How to choose a mattress for the best night's sleep

We give our expert advice on choosing a mattress, and why your spine alignment when you're sleeping is so important.

 

Person lying face down in bed with their feet showing

I'm sure we've all been told at some point as a child that we need to 'sit up straight' or 'stop slouching'.  But why is posture important, and what has it got to do with getting a great night's sleep?

If you're looking for help choosing the right mattress, or just to find ways to minimise those achy pains in the morning, read on.  We've got loads of tips and tricks on how to ensure you can get the best night's sleep.

What is spine alignment, and why is it important?

Your spine alignment is essentially an analysis of your posture.  If someone faces your back when you are standing, the ideal alignment is for your spine to be completely straight, not bending side to side, and your skull, rib cage and pelvis to be aligned on top of each other.  If someone was then to look at you from the side, your spine should have three natural curves - in the neck, rib cage area and lower back - resulting in your spine forming a gentle 'S' shape.

This 'neutral' or normal spine alignment is the perfect alignment for our bodies, and provides the best conditions for movement and reducing everyday aches and pains.  This is particularly important when exercising, where there is often a higher risk of injury.  A normal alignment also provides the best conditions for the major body systems to work, such as the digestive and respiratory systems.

Just as maintaining a perfect spine alignment in a standing posture is important to your wellbeing, the alignment of your spine at night is just as important (particularly as you spend a third of your life sleeping!) and having a good sleep posture can make a significant difference to the quality of your sleep.

How can a mattress help me maintain a normal spine alignment?

It's a common misconception that firm mattresses are the best for you.  By looking at the information above, it's clear that in order to maintain a normal spine alignment, certain pressure points need to be supported.  There are a number of things you can look out for to ensure you're maintaining that important normal spine alignment.

Regardless of whether you're a side, front or sleep in a 'freefall' position (lying on your front), your body has a number of pressure points which interact with the sleeping surface due to the natural curve of your spine.  If these pressure points do not have the right amount of support at night, that can lead to that achy feeling when you wake up in the morning.

pressure-points-287x300 Image courtesy of Bestinhealthradio.com

How do I find the right mattress for me?

One easy test you can do with your own mattress, or when you're buying a new mattress, is to lie in your normal sleeping position and determine whether your pressure points are getting the support they need, looking at the diagram above.

For example, if you're a back sleeper, think about whether it feels like your hips are being pushed up, and whether you feel a gap between the backs of your legs and the mattress.  If you answered yes, it may be that your mattress is too firm, and the upward pressure of the mattress is pushing against your pressure points, which may make your body uncomfortable.  On the other hand, if you feel like your hips are sinking down, this may be a sign that your mattress is too soft, as your spine is not in a neutral position.

When choosing any mattress, the most valuable thing you can do is to visit the showroom to have a lie-down.  Here you can take your time to find your sleeping position, test your pressure points, and feel whether the mattress is giving you a good balance of support and comfort.  At Button & Sprung, our helpful team is on hand to walk you through this and can give you advice on the best mattress for your height, weight, shape and tension preference (regular or firm).

Ready to give it a go?  Why not visit our showroom to find the right mattress for you, or browse our range of pocket sprung mattresses online.

By Hannah Young

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