattress sags visibly in the middle or is no longer comfortable, it is probably time to purchase a new one.  Plus, even if you have the right mattress, it’s not the only thing that counts when it comes to managing back pain and proper spinal alignment as you rest. Sleep position is important, as are the kind of pillows you use and where you place them.

Considering that most of us spend roughly a third of our lives lying in bed, ­­­­choosing a mattress for better health is essential. Your mattress should provide for proper spinal alignment and comfort. It can make a difference in whether you can sleep at night and function the next day. The experts at Chiropractix can help offer advice based on your personal needs for the proper mattress for better sleep and better health.

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