Is your mattress affecting your business/career success?

Is your mattress affecting your business/career success?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 1:14 pm


Grace Essen

Grace Essen

By Grace Essen

I was speaking over the phone with a friend of mine who had travelled out of town and she went on and on about how she had a good sleep the previous night. Her exact words: ‘I slept like a baby!’ She was of the opinion that the mattress could have made the difference. I recalled she had complained of insomnia for a while. She decided she would have to change her mattress as soon as she got back!

How we just don’t recognize the importance of a comfy mattress to a good night rest. We often don’t realize that the wrong mattress or the mattress that’s too old can be the cause of not just that pain in your neck or your lower back, but also your lack of good quality sleep and tiredness you feel the next morning. If you’re not sleeping as well as you used to at home, maybe you have to take a look at your mattress, especially if you find you sleep better away from home.

You might be thinking how much it would cost to change a less-than-ideal mattress, but think of how a little more comfortable sleep can help you lose weight, reduce stress, control allergy, improve your memory, live longer, impact your output at work. A good mattress isn’t bad investment, don’t you think?

When searching for the right mattress it isn’t about the highest-tech brand or spending the most money. Instead think of what you want in a mattress. Some people prefer a firmer mattress, while others want a softer one. There’s no standardized definition of what makes a mattress soft and what makes a mattress firm. While a 95kg person may describe a mattress as soft a 55kg person may describe the same mattress as firm.

There is no scientific evidence as such to prove that one type of mattress will help you sleep better than another, people with certain medical conditions will likely rest easier on a particular type of mattress. Here are helpful tips I got from WebMD.

Anyone with back or neck pain should take a Goldilocks approach to mattress buying: not too hard, and not too soft. If you’re on too soft [of] a mattress, you’ll start to sink down to the bottom. But on too hard of a mattress you have too much pressure on the sacrum, and on the shoulders, and on the back of the head. A medium-firm mattress, or a firm mattress with a softer pillow top, will give your spine that “just-right” balance of support and cushioning.

When searching for the right mattress it isn’t about the highest-tech brand or spending the most money. Instead think of what you want in a mattress. Some people prefer a firmer mattress, while others want a softer one. There’s no standardized definition of what makes a mattress soft and what makes a mattress firm. While a 95kg person may describe a mattress as soft a 55kg person may describe the same mattress as firm.

An adjustable bed can be a good buy if you need to sleep with your head raised. Doctors sometimes recommend elevating the head to help people with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) breathe easier, or to prevent night time heartburn from GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease, a chronic digestive disease). These beds can also allow you to adjust your knees and hips to a 90-degree angle, relieving some of the pressure on sore joints. If you have allergies or asthma, you might have considered buying a bed labelled “hypoallergenic.”

We don’t buy a car without test driving it first. So why should we invest in a mattress without trying it out first? You can’t just imagine yourself lying down in a mattress shop just to have a feel of the mattress you wish to buy before you pay for it, right? Well, if you want the right mattress, you might have to. Take that new mattress you’re considering for a test nap. We should not be embarrassed to go into a store and lay on a mattress for 10 minutes.

One way to have a more realistic mattress test is to pay attention when we sleep in the beds at different hotel chains when we travel. If you get an especially good night’s sleep on one of them, check for the brand but if you cannot readily find it, you could ask the desk clerk or admin officer what brand it is. They may be willing to help, if you ask nicely.

When you test out a mattress, make sure it feels comfortable in every position, especially your favourite sleeping position. The mattress should be comfortable and supportive where you need it, without putting too much pressure on your body.

Also, if you have been having trouble sleeping well, the problem might not be your mattress type, but its age. It’s really important we realize that mattresses have a certain lifespan. When we keep our mattress for too long, the foam and other materials inside it will begin to break down, affecting its ability to support the body. Experts recommend keeping your mattress for no more than 10 years. After that, it’s time to go mattress shopping again.

I guess you never really thought how much your mattress could be affecting your sleep and by extension, other aspects of your life. I never did too until my friend found the real cause of her sleeplessness.

So, is you mattress due for a change?

You may reach Grace via email: [email protected] You can also connect with her on twitter @GraceEssen, on Facebook, and also follow her blog @Mum2MumAfrica.com.


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