Finding That Perfect New Mattress

When It’s Time to Say Good-Bye to Your Old Mattress

While a good mattress can provide years of comfortable sleep, there is no accurate way to determine exactly how long your mattress will last. The estimated life span of a good mattress is approximately 8 years, but many factors can have an effect on how well your mattress performs over time.

The first thing to consider when evaluating your mattress is how long you’ve had it. Was is a really good mattress when you bought it, or was it just something to get you through until you could afford better? The better the quality, the longer the life expectancy.

Next, how has your mattress been cared for? Have you rotated your mattress regularly? Has your mattress been  covered with an absorbent, breathable pad to protect it from sweat and other bodily fluids? Did you vacuum your mattress regularly to remove dust mites and dirt?

If not, it is probably time for a new mattress.

Finally, are you comfortable and rested after a night on your current mattress? Restless sleep, lumps or unevenness  on the mattress, back and neck pain when you wake, all of these are signs that it’s time for your mattress to go.

Choosing Your New Mattress 

You’ve come to the conclusion that a new mattress is in order. What now? How do you choose the perfect mattress – one that will give you the comfort and support that was so lacking in the mattress that you’ve decided to replace?

Let’s begin at the beginning. When shopping for that new mattress, you generally have three types of mattresses to choose from – innerspring, memory foam, and latex.

The innerspring mattress has been around the longest and is the most well-known of the three. This mattress consists of a system of coil springs, either attached together inside a cover material or individually wrapped.

Pros for choosing an innerspring mattress include

  1. familiarity – innerspring mattresses have been available much longer than the newer mattress types, making them a comfortable choice for consumers.
  2. lower price tag – a large consumer base has made the innerspring mattress a very cost-effective choice.
  3. durability – the innerspring mattress maintains its comfort over many years due to its heavy-duty construction.
  4. air circulation – the wide spaces in the innerspring construction allow for better ventilation, thus reducing body heat accumulation.
  5. recent improvements – many innerspring mattresses now have a topper (pillow top, foam, or latex) for added comfort.

Disadvantages include

  1. breakdown of the coil system – as springs age they lose support, causing pressure point pain, and lack of sufficient firmness.
  2. hard to manage for set-up and cleaning – innerspring mattresses can be very heavy and awkward to move.
  3. need frequent cleaning –the materials used for underlying layers, like wool, provide a hospitable environment for dust mites.
  4. motion transfer – attached coils allow for any movement to be transferred over the entire span. Individual coil mattresses reduce this problem somewhat, but not completely.

The memory foam mattress has become a popular choice for many because of its cushiony foam construction. Memory foam is made from an energy absorbent, soft substance called viscoelastic, a petroleum product.

Pros of a memory foam mattress include

  1. layers of foam respond to body weight and temperature – by molding to body shape, the memory foam mattress reduces pressure points and back pain.
  2. conformation to body shape – by conforming to your body shape, a memory foam mattress reduces tossing and turning, resulting in more restful sleep.
  3. reduction of motion transfer – memory foam construction eliminates transfer of movement between bedpartners.

Disadvantages include

  1. heat retention – a memory foam mattress retains body heat, often making it uncomfortable, especially in warm weather.
  2. odd smell – because memory foam is a petroleum product, it produces an odd chemical smell called off-gassing. To eliminate this smell, a 24-hour airing out period is necessary before covering the mattress with a protective pad and sheets.
  3. not suitable for young children – due to the soft, body hugging nature of memory foam, this type of mattress is not recommended for small children due to an increased risk of suffocation.

The latex mattress has become a popular choice among consumers. Latex foam may be natural (derived from the sap of the rubber tree) or synthetic (a petroleum product). A latex mattress may be one or the other or a combination of both.

Pros of a latex mattress include

  1. durability – the materials and construction of the latex mattress are designed for longevity, adding years of use to your investment.
  2. responsivity – the latex mattress responds quickly to pressure, conforming evenly to the contours of your body, reducing pressure points.
  3. support – the three defining factors of support are conformability, responsiveness, and firmness. The latex mattress rates well in all three categories by creating back and joint support and maintaining natural spinal alignment.
  4. motion isolation – any movement is contained, eliminating disruption of a bedpartner’s sleep.
  5. reduction in off-gassing – while latex mattresses may have an initial rubbery smell, toxic off-gassing is significantly reduced.
  6. hygienic – latex is naturally, bacteria, insect, mold, and mildew resistant, eliminating the need for harsh chemical treatments.
  7. flame resistant – latex is inherently flame resistant, eliminating the need for harsh, often toxic, flame-retardant chemicals.
  8. environmentally friendly – eco-friendly natural latex leaves a smaller carbon footprint than the environmental damage caused by the production, use, and disposal of petroleum products.

Disadvantages include

  1. hard to move – a latex mattress should be flipped or rotated regularly to prevent sagging. Since the mattress is quite heavy, it is difficult to perform necessary adjustments.
  2. limited availability – while combination latex mattresses are easily obtainable, the all-latex variety takes some research to locate and may be expensive.
  3. heat retention – although less heat-retentive than memory foam, a latex mattress can cause discomfort from body heat retention.
  4. limitations – latex is heat sensitive and will dry out from direct heat or sunlight, so use should be limited to normal bedroom conditions. Use of an electric blanket on a latex mattress is not encouraged. If used, set on the lowest setting and keep a sheet or other barrier between the blanket and the mattress.

Finally, determine the firmness and comfort of any mattress by “test-driving” it for at least ten minutes before you make your decision. Never depend upon labels. Firmness is a very subjective term. What may seem firm to a smaller woman may not be nearly firm enough for a larger man.

Making That Final New Mattress Decision

Well, are you now sufficiently confused about how to choose a new mattress. With so many options available and so much to consider, let’s throw one more thing into the mix. Price! Don’t be fooled by price. Just because a mattress is expensive doesn’t mean it will be the best mattress for you. Breaking the bank to purchase a particular mattress because the advertising guys tell you it’s the best is foolish. Take your time, test several mattresses, find the most comfortable one for you at price that is also comfortable. Then make your decision.

If you would like some guidance when that decision time comes, the professionals at Mindy’s Ohio Mattress are always happy to help. Contact us for more information.

How To Tell If Your Mattress Has Gone Bad

Is your mattress uncomfortable, making you achy all over? Does it creak and groan when you get into bed? Do you toss and turn all night and wake up as tired as you were at bedtime? Your mattress may be telling you it’s gone over to the dark side.

A bad mattress is more than just a pain in the back and neck. New or old, a mattress that causes difficulty sleeping and daytime pain is a bad mattress. If you said yes to any of the above questions, you are probably well aware of the effect a bad mattress can have on sleep quality. A bad mattress, however, may cause other problems that are not as readily obvious.

How a Bad Mattress Affects Your Sleep

While factors like stress, stimulants (caffeine, nighttime gaming, etc.), and heavy late-night snacks can affect your sleep, a bad mattress is often the primary cause of poor sleep quality. Although sleep quality has no clear definition, experts describe it as an individual’s satisfaction of the sleep experience. The guidelines include falling asleep in 30 minutes or less, waking no more than once a night, and feeling rested and restored upon awakening.

According to medical experts, the average adult requires seven to eight hours of good quality sleep a night to maintain mental and physical health. Good quality sleep consists of two cycles, the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) cycle and the non-Rapid Eye Movement (non-REM) cycle. During the REM cycles, the brain is resting and rejuvenating. During the non-REM cycles, the body is healing, regenerating tissue, and building bone and muscle.

Sleeping on a bad mattress can interrupt sleep cycles in a number of ways:

  • makes it hard to get comfortable and fall asleep.
  • causes breaks in the sleep cycle (tossing and turning)
  • creates painful pressure on sensitive points of the body
  • fails to give adequate support to neck and spine, causing stiffness and pain

The negative effects of sleep interruption on body rejuvenation are determined by where in the sleep cycle the interruption occurs.

Your Bad Mattress and You

Sleeping on a bad mattress is more than just painful. It can cause a number of health effects that range from simply annoying to very serious. Next day drowsiness, headaches, dust mite-induced lung and throat irritation, lack of concentration, and memory loss are all short-term problems that can result from sleeping on a bad mattress. Other, more serious, long-term effects include:

  • inactivity-induced obesity due to lack of energy
  • a weakened immune system
  • heart conditions, high blood pressure, and an increased risk of stroke
  • premature aging and a breakdown of skin elasticity
  • decreased libido

As frightening as these can be, avoiding the possibility of having to deal with them is simple. Get rid of that bad mattress. There are a number of mattress recycling locations throughout the country. Check to see if there is one near you. If not, research disposal methods approved for your area and dispose of the problem responsibly.

Do you sleep better on a bed other than your own? Is your sofa more comfortable than your bed? Do you wake up tired and cranky? It may be time to dump your bad mattress and invest in a new one that is better suited to your personal needs. Here at Mindy’s Ohio Mattress, our experts will help you find the perfect mattress to give you the quality sleep your body needs. Contact us today for more information.

Sleeping baby

Sleep and Your Health – Does It Really Matter?

 

Sleep and Your Health

Sleep – wonderful, restorative Sleep. We all know how refreshed we feel after a good night’s sleep, but is “feeling good” just a feeling? In truth, adequate, quality sleep has major health benefits as well. While you are sleeping, your internal systems are working hard to keep you healthy in mind and body. The central nervous system, immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, and endocrine system are all dependent upon the amount and quality of your sleep to keep your body in good working order.

Here are just a few of the health benefits of a good night’s sleep:

  • Improved Memory. While you sleep a process called consolidation occurs. This process strengthens memories and re-enforces skills learned while you were awake.
  • Extended Life Span. Sleep allows the body to regenerate itself and improves the quality of your waking life.
  • Reduced Inflammation-linked Diseases. Sleep increases the body’s immune system, which helps keep diseases like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis in check.
  • Increased Creativity. Sleep helps the brain restructure memory to enhance talent and ability.
  • Increased Stamina. Sleep decreases daytime fatigue leading to improved performance at work, school or during recreational activities like sports.
  • Improved Mental Capacity and Attention Span. Sleep rejuvenates the brain, reducing functional impairment and increasing mental ability.
  • Healthy Weight Management. Sleep and metabolic function are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. Adequate sleep helps control the hormones that drive hunger.
  • Reduction in Stress and Depression. Sleep helps the body control blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as decreasing the anxiety that often leads to depression.

Sleep and Your Cardiovascular Health

sleep and your heartSleep, surprisingly, has a profound effect on cardiovascular health. Too much or too little sleep creates serious cardiovascular problems that can lead to chronic heart disease, stroke, and/or premature death.

Recent studies involving nearly 500,00 people have shown that too little sleep – less than 6 hours a night – increases the risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease by nearly 48%.  Follow up studies on these same groups indicated a 15% increase in the risk stroke. Those in the studies who slept 9 or more hours a night showed a 38% increase in coronary heart disease and a 65% increased risk of stroke.

While sleep patterns may not necessarily be the primary cause of cardiovascular complications, it is obvious that the amount and quality of nightly sleep are certainly a contributing factor. Research into the possibility of reversing the effects of too much or too little sleep is relatively new and the ability to monitor effects are not always accurate. The best rule of thumb to avoid sleep-related cardiovascular problems would be to keep your nighttime routine to 6 to 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.

Sleep and Your Mental Health

sleep deprivationSleep deprivation has become a major health crisis in the United States. While we often feel the physical effects, many of us don’t realized the effect that our sleep patterns have on our mental well-being. Statistics show that nearly 1 in 5 Americans exhibits some form mental illness. Of those diagnosed with psychiatric illness, 50% to 80% complain of ongoing sleep problems. In comparison, only 20% of the general population have similar complaints.

The chemical disruptions caused by sleep problems can be both a cause and a symptom of mental disorders. Some psychiatric problems like depression, insomnia, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and bipolar disorder can adversely affect sleep patterns, while some like anxiety can be triggered by sleep deprivation.

Many of the effects of sleep deprivation may be modified or avoided completely by simply resetting your sleep pattern to the recommended 6 to 8 hours nightly. A process called chronotherapy is an excellent, drug-free place to start your re-set. Chronotherapy involves changing your bedtime and wake-up time a little bit each day until your schedule is where it should be. This change of schedule allows the melatonin (the body chemical that promotes sleep) in your system to be released at the proper time to insure quality, restorative sleep.

Sleeping baby

Other suggestions include meditation, a warm bath, a cooler bedroom, and reducing stimulating activities near bedtime.

 

A good mattress can also make a difference in the quality of your sleep. At Mindy’s Ohio Mattress, we carry a full line of top name mattresses at competitive prices. You’re sure to find one that will have you sleeping like a baby again. Contact us today for more information.

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