Gone is the waterbed craze of the 1970s and 80s, and the tide has turned as more people begin to choose a really firm mattress. Nowadays, people seem to be less concerned about having the trendiest bedroom furniture, particularly if that furniture leads to nights of restless sleep and back problems. People are focusing more on their health, opting for a firm sleeping surface to support them through the night. While some may immediately think that softer mattresses are more comfortable and therefore provide a better night’s sleep, nothing could be farther from the truth. In reality, firm mattresses offer a number of health benefits to consider such as improved circulation, relaxed arteries and veins and a supported neutral spine position as you sleep.
Benefits of a Firmer Mattress
It used to be that people who wanted firm mattresses only had one option: an innerspring coil mattress. Depending on the brand and type of mattress, this typically required sacrificing comfort for support. Thanks to the latest sleep technologies, there are a number of models, makes and types of firm mattresses that provide comfort and firmness, including hybrid, latex and memory foam mattresses. However, for the best night’s sleep, experts recommend choosing a level of firmness based on several factors, including your preferred sleep position, your body weight, your age and your history of joint, neck or back pain.
Those who have opted for firm mattresses may have a long list of reasons why they prefer hard over soft. However, medical professionals such as doctors and chiropractors also acknowledge the benefits of sleeping on a firm mattress. For instance, firm mattresses offer superior support, which is critical for older people and those with joint, neck or back problems. By the same token, proper posture matters, even when you’re sleeping. If your backbone is misaligned for eight hours, you’ll probably find it difficult to function normally the following day. A firm mattress keeps your body properly aligned so you can carry on with your day without strain or stress.
Most people can’t fully rest on a sagging or soft mattress since their bodies are always trying to compensate for the unusual positions. Your spine needs excellent posture, and your neck, limbs and other body parts require a cozy, comfy retreat for a good night’s sleep. If your body doesn’t have enough support, it will sag in one direction over time, which is a leading cause of muscle and joint misalignment.
There are also a number of ongoing health benefits when choosing a firm mattress. In the sleep industry, there’s a saying that “proper rest equals proper health.” When you sleep, your body does many things to rejuvenate and repair itself. Insulin levels are reduced. Human growth hormone is activated. Cells are restored. Stress is reduced. Without a firm mattress providing your body with the chance to rest deeply, you’re missing out on these health benefits every single night, according to the Huffington Post.
Related Resource: Can a Good Mattress Help with Back Pain?
Keep in mind that a mattress that is too firm may cause health and sleep problems as it may push on key pressure points in your head, shoulders, heels and buttocks and actually move you out of alignment. On the other hand, mattresses that are too soft won’t support those pressure points, so your body will flop back. For this reason, it’s important to choose a really firm mattress that’s right for your body.