They are some of the most overlooked pieces of furniture – mattresses. No one really thinks about their mattress. They merely lay there every day, hidden away under sheets and blankets. However, these often-forgettable objects can have a significant impact on your health. They can harbor allergens, cause muscle pain, and even increase the frequency of illness. In fact, a bad mattress can be bad for your overall health.
You should replace your mattress every five to 10 years. However, this is not a hard and fast rule; many factors can contribute to when exactly you need to pick up a new mattress. Below are some key things to watch out for.
Back and Neck Pain
If you start noticing new or worsening neck and back pain, your mattress might be to blame. There are, of course, many causes to back pain. Medical News Today reports that everything from strain to medical conditions to poor posture can cause back and neck pain over time. This can make it difficult to figure out whether your mattress is causing the problem.
One of the key things to note is when, exactly, your back or neck pain occurs. If your back pain seems to happen mostly in the morning or the middle of the night, it might be a sign that your mattress is causing or worsening your problems.
An old lumpy mattress can cause back pain, but choosing an inappropriate mattress probably won’t help things either. When it comes to selecting a mattress for back pain, you want one that is medium-firm and preferably made out of memory foam. It’s also important to select one that fits your sleep style, so make sure you read through some online guides beforehand.
Allergies and Frequent Illness
Dust mites are incredibly allergenic, and their favorite place to hide is on your bed. Dust mites feed off of the dead human skin found in dust particles, which makes your bed a perfect location. They are tiny, with over 40,000 on a single speck of dust. To make matters worse, they’re incredibly allergenic. Their waste is extraordinarily tiny and just the right size to become embedded deep in your lungs, causing asthma attacks and winter allergies.
On top of this, old mattresses are teeming with bacteria and fungi. CNN recommends placing a HEPA filter next to your bed to filter out these possibly sickening particles. You should also wash your bedding regularly in hot water at least once a week. You can even try vacuuming your bed. If you have a pet, this is an easy way to remove pet dander and allergens from your bedding.
Mattresses are made for sleeping, but the wrong mattress can actually prevent you from getting the sleep you need. Of course, back pain, asthma attacks, and allergies can all prevent you from getting an appropriate amount of sleep. Other factors can play a role in how well you sleep, however. Generally, when it comes to mattresses, you get what you pay for. More expensive mattresses with memory foam are usually better quality than your average box-spring mattress.
If your mattress is keeping you from getting the sleep you need, this can lead to many adverse health effects. Chronic exhaustion can give way to chronic stress, which can cascade into multiple medical conditions. Before you know it, your lack of a good night’s rest has led to various gastrointestinal disorders and inflammatory diseases.
Your mattress plays a significant role in your health, probably more than you realize. Your mattress can be contaminated with dust mites and bacteria, cause near-constant pain, and lead to exhaustion. If you notice any of these things creeping into your life, it is probably time to get a new mattress. We recommend doing plenty of research on which mattress fits your needs the best. Your mattress is more important than you probably think.
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