There is little doubt that sleep deprivation reduces your productivity and leads to a sluggish start to your day. Changing your sleep environment in positive ways, like getting a new mattress or updating your bedding, can certainly lead to more energy and fuller, more productive days. But how do you know you need a new mattress or bedding? Unlike your car or your toaster, your mattress doesn’t just "quit". Here’s a few ways to tell if your mattress is the culprit behind your sleeping problems:
Your Mornings Are 'Meh' or 'Ouch'
The best way to tell if you need a new mattress is by how you feel after a full night’s rest. Back pain that wasn’t there last year might be more than just a sign of aging, and if you’re tossing and turning through an otherwise solid sleep session, your mattress may be to blame. WebMD explains that a mattress must support your body by keeping it in a neutral position. i.e. Your spine has a natural curvature and everything is properly aligned.
An old mattress will start to show signs of wear in the areas most stressed. For example, if you tend to sleep on the right side, you might see some sagging there. The center might dip or the top become less firm. All these problems mean your body will not be in good alignment. If your back hurts most mornings, your mattress might be the culprit.
You’re Making Excuses for Your Mattress
It’s not all in your head, promise. You lie down in your usual spot and after a few minutes, you have to shift because it sags or you’re lying on a lump. You might not even be aware of what you’re doing, you’re just uncomfortable, so it’s natural to adjust your position.
And while you might tell yourself that you’re just having a bad night, pay attention to how your body responds to your mattress. If you notice you are shifting positions often, then it is probably time for a change.
The Perpetual Cold
Is this the year you can’t get rid of that cold? If you’re doing everything right and your cold just won't quit, the real culprit might be allergies. Old mattresses tend to harbor allergens like dust mites and pet dander. If you are prone to allergies, getting a specially-treated mattress can help even if yours isn’t that old.
Symptoms that you might be allergic to something in the mattress like dust mites include:
- Waking up with watery, itchy eyes
- A runny nose that gets better throughout the day
- A sore throat in the morning
- Breathing problems all day long
- Worsening asthma
Try cleaning your linen and bedding first and see if that helps. If not, getting a new mattress is the next step.
Take a Night or Two Off
If you can't pinpoint the reason for your poor sleep quality and sluggish feeling throughout the day, try taking a night off from your mattress. Sleep in the guest bedroom or even treat yourself to a hotel. If you feel energetic and prepared to take on the day the next morning, take that as a sign that your mattress is source of your poor sleep and your lowered productivity.
The relationship between you and your mattress is a very personal one; it is hard to know when it is time to break up. If you feel less productive and are looking for reasons why, then your mattress is a good place to start. A new mattress along with some comfortable bedding can do wonders for your quality of sleep and that, in turn, will mean more energy and better productivity.