When you’ve had a long, hard day at work or spent hours and hours behind the wheel of a car, the one chili you want is a good night’s sleep in a comfortable bed. But if your mattress is lumpy, old, soiled or uneven, a restful night’s sleep may be hard to come by, and that can have very negative, long-term effects on your health. Sleep deprivation is dangerous, both physically and mentally. Everything from your immune system to major organs depend on the restorative effect of sleep. Your brain needs sleep for proper focus and concentration during the day, for problem-solving, and for cognitive functioning.
An abode for allergens
The longer you hang onto a mattress, the more it becomes a haven for dust mites and microorganisms that contribute to allergies and skin-related problems. Mites are especially troublesome because their fecal remains and decomposing bodies can cause an intense allergic reaction among many people, including itching, red eyes, sneezing and coughing. It can be an especially difficult situation for asthmatics, whose condition may become seriously aggravated and who often suffer chronic illnesses due to the presence of mites, which love to nest in warm, humid locations - like bedding and aging mattresses.
A good rule of thumb is to purchase a new mattress once yours reaches 5 years old to alleviate the many health problems that bacterial microorganisms can produce. Until then, you can help keep them under control by washing your bedding at least once a week in water that’s at least 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and by using a cover made of specially woven fabric that zips around your mattress.
If you choose to replace your mattress, be sure to recycle your old one. Look for a recycling facility near you, because 80 percent of mattress materials, including foam padding, steel springs, wooden frames and cotton material, can be recycled and returned to the manufacturing process, but they won’t degrade in a landfill. Mattress recycling greatly benefits the environment.
Sags, lumps and a pain in the neck
A mattress should be rotated on a regular basis to prevent uneven wear, which can create lumps and sags. Remember, your head should remain roughly even with the rest of your body. An uneven and saggy mattress can leave your head at an unhealthy and uncomfortable angle and will eventually cause neck pain. A mattress topper often helps to mitigate this problem, as can switching to a flat, rather than fluffy, pillow.
If you tend to sweat in your sleep, be careful about the kind of mattress you buy. A mattress made of dense foam will trap your body heat, raise your temperature and cause excessive sweating at night. If night sweats are a chronic problem, you may need to look for a mattress made with a special cooling technology, or use special bedsheets or pajamas made of breathable fabric.
Lack of support
Any mattress you bring home should provide reliable spine support, which can be problematic if your mattress isn’t sufficiently firm and supportive. Eventually, the bones in your spinal columnwill be affected and go out of adjustment, which leads to back pain. Back and spine health affect the way you sit, walk, stand and lay - basically, everything you do. An unsupportive mattress usually indicates it’s time for a new one.
Be very careful when choosing a mattress. Test it to make sure it’s sufficiently supportive but not too firm. Be certain to rotate it regularly, and wash bed clothing on a weekly basis. Remember, a well-cared-for mattress can make a big difference in your health.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.
Not too Hard, Not too Soft: How a Mattress Affects Your Health