What is the ideal bed for a deep sleep?
Restful sleep is synonymous with good health, and to achieve this, the bed where you sleep nightly is key. This article explains how to shop for the perfect bed to ensure a peaceful night’s rest.
As we spent a good part of our lives in bed, the mattresses’ characteristics (hardness, material, measurements, etc.) depend on us getting up relaxed and in good shape or, on the contrary, rigid and sore.
Test a mattress with your hand
The ideal mattress for most people should have medium hardness. A common mistake is to put a board under a latex mattress, as it makes it too hard. When you are shopping for a bed, try all the postures you tend to sleep in, in the store. To find out if you respect the spine’s natural curvature, lie down, and pass a hand between your lower back and the mattress. If it goes through smoothly, it is too stiff. If it does not, it is too soft.
A mattress should have a consistency that adapts to the body’s shape but without sinking; and be at least 90 cm wide for a single sleeper or at least 150 cm for two sleepers and with a length that exceeds your height by at least a few centimeters.
Viscoelastic mattresses relieve back pain because this type of material adapts to body shape, reduces pressure, and gives comfort. Before buying a new mattress – it should be renewed every ten years – consider the following points:
Firmness: The mattress must be hard enough for your back to receive support and your vertebrae to stay aligned when you lie on your back, and it has also to be comfortable. The higher the body weight, the firmer the mattress required.
Elasticity: Ideally, the mattress gives in to the pressure of the body’s protruding and heavier parts (such as the shoulders and pelvis).
Size: The length should be between 10 and 20 centimeters longer than that of the person who will use it, and the width, at least 15 cm on either side.
The pillow: Height does matter
Many cervical pains are the result of a poor choice of pillow. It would be best to choose a pillow that does not force the neck to adopt a forced posture.
- If you sleep on your back, it is best to use a thin pillow about 12-13 centimeters thick.
- If you sleep resting on one shoulder, choose a thick pillow (about 15 cms).
- If you sleep face down, the pillow should not exceed 10 centimeters in thickness.
- If you change position frequently, choose a pillow of great flexibility.
Viscoelastic pillows are suitable for people with back pain. Viscoelastic modifies its shape according to the user’s pressure and temperature. Feathers and down pillows are not very firm, so they are more suitable for people sleeping face down, in which case the cushion should be very thin so as not to damage the lumbar and dorsal area.
The base is also key
All responsibility for a good rest does not lie solely with the mattress and pillow. Another fundamental element is the bed base. Box spring bases have virtually disappeared from the market – this type of base deformed mattresses and was not the most suitable for the back. The box spring has been replaced by slatted bases, pocket springs, and Ottomans.
If you sleep as a couple, join two mattresses
It is always preferable to sleep on your own. Large beds are better than narrow beds because they allow for more relaxed postures and greater mobility. In case you sleep with your partner, to gain comfort, it is suggested to join two separate mattresses that adapt to each sleeper’s weight and movements.
Sleeping in the perfect posture
Face up, face down, sideways with legs stretched out… all these postures, to a greater or lesser degree, can damage the spine and not facilitate a good rest. The best position to restful sleep and take care of the back is the fetal position, lying on one side of your body with your knees and arms bent.
This position allows the spine and muscles that cover it at both the cervical, dorsal, and lumbar levels to relax. Also, this posture will enable you to breathe easily.
The other joints, including the shoulders, hips, and knees, are also in correct and unforced positions. For extra comfort, place a thin pillow between your knees.