A good night's sleep is critical for your wellbeing. For Americans, sleep matters so much, that six in 10 Americans crave sleep over sex. The quality of your sleep depends a lot on the quality of your mattress, which is something widely known and recognized by people, yet few actually do something to improve their mattresses.
According to a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, over 90 percent of people know the quality of the sleep depends on the mattresses. However, most people seem to forget this and blame the price tag of a new mattress for their lack of interest in buying a new one or updating the one they have.
An old mattress, or one that is not a good fit for your needs, can damage a lot more than your sleep. The consequences of a poor mattress range from chronic back pain to allergies and weight gain. Here is how your mattress is ruining your health, according to science.
An old mattress can increase your stress level
Stress is caused by a lot of things, from job problems to health problems, but a study found that an old mattress can increase your stress level as well.
The study asked 60 people to sleep on their old mattresses for a month, then to sleep on new mattresses for another month. The results were clear: During the second month, their stress levels dropped significantly.
This is the proof your old mattress is directly related to your stress level, as the back pain you suffer from sleeping on an old mattress and the irritability linked to a poor sleep increase the levels of cortisol in your body.
Your mattress is triggering your allergies
Old mattresses are filled with bed bugs and dust mites. These microscopic creatures eat the dead cells your body sheds. The process sounds gross, and it is.
According to WedMD, 20 million Americans are allergic to bed bugs, which means they are suffering from their own mattresses. Dust mites also lead to skin problems, such as eczema and respiratory conditions, as they damage your lungs and promote a sore throat. Another side effect of dust mites is snoring. The irritation of the airways due to dust mites increases the risks of snoring, making breathing more difficult.
To prevent allergies you can wash your sheets and pillowcases in hot water or vacuum clean them on regular basis. Sleep covers labeled as “allergy-proof” can also help you reduce the number of outbreaks, but the best thing you can do is change your mattress.
The average mattress should be changed every 6 or 8 years, in order to prevent it from becoming a farm of dust mites and bed bugs.
A bad mattress can lead to back pain
Another common problem of sleeping on an old mattress is back pain. Your mattress can actually promote back pain and prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Oklahoma State University conducted a study on a group of people and asked them to replace their mattresses every five years. After the people replaced their mattresses, they reported a significant decrease in back pain.
Another fact discovered by the study was there are mattresses which provide more relief to back pain. These findings were supported by additional studies, which showed the best mattresses against back pain are medium-firm, compared to firm and soft ones.
One more tip: If you are looking to relieve lower back pain, place a pillow between your knees and sleep on your side.
An old mattress can promote snoring
One of the factors overlooked when you are looking for the cause of your snoring is the mattress. If your mattress is not supporting your body properly, your airways may be under tension or the tissues may be sunken, which leads to snoring.
If the mattress is old, it may promote snoring as well. Mattresses take the shape of your body, which makes your airways to block easier. Despite snoring is not uncommon, few people really know and understand the dangers of snoring, which actually has the potential to be fatal.
Your old mattress could be the reason you are obese or overweight
Sleep deprivation promotes binge-eating and overeating. If you think deeper, your weight gain problem and faulty eating patterns could be related to your lack of sleep, due to your old mattress. A poor quality mattress can keep you awake in the night, which is the worst time possible to have a snack.
Uncomfortable mattresses lead to a weak immune system
Sleeping on an old mattress prevents you from getting a high quality sleep, which weakens your immune system. This is how you will become more prone to colds, as well as other type of illnesses, even severe ones.
Your heart is also going to suffer
As strange as it may sound, lack of sleep also puts a toll on your heart. A study conducted by the European Heart Journal showed that people who suffer from lack of sleep or poor sleep, have 48 percent more chances of developing a heart condition, compared to those who sleep well.
Memory impairment can also be a side effect of a bad mattress
If you start suffering from poor memory, it could be due to your poor sleep, which, in turn, is due to your poor mattress. During the deep sleep, called REM, the memories are being formed, so if you can't enter the REM sleep, your brain is not going to form the memories the right way, which leads to memory impairment.
Beauty sleep is a real thing
Estée Lauder proved poor sleep promotes the puffy eyes look and makes your skin look older. Bottom line, if you notice your sleep is suffering, consider investing in a new mattress. You may change your life and improve your health.