Along with good nutrition and exercise, sleep is now recognised as an important contributor to good health. Lack of sleep and poor quality sleep contribute to depression, poor concentration, high blood pressure, and heart disease. It is also associated with mental illness, road deaths, and reduced productivity costing an estimated $5 billion annually (Sleep Health Foundation) to the Australian economy.
Research shows that around 1 in 3 Australians suffer from poor quality sleep and one important factor that contributes to a good night’s sleep is the right mattress. Considering we spend around one third of our life in bed it is worth doing some research into getting it right.
The right mattress needs to be comfortable whist still being firm enough to provide good postural alignment. Its length should be at least 15cm longer than the tallest person using the bed. This means that you need to try the mattress in store and it is important that both you and your partner are content that the mattress provides comfort and support. This may be problematic for some couples who vary significantly in weight. Some mattress models come with differing comfort layers on each side of the bed and this may be a viable option for such couples.
The most common mistakes people make when choosing a mattress?
Things to consider when buying a mattress
Your sleep position is also important when choosing your mattress.
Make sure the base you have at home is similar to the base in the display room, as a mattress can feel very different on another base.
There are four main types of mattress:
These mattresses have a solid feel and they can be cumbersome to move due to their weight. Cheaper versions can get lumpy after a time.
They offer good support by distributing your body weight evenly, and will support two people of two different body weights well because the springs are separate. The open-spring construction allows air to circulate. The springs can be customised to different tensions – soft, medium or firm.
They can be heavy to turn and natural materials such as lambs wool can exacerbate allergies.
Some mattress companies have a comfort guarantee for several weeks and will swap the mattress if you are not satisfied.
By Dr Ray Power (Osteopath), B.Sc.(Clinical)/ M.H.Sc.(Osteo), West Perth Osteopathy