Choosing the Right Mattress

I attended a brunch not too long ago and ended up sitting next to a women who was intriguing,  poised and had a relaxed yet professional vibe that makes you want to know more about her. Turns out she (Deanna) is the "girl" of Mattress Girls & Guys, a wholesale mattress store that offers a variety of options for significantly less cost. 

As a Chiropractor I get asked about mattresses and pillows quite often, but you never know what you don't know so I was eager to reach out to her to improve my mattress knowledge.

What should people consider when buying a mattress?

Comfort. The first question I ask anyone in the market for a mattress is why they are looking for a mattress “right now”. Is it that they aren’t sleeping? Are the tossing and turning? In the absence of an injury that could be a factor, a new mattress is likely what they need. Whether someone is a stomach, bike or side sleeper, if they aren’t comfortable, it doesn’t matter how “good” the mattress is, they won’t sleep well. I recommend everyone lay on a mattress on their side before purchase as this is the position with the most significant pressure points. They should be able to feel comfortable in this position. 

How long should a mattress last?

A typically warranty is 10 years so technically the mattress should last for that long. Ideally, we should replace our mattresses every 5 or so years. There are many variable as to why we may want to replace it sooner than later, including the changes our own body has experienced (are we heavier, do we have new injuries, etc). One important recommendation is to use a mattress cover. Most warranties are void without one. The reason for this is that over time, sloughed off skin can get into the fibres of the mattress and break down the foam inside. It can actually half the lifetime of your mattress!

How do we know when itsa time to replace a mattress?

When you are no longer getting a good sleep. Many factors can contribute to the need for a new mattress beyond the age of the mattress though... your body weight, an injury that may need more support or more softness or simply changes to your body over time.

Should people seek soft, medium or firm mattresses?

This is a tough question because the feel of a mattress is often subjective. What is firm to one person may feel quite soft to another. I tell people that the comfort of the mattress is what will allow you to fall asleep and what’s IN the mattress is what will keep you asleep. 

If someone typically moves around a  lot in their sleep, they will want a mattress that allows them to do so without effort. A soft foam mattress where they may sink in more may not be the best choice for them. If someone is very heavy, they may want to consider what feels comfortable but can stand-up over time.

Regardless, is important that people give 2 weeks to 1 month to get used to their new mattress. Just like breaking in new shoes, it can take time for the mattress to settle and for your own body to adapt.

If you are in the market for a new mattress I can’t recommend The Mattress Girl enough! Straight to the point, no fluff information to help you make an informed decision! A no-pressure showroom to find the best mattress for you at wholesale prices! 

Of course, ensuring your body is moving and adapting optimally will also help improve your comfort level and sleep which is fundamental for healing and daily rejuvenation!

Catching some ZZZZs - How to Prevent Sleep Associated Pain

Originally written and posted by the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors

 

Sleep. All of us could probably use more of it with our go-go lifestyles. A good night’s sleep is essential to our overall health and well-being.

It can be frustrating, when we do get around to getting some shut-eye, we can wake up with neck, back or shoulder pain. We should wake up from our slumber refreshed and relaxed instead of in pain.

Changing or altering your position in bed can help you reduce the pain associated with your sleeping pattern and will go a long way in making your slumber that much better.

Changing your sleeping position can be easier said than done. You’ve most likely slept that way your entire life, so breaking that habit can prove to be quite difficult.

Below are some common sleeping patterns and what you can do to improve your sleep for each.

Sleeping on your back – This is the optimal position to reduce pain while sleeping. Sleeping on your back is great for keeping the spine, neck and head aligned and does not force your body into any contortions. This position helps the mattress do its job of supporting the spine. When sleeping on your back, your face should be parallel to the ceiling, not tilted up or down.

Sleeping on your stomach – Sleeping on your stomach is regarded by chiropractors as the worst position for putting stress on your body. This position alters the natural curve of your lower spine, or lumbar and can cause numbness, tingling and pain in your extremities.

If sleeping on your stomach is absolutely necessary, try to shift positions several times in the night to avoid prolonged stress.

Sleeping on your side - Sleeping on your side is an effective way to reduce pain if your mattress is properly suited to your body shape. A good mattress should distribute your weight evenly while ensuring your lower back keeps its proper curvature. Sleeping on your side keeps your body in a relatively neutral position.

Also, for side sleepers, try placing a second pillow between your knees. This helps to keep your hips open. The pillow will help reduce low back pain as well as the strain on the ligaments in your hips.

Sleeping in the fetal position (knees to your chest) - Sleeping this way can be very harmful to your body. This position may be acceptable for pregnant women, but isn’t good for your body in the long run. Keeping your body and spine tightly curled in the fetal position can lead to muscle and ligament adaptations in one of or all of your neck, back or hips.

See your chiropractor if pain persists

If you are still experiencing pain in the mornings as a result of your sleep, see your chiropractor.

Chiropractors are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions of the spine and musculoskeletal system (the body’s bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, joints and connective tissue). Your chiropractor will first assess your current condition or the source of your problem and then develop a treatment plan for you to help ease your pain.