There are many factors that can influence the quality of sleep that you are getting. Such as lighting in the room as well noise levels surrounding you as well as the temperature of the room. Your bed is also a big factor when it comes to the quality of sleep you are getting.
We approached Vencasa, home of Tempur, Magniflex and Sealy, with a couple questions to learn how your bed can influence your sleep. Vencasa are recognised as the ‘sleep experts ‘ and have a wealth of knowledge when it when it comes beds and how they influence your sleep.
1. How does a mattress influence and affect your sleep?
The mattress that you are lying on is the most important factor when it comes to your sleep. There are a couple criteria that your mattress needs to meet for you to get the quality sleep that you deserve. Yes, a mattress needs to be comfortable but above that it needs to offer your body support. That means your body should be getting sufficient support wherever it makes contact with the bed. Without the correct support in the right places, you are not going to get a great night’s sleep. Insufficient support leads to tossing and turning throughout the night, which makes for a disruptive sleep.
2. What are the signs that it is time for a new mattress?
Indentations in your bed where you sleep.
- This is a clear indication that the internal structure of the mattress has collapsed and is no longer able to offer your body the support it needs.
Waking up with discomfort, niggles or pain that you never had before.
- Waking up uncomfortable and unrefreshed is another sign that there is something wrong with your mattress. It could also be a sign that the internal support of your mattress has collapsed, even if there is no clear indentation left in the mattress.
The age of the mattress.
- An average mattress is designed to last between 7 to 8 years. If you have reached this point, you might need to consider getting a new one, especially if you have noticed indentations forming where you usually sleep.
3. What should we look for or consider when buying a new mattress?
There are numerous factors that need to be considered when choosing a new mattress as we all have unique physiological and personal preferences that need to be accommodated. When buying a new mattress, you should consider:
- There are three general positions of sleep: back, side or tummy. However, these three can then be further divided as each person has their own variation of the position, for example, one side sleeper will lie in a foetal-like position and another will lie with one leg straight and the other bent at a right angle to their body. Your mattress needs to accommodate your sleeping position by offering support where you need it and comfort where you want it.
- We all have different body shapes and vary in weight, therefore a mattress suited to a person of around 70kg will not necessarily be suitable for a person who is 120kg in body weight.
- Your mattress needs to breathe! This means that air should be able to circulate in and around your mattress. This will allow for a comfortable night’s rest and reduce the accumulation of moisture generated by perspiration during the night.
- This is a very important factor when choosing your new mattress. The average mattress creates the perfect habitat for bed bugs and dust mites to live, breed and thrive! Does your new mattress have a removable cover that can be regularly washed? Is your mattress manufactured from materials that prevent conditions conducive to the sustainability of bed bugs and mites?
4. What should your mattress be doing for you?
Apart from being a place to sleep, your mattress should enhance and promote your health and wellness by factors like:
- Reduce tossing and turning to an absolute minimum.
- Offering correct sleep posture by promoting correct spinal alignment no matter what your preferred sleeping position is.
- Relieving pressure on your lower back, joints and internal organs
- Allow for easier breathing, reduce reflux, reduce swelling of the ankles and improve circulation.
5. Soft or firm, does this matter?
A firm mattress may not necessarily be better than a softer one. Your mattress needs to offer you the correct support combined with pressure relieving qualities. One needs to look for a mattress brand that offers the correct support in various feels (the firmness or softness of a mattress is referred to as the "feel"). Once you have the correct support, the feel of the mattress then becomes a matter of personal preference.
6. Does the base of the bed matter? Does it affect sleep in any way?
The base of the mattress does matter. The base affects the breathability, hygiene, feel and comfort, which all affect the level of quality of your sleep.
Placing a mattress onto a solid base (e.g. a solid piece of wood) greatly reduces the mattresses ability to breath which in turn can lead to a hotter sleep experience and poor mattress hygiene. Hotter because there is limited air circulation through the mattress and poor hygiene because of the build-up of moisture via perspiration which can result in mould growing on the underside of your mattress. A slatted base is the solution for preventing the above-mentioned conditions.
Your base also affects the feel of your mattress. A mattress will feel slightly firmer on a slatted base as compared to feeling slightly softer on a sprung base or motorised, adjustable bed base with pressure plates.
Let’s face it, over our lifetime we spend far too much time in bed to settle for anything less than fantastic sleep. Our health and wellness depend on it! If you would like to learn more about Vencasa or your bed, visit them on their website www.vencasa.co.za or find them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.