Peyser Chiropractic


We receive questions on a daily basis inquiring on what makes a good mattress.  There is no easy answer to this question as what may be good for one person may not be good for another.  Here are a few tips that can help determine whether or not you need a new mattress and what type to buy.

First, do you need a new mattress?  The life span of a mattress varies depending on the type, quality and usage but it usually is between 5 and 10 years.  If a mattress sits in a guest room, used every few months, it will last much longer than one that an NFL lineman and his partner share every night. 

The mattress should keep your spine in a neutral position, essentially the same orientation it is in when you are standing (assuming you aren’t slouching).  You should check for indentations on the mattress. If your mattress isn’t providing support uniformly, it will not be able to keep your spine aligned.  You can use a yardstick to measure it in different areas to see if it is sagging.

Here are some ways to get the most out of your mattress:

1. You should make sure you flip or rotate the mattress every three months. 

2. If you see it has begun to sink in certain areas make sure to rotate or flip it.

3. If you find your mattress is too soft you can try putting a piece of plywood underneath it.

4. If the mattress is too firm for you try and add a 1 to 2 inch foam pad on top of it. 

If you are waking up in pain every morning, there is a chance it is being caused by the mattress and new one may be in order.  Check with your health care practitioner to determine if there is another reason for the pain before rushing out to buy a new one. 

Next question; what kind of mattress should I get?  This one, again, does not have a simple answer.  Different mattresses suit different people.  If you are a restless sleeper your partner will certainly appreciate the foam type since this will absorb the pressure of your movements and not disturb them.  Some people find the foam mattress uncomfortable and prefer the standard coil type.  The number of coils isn’t always most important as the gauge and type of coils can make up for a lower quantity.  It is important you lie on the mattress for at least 5 minutes prior to making a decision.

The Better Sleep Council is a good resource on mattress selection.  Take their quiz to see if they recommend a new mattress.

The American Chiropractic Association also makes the following recommendations when it comes to sleep:

  Exercise regularly. Exercising in the morning is best, but if you must exercise in the evening, do so at least two or three hours before bedtime. Any later, and your increased heart rate can interfere with your sleep.

  Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, colas and tea—try to avoid them altogether late in the day and near bedtime. In addition, for each cup of caffeinated beverages you drink each day, drink an equal amount of water.

  If you have trouble sleeping and then get thirsty, drink tap water at room temperature (cold water may disturb the digestive system).

  Eat an early dinner. Eating after 6 p.m. may interfere with sleep as your body works to digest the food you’ve eaten.

  Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. The routine will help your body know when it is time to rest.

Keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature and try to make it as dark as possible when you’re ready for bed.

As always, make sure to discuss any discomfort lasting more than a few days with a qualified health care practitioner as your mattress may not be the cause.

Sleep tight.