As many people age, they start to understand why their parents always complained about their backs. They get sore! Especially after waking up, your vertebrae can feel stiff and uncomfortable — particularly if you’re using the wrong mattress. According to Health, nearly 80 percent of Americans report suffering from back pain, either sporadic or chronic. So, just like you, a lot of other people are trying to find just the right firmness for their beds.
The outlet notes that, before you head to the furniture store, there are a few things to take into account: your sleeping position and prefered mattress firmness and materials. Once you have this baseline information listed, you’ll be better able to tailor your bed to your needs. If you’ve ever subscribed to the idea that a firmer mattress is best to alleviate pain, it may be time to change your mind.
Dr. Luis Peña-Hernández, MD, FCCP, tells the outlet, “While it’s a commonly held belief that a firm mattress is best for sleepers suffering from back pain, that is not always the case.” He continued, “A firm mattress doesn’t always provide adequate contouring for the spine, which can cause additional problems. A better approach is to select a mattress aligned to your unique sleep preferences and needs instead of a one-size-fits-all option.”
First, focus on your sleeping position to give you clues as to which mattress is best for you.
Find a mattress that minimizes the pressure on your back
Depending on if you rest on your side, stomach or back, your mattress should fit the way you prefer to snooze. Apparently, as for the softness of the bed, it should depend on your weight, as that can impact the way the mattress lays against your body. Women’s Health reports that the general rule of thumb is: the higher your weight, the firmer your mattress should be. Of course, your sleeping position impacts this as well, “back sleepers should avoid extra-firm mattress as those are less flexible and may fail to adjust to the lumbar curve,” Carleara Weiss, PhD, tells the mag.
Those who rest on their stomachs may prefer a slightly firmer mattress to support their upper vertebrae. As for side sleepers, Weiss adds, “Shoulders and hips are pressure points for side sleepers. A medium-firm mattress would be ideal for this sleep position while still flexible to the body curvature.”
As for the material, Health suggests that memory foam and latex may offer the best relief to people suffering from back pain. These options help keep the spine in alignment throughout the night — meaning that you’ll feel less sore in the morning.
It’s a good idea to do your research and take note of a few options that work best for you before you spring for a new mattress!
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