28th February 2020
Guides & Advice
A mattress isn’t the most glamorous purchase you can make. Whilst you may be lusting after a new car or the latest 4K television, most people will not give much thought to the mattress they are sleeping on. However, you spend a third of your life in bed and the quality of your sleep will have a direct impact on how you feel in the other two thirds of your life.
The Sleep Council recommends that you replace your mattress every 7 years, but in reality we know that it is often a lot longer than this. It is easy to lose track of the years and before you know it, it is over 15 years since you last replaced your mattress.
The decline in the quality of mattress is a gradual process. Unlike a gadget or an appliance which will stop working, it can be quite difficult to tell whether you need a new mattress. However, there are a number of signs to look out for that may suggest your mattress is no longer providing you with the support you need:
It is normal to shift positions as you sleep, but constant tossing and turning through the night is a sign that you are not able to find a comfortable position. If the mattress is either too firm or too soft for you, your spine will not be correctly aligned and supported, resulting in the build-up of pressure points around your joints. This can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
A good quality night’s sleep will leave you feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready to start the day. If you aren’t sleeping properly through the night, you will wake up feeling groggy and as tired as the night before. Although there are a number of other factors that can keep you awake at night such as stress, or loud noises from the street outside, your mattress may also be preventing you from getting a restful night’s sleep. If you aren’t comfortable and fully supported by your mattress, you will struggle to achieve a deep sleep.
Do you often wake up in the morning with aching in your lower back? Does this stiffness gradually lessen within a couple of hours of waking? This is a classic sign that your mattress no longer provides you with the support that it should. Good sleeping posture is essential and selecting a mattress that ensures your spine is in a neutral position will help to keep those aches and pains at bay.
Having a better night’s sleep when you are on holiday isn’t unusual; you can switch off from all the stresses and worries of everyday life for a week or two. However, if you notice you sleep better, feel more rested and wake up with less aches and pains whenever you sleep in a bed that isn’t your own, even if it is a night away on your last business trip, you should look to invest in a new mattress. And be sure to think about why this mattress made you sleep better. Was it softer than your mattress at home? Did you have more room to spread out? All these factors will be important when it comes to choosing your next mattress.
If you and your partner keep rolling into each other and end up meeting in the middle of your mattress, it is likely your mattress has begun to sag. Not only is this hugely annoying and will mean you are regularly disturbed through the night, but a sagging mattress will not provide you with adequate support.
It is time to pay attention to your body. Aches, pains, disturbed sleep and sagging are all signs that your mattress is no longer providing you will the support it should. However, this doesn’t mean that you should buy a firm mattress thinking it will give you the most support. This is a common misconception, but the mattress which supports you the most will keep your spine in a neutral position.
If a mattress is too firm, your spine will arc upwards and cause pressure points to build-up around your lower back, knees and shoulders. Alternatively, your mattress may be too soft for you, meaning that your spine bows downwards creating pressure points around the lower back and hips. When your spine is neutral, the heavier parts of the body such as the knees, hips and shoulders will be properly supported. This relieves the build-up of pressure points and it is essential for a good quality night’s sleep.