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Is Your Mattress Hurting Your Health?

By Paul Rothbart

Good health is not possible without good sleep. There are many factors that affect sleep: inability to relax, not being able to shut down the mind, pain, too much caffeine late in the day. One of the things that has the biggest impact is surprisingly, often overlooked. A good mattress is vital to sleeping well. It's not just a simple matter of buying the one that's on sale, or getting the one all your friends have. A mattress is a personal choice. Here are some things to consider about replacing and choosing a mattress. 

Do You Toss and Turn?

Lying awake all night, flipping around trying to find a comfortable position is a strong indication that you probably need a new mattress. It may not be the ideal mattress, and even if it once was, they do wear out. Another sign it's time for a new mattress is if you sleep better away from home. Clearly, holes, springs popping out, or any signs of excess wear, demand a new mattress. 


It is possible that you are allergic to your mattress. The allergy could be to the materials it's made from, but there are other possibilities. Dust mites live in abundance on mattresses and pillows. These microscopic creatures feed on dead skin cells and many people are allergic to them. Washing bedding frequently in hot water will help rid it of these pests. An allergy proof mattress pad will also be very helpful and so will vacuuming the mattress occasionally. 

Don't Go By Labels

Mattress manufacturers label their products firm, medium firm, medium soft, etc. However there is no industry standard for any of these labels. One brand's medium soft may feel like a rock to your back. The only way to know is to try them out. Lie down on any mattress in consideration for at least 20 minutes. There is also no consensus as to whether firm or soft is better. It's all down to personal choice depending on your unique physiology and preference. Just like test driving a car is important, so too is trying a mattress. 

Don't Skimp

While you don't have to buy the most expensive mattress out there, don't purchase a bargain basement brand to save a few bucks. This is an investment in your health. Save, if necessary, and get the right mattress. Sleeping poorly night after night can cause damage to the back and other joints. Insufficient sleep can also cause fatigue, lethargy, and depression. Take it as seriously as you would in purchasing a car.

Sleep is so important to both mental and physical health. The most important part of a bed is the mattress. Make sure yours is not preventing quality sleep. Keep it clean of dust mites and replace it if necessary. Choose the best one you can afford. It's a big decision. Sleep on it. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tempe, Ariz.

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