The Best Investment You Can Splurge on This Year? A New Mattress!
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on February 5, 2019 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Sleep Support
Sleep is a necessary component of our everyday lives. Without enough sleep, we can get moody, anxious or depressed, our bodies aren’t able to heal as effectively, we are more susceptible to illnesses and our health, as a whole, declines.
To protect our sleep, and by extension, our bodies, we need to have the right sleeping environment. And one key aspect of our sleep tends to go overlooked: the mattress. The type and age of the mattress you have can play a major role in how well you sleep each night. If you have an old mattress, 2019 might be a good year to invest in a new one.
Why you should get a new mattress
Many people simply forget about the need to replace their mattress because it remains functional over time. Unless you’re constantly looking at stains, rips or holes in your mattress, you might think it’s perfectly fine. However, mattresses are not designed to last forever. In fact, they should only be kept around for a maximum of 10 years.
If you’ve had your mattress for around a decade, it is definitely time for an upgrade, no matter how useable you think it still is. Old mattresses can get dirty, worn, saggy and downright uncomfortable.
All of these problems eventually start to disrupt your sleep faster than you’d think—you may not feel comfortable at night, so you toss and turn until you can fall asleep. Or, you might start developing back pain because your worn-down mattress doesn’t offer the right kind of support anymore.
By buying a new mattress, you’re not just making a monetary investment in a staple piece of furniture for your home. You’re also investing in your health, your mental wellbeing and your happiness.
How to pick a new mattress
Picking a mattress is not always as easy as it seems. Most people aren’t aware of the different types of mattresses or which one is best for them.
Before you head out to purchase a new mattress, consider your body type, how you sleep most comfortably and if you have any health conditions that could factor into how you sleep (such as arthritis, chronic back pain or allergies).
Many mattress providers offer online quizzes to determine which kind of mattress is right for you. Try some of these out before you go shopping to narrow down the type of mattress you need. Then, head to a reputable mattress store where a knowledgeable employee can answer your questions.
At the store, don’t be afraid to test out the mattress. Lay down on the mattress how you normally would and gauge how comfortable you feel. It’s best to try laying there for around 10 minutes and change positions. All of these in-store tests should help you find the perfect mattress that can deliver an amazing night’s sleep.
More tips for getting a great night’s sleep
Your mattress is a key factor in how well you sleep, but it’s not the only factor. Numerous other aspects of your sleep routines should be addressed when you buy a new mattress to ensure you’re getting good sleep all around.
- Turn devices off before bed: Studies show that the blue light emitted from electronic devices like cell phones, computers and even TVs can have a harmful effect on sleep. They prevent melatonin production, which influences your body to get ready to sleep. To help maintain a good sleep schedule, try to not use electronic devices 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime.
- Avoid post-lunch caffeine: Most of us need a cup of coffee or two in the morning to get us ready for the day, but if your caffeine-drinking habits are spilling over into the afternoon, it could be altering your sleep patterns. Caffeine can stay in the blood for over 5 hours, meaning you shouldn’t be having any after 3 p.m.
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary: In addition to a new mattress, the right sleeping environment can have an effect on your Z’s. Make sure to turn off or block out light, reduce noise or use a white noise machine and turn the temperature down a few degrees. A cool, dark and quiet environment has been shown to optimize sleep.
- Manage stress: Intense stress or anxiety can leave you tossing and turning, unable to switch off your brain for the night. By taking steps to manage your stress during the day, you should be able to sleep better at night. Read a book, take a long, hot shower or do 20 minutes of yoga before bed to relax and get yourself in the right frame of mind for slumber.
With a new mattress on your bed and healthy sleep habits incorporated into your daily life, you should expect to get the best sleep of your life in 2019.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan