You wouldn’t run a marathon or hike a mountain without the right gear. And yet, despite spending a third of our lives sleeping, many of us haven’t adequately prepared in the bedroom — when it comes to mattresses, that is.
Not that we don’t recognize the importance of a comfy mattress. In a 2011 poll, the National Sleep Foundation found that 92 percent of people say a comfortable mattress is important to a good night’s sleep.
You might be tempted to blame your budget for continuing to doze on a less-than-ideal mattress, but considering just a little bit more shut-eye can help you lose weight, improve your memory and live longer, can you really put a price tag on good sleep?
But the wrong mattress — or the mattress that’s simply too old — can be the cause of more than that crick in your neck or your low back pain. Here are five sneakier ways your mattress affects your sleep — and your health.
Buying A New Mattress Might Zap Your Stress
In a small 2009 study, 59 healthy men and women slept for 28 consecutive nights on their regular mattresses, then another 28 nights on new, medium-firm mattresses. They were asked to evaluate their stress levels based on factors like worrying, racing thoughts, nervousness, irritability, headaches, trembling and more. The new beds resulted in “a significant decrease in stress,” according to the study, possibly because of the related increase in sleep quality and decrease in pain associated with the firmer setup.