There is nothing worse than tossing and turning while trying to fall asleep, except perhaps when you fall asleep and awaken the next day with excruciating neck pain. We have all had our mornings where this has happened. We get out of bed, blame falling into an uncomfortable sleeping position and give it no further thought.
What if it this happening repeatedly, well then it is time to take a greater interest into the cause of the pain. If your neck is consistently jolting you awake with pain, the most likely cause would be your sleeping equipment, our mattress and pillows are the most used objects in our lives, therefore often they are given little thought.
Why is this important?
Mattresses can be a big investment for some, considering we spend over a quarter of our lifetime either sleeping or lying in bed, it is vital that you do critical research for the best mattress with regards to not only comfort but also support for your body. The first question a lot of doctors will ask when you approach them for neck pain will be, how old is your mattress?
How do I know when my mattress is “too old”?
The average lifespan of a mattress is 10 years, this can be increased if you are willing to flip and rotate the mattress every few months. The reason it is important to keep an eye for when your mattress is too old is once that it has passed its “expiry” date so to speak, it can no longer provide the support your body needs. It will be firm in some areas, soft in others and provide little to no stability as it once did.
There is a way to test if it is time to start looking for a new mattress. Take all the beddings off. Examine the mattress at eye level, there should not be any large dips and valleys in the mattress. Next, using your fists push down on the mattress in the central of the bed, head and foot of the bed. It should be equally firm at these points.
The importance of your pillow.
Pillows are more used than mattresses themselves, not only for neck support but also for back support at times when you’re sitting on the couch perhaps. Like everything else, this constant use of them adds a wear and tear factor. Pillows can only provide stable support between two – three years. The best pillow for ensuring a healthy sleeping pattern is one that is neither too firm nor too soft, it should give sufficient support to the head and neck and the pillow should also keep the head and neck aligned with the rest of the body.
How to make sure that I am buying the “perfect” mattress.
The most critical factor, the mattress should never be too hard nor too soft. When lying parallel, it should not sag at all. It is essential that the firmness is universal throughout the bed. Although mattresses are certainly not the cheapest of objects to invest in, they are a worthy investment. It is important to ensure you get one that you find comfortable and provides support.
When in the shop feel free to test drive any mattresses that you are considering purchasing, grab your napping gear, lay on the bed and enjoy the rest. Although it is recommended not to fall asleep on one! Always keep in mind, as with a lot in life the “bigger is better rule” applies with mattresses, the reason for this is the smaller mattresses restrict your movement, whilst on a bigger mattress you have more free space to adjust to a more stable and comfortable sleeping habit.