Good sleep is essential for our well being. And everyone wants their bedtime to be restorative and comfortable. But if you’re consistently waking up with a sore back, you can agree that it’s a pretty wretched way to start your day, right?
Moreover, the reason for your lower back pain can be hidden inside your bed. Find out if your mattress is causing you pain and read some recommendations on how to choose the right one.
3 Ways Your Mattress Can Hurt Your Lower Back
But we’re talking about mattresses here.
Normally your spine should maintain its three natural curves — 1) in the area of your neck, 2) where your shoulder blades are, and 3) in the lower back.
If you’ve chosen the right bed, it will offer you even support under each section of your spine, as well as under other body parts. Thus, muscles surrounding your spine will be relaxed, and you will wake up refreshed.
But all of that is impossible if you’re sleeping on the wrong mattress.
There are at least three possible ways in which your mattress can be the wrong one.
Obviously, every material inside your mattress has its lifespan. Although there is a good rule of thumb to replace your mattress every 7-8 years, some models can wear out earlier. This is especially true for foam mattresses. So, if you see some saggy spots and body impressions or can feel the lumps formed in the upper layers, it’s probably time to shop for a new one.
You just need some time to adjust to a new bed.
Typically, after the first month of use, your mattress will become comfy and will reveal its cradling properties to the full extent.
“This is exactly why a 30-day break-in period is required by major mattress companies before you can file for a refund or replacement.”
It Doesn’t Suit You at All
It’s hard to admit, but we’ve all made a wrong choice at least once in our life. And with mattresses, wrong choices are pretty common.
The average test-drive at the mattress store lasts 15-20 minutes maximum. Is this compatible with regular 8 hours of sleep? Of course not!
Also, you may often feel pressured to make quick decisions when you’re shopping, like when you come across a hot deal.
That’s why you should choose the brands that offer a transparent return policy and do not hesitate to return your mattress if you feel that it’s uncomfortable.
“Sometimes the wrong mattress can trigger existing problems with your spine and even worsen them. In these cases, please contact your doctor.”
How to Choose the Right Mattress to Eliminate Back Pain?
So, now you know that your mattress can cause you pain. But it can also become your ally in fighting it.
Find the Balance Between Support and Comfort
According to Happysleepyhead research, the best option for those who suffer from back pain might be a Medium Firm mattress with enhanced lumbar support (an additional layer put in the area where your lower back is usually placed).
It can be made of memory foam, which is known for outstanding pain-relieving properties, or latex, as it can also adjust to your body very well. Whatever you choose, it should be able to provide correct spine alignment and maintain it through the night.
Another thing to consider is the ability of the mattress to relieve pressure points. When you’re lying on a bed, different amounts of pressure are applied in different points. The mattress pushes back against the areas with the most pressure, which puts your spine out of a neutral position and might lead to soreness and chronic pains.
“You can come across recommendations of choosing a firmer mattress for back pain. But this isn’t entirely true. Firm mattresses have less cushioning, which promotes the formation of pressure points and doesn’t allow your muscles to relax completely.”
Know Your Sleeping Pose
See, depending on your sleeping position, your spine may need softer or firmer support in different areas:
- Stomach sleepers have weak points in the lower back and neck curves. They also tend to turn their head to the side when they sleep, thereby creating additional tension.
- Side sleepers need a mattress that would contour the shoulders and hips, preventing them from pushing the spine out of alignment.
- Back sleepers have their weight naturally distributed pretty equally across the mattress, so their pressure points are less significant compared to other positions. Thus, they simply need uniform support.
“A pillow is also responsible for your comfort during sleep, and it can contribute to your discomfort if chosen improperly. So, along with shopping for the right mattress, consider buying a new pillow that is suitable for you.”
Body Weight Is Important
Well, it’s pretty clear that heavier people have different needs when it comes to their mattresses. So, how to choose a mattress for a heavy sleeper?
The main selection criteria here will be increased body support and durability.
- Choose a mattress design with enhanced lumbar support, as lower belly and hips are where most people have extra weight.
- Firm mattresses have proved to be more comfortable than Medium Firm and Soft options, as they are denser and compensate for the extra body weight better.
- For the same reason, it is better to choose latex models. Polyfoam and memory foam mattresses can create excessive sinkage and tend to sag faster under larger weights.