Quality vs. Quantity
It’s easy to say that the more sleep you get at night, the better. However, this refers to sleep quantity, not sleep quality. Quality sleep is about restfulness and how restored you feel when you wake up. This can be affected by many factors, including but not limited to the quantity of your sleep. Other things to consider are proper body alignment, specifically your spinal alignment, as well as minimizing noise disturbances, snoring, movements, and preventing disease-causing allergens. Altogether these create a formula for quality sleep, directly relating to stress and anxiety relief and a better quality of life so you can get more out of your day. We believe a quality mattress can help. But first, we must ask this question:
What is quality sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, quality sleep is defined by the following criteria: "You typically fall asleep in 30 minutes or less, sleep soundly through the night with no more than one awakening, and drift back to sleep within 20 minutes if you do wake up. On the flip side, bad sleep quality is the kind that leaves you staring at the ceiling or counting sheep. It may be characterized by trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, restlessness, and early awakenings." In order to feel your best and get the most out of your waking hours, you should focus on both sleep quantity and quality. Just as a lack of sleep makes it hard to function, poor sleep can also leave you feeling exhausted the next day and impact your frame of mind. Over time, poor sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system and hormones as well, leading to a myriad of additional health problems. Good quality sleep, however, may improve your mood (as with quantity) because uninterrupted sleep allows you to get the optimal amount of restorative sleep.
The biggest factor in how well you’re sleeping is your mattress.
Quality Mattress = Quality Sleep = Quality Life
The Better Sleep Council states that "the biggest factor in how well you’re sleeping is your mattress." If your mattress is old or uncomfortable, results in aches and pains, tossing and turning, sleep that is not as restful and restorative, or, if you’re simply not waking up feeling refreshed and relaxed, it’s time to evaluate the condition of your mattress.
Here are some common ailments you can fall victim to with a bad mattress:
- Back and muscle pain
- Increased stress and anxiety
- Suffering from allergies
- Constant tossing and turning
- Loud snoring
And here’s how a good mattress can help you with those ailments:
- Properly aligns your spine
- Prevents disease-causing allergens
- Releases stress and anxiety
- Absorbs movements
- Minimizes snoring
Let’s take a closer look at how a good mattress helps to eliminate those problems and lead to better sleep:
Proper body positioning and spinal alignment
Your spinal alignment plays a huge role in maintaining good posture and stopping spinal deformation. It can also be the deciding factor between sound sleep and a restless night. A quality mattress ensures your spinal alignment is on point by equally distributing your weight across the mattress while you rest. The trunk of your body, (from your armpits to your knees) is the heaviest part of everyone’s body, regardless of your height, weight, or body type. Thus it is critical to ensure your mattress is designed to support that area properly. Ever notice a sinking indent on your mattress? Structurally mediocre mattresses either dip or depress with time. This places an unnecessary burden on your spine. Even some better quality mattresses aren’t made with this in mind. These "better" mattresses shift most of your weight to your hips and shoulders, which angles your spine in awkward and painful positions making for an awkward and painful way to wake up.
Stops the entry of harmful allergens and dust mites
Dust mites! Those pesky microscopic creatures feed on the dead skin cells you shed naturally. A whole host of them is often found in and on your mattress. According to WebMD, as many as 20 million Americans are allergic to these annoying mites, and to make matters worse they are even more problematic for people with asthma and underlying respiratory problems. To combat these buggers a quality hypoallergenic mattress can keep them at bay. Its upper fabric is tightly sealed, stopping the entry of both dust mites and bacterial infestations. To add on to the benefits it’s also a great layering mechanism to combat sweat and other droppings, which in turn provide the ideal habitat for fungi and molds.
A quality mattress can help to zap your stress and anxiety
If you suffer from frequent stress and anxiety it might be worth looking into your quality of sleep. In a 2009 study, 59 healthy men and women slept for 28 consecutive nights on their regular mattresses. Then for another 28 nights, they slept on new, medium-firm mattresses. They evaluated their stress levels based on the following factors: worrying, racing thoughts, nervousness, irritability, headaches, trembling, etc. The new beds resulted in “a significant decrease in stress.” According to the study, this was possibly due to the related increase in sleep quality and decrease in pain associated with the newer mattress.
Helps absorb your movements
Are you someone who shifts and moves around a lot in your sleep? It’s a habit that’s likely to stop you from getting a good night’s sleep and also disturb your partner. This constant movement creates motion waves that move with the mattress’s fabric, causing disturbance and noise. A firm and good quality mattress will absorb these waves and create a comfortable sleep environment. If you, your partner, or perhaps both of you are restless sleepers, you can check out (create a link to another blog) a selection of mattresses that can help stop this issue.
Eliminates bothersome snoring
The consequences of snoring aren’t just the annoying sound that might disturb your partner. Snoring can cause headaches, tiredness throughout the day, and even heart disease as a long-term consequence. Snoring is a result of irregular breathing and can easily be caused by your mattress if it is saggy and old. If so, it won’t provide proper placement for your neck and head, can clog your air passageways, and lead to long episodes of snoring. An adjustable bed can assist with the problem of snoring, too.
A quality mattress helps to eliminate these problems.
As a general recommendation, choose the mattress that is comfortable for you and provides good support. You’ll want to take into account your sleeping position and body type.
A good mattress is no less than a soulmate. It’s a life-altering addition to your life that has the ability to improve your very quality of life. So make sure you evaluate your current sleep situation and consider whether it’s time for a change.
Call 212-764-3232 for a no-pressure talk with one of our sleep consultants about the type of quality mattress that might work best for you.