Does your mattress matter?

Jordan Mazur, MS, RD

Along with balanced nutrition and regular exercise, sleep is now receiving proper recognition as one of the most important contributors to good health. We know sleep-deprivation can lead to difficulties with concentration, high blood pressure, weight gain, hormonal imbalances, and heart disease. But we’re sleeping less than we did in the past, and our sleep quality has declined.

So how can we get better at sleep? First and foremost, sleep hygiene. From setting a regular sleep schedule to knowing when to put on your blue-light-blocking glasses at night, sleep hygiene is a key way to improve the quality of your ZZZs. Equally important? What you sleep on each night. You wouldn’t run a marathon in flip flops, would you?  

Many Americans aren’t adequately prepared in the bedroom when it comes to sleep. 92% of individuals say a comfortable mattress is important to a good night’s sleep, but bedding systems aren’t replaced as often as they should be. In fact, a 2009 study evaluated the effects of upgrading bedding systems that were more than five years old. Participants were asked to evaluate their stress levels based on factors like racing thoughts, nervousness, irritability, headaches, and more. Spoiler alert: these bedroom upgrades resulted in “a significant decrease in stress.”

Given the fact that the average person spends about one-third of his or her life sleeping, it’s no surprise that your mattress can directly impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep. That’s why it’s worth investing the time (and money) to find the mattress most well-suited for you. Don’t know where to begin? Here are a few leads for you to explore:

1. Nectar. How can you possibly know if a mattress will be the right fit for you until you’ve slept on it in the comfort of your own home? Nectar offers a risk-free home trial during which you can do just that. Plus, if the uber-soft mattress that puts less pressure on your hips and shoulders doesn’t work for you, they’ll pick it up free of charge. Nectar mattresses also have multi-material construction, combining different layers of foam that allow the bed to stay cool and mold to your body, contributing to a restful night's sleep.

2. Avocado Green Mattress. If you’re looking for a non-toxic and eco-friendly option, check out Avocado. The mattresses are handmade to order with organic ingredients, including 100% natural Dunlop latex from tree-tapped and sustainable sources. Avocado aims to balance cushioning and support to ensure that your hips, shoulders, and back are always in proper alignment. You can experience it for yourself with the company’s 100 night trial.

3. Tuft & Needle. Designed with your bottom line in mind, the Tuft & Needle mattress boasts a seven-inch support layer that provides a solid base for a good night’s sleep. It also helps take pressure off of your body and ensure you stay cool throughout the night. Like the Avocado Green Mattress, you can also experience a Tuft & Needle mattress in your own home with the company’s 100 night trial. If you don’t love it, the company will refund your order and work with you to donate the mattress to a local charity.

Bottom line: a bad mattress can contribute to poor sleep quality, while a good mattress can improve it. Make an investment in your sleep - and in your health - and find the right mattress for your most restful sleep.

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