How a Great Mattress Can Help You Overcome Insomnia

How a Great Mattress Can Help You Overcome Insomnia

Struggling with insomnia? It can feel quite isolating at times, but rest assured you’re not alone. It's estimated that a third of the population experience bouts of insomnia at some point, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Insomnia can be frustrating, and it can have a significant impact on day-to-day life. But the good news is that a high-quality mattress could make a big difference. 

What is insomnia?

Everyone suffers from a bad night now and then. That doesn’t necessarily mean insomnia. 

Sometimes, a bad night can simply be a one-off. Insomnia, however, is a recognised sleep condition where you consistently find it difficult to get the rest your brain and body need. It’s usually defined as a period of time where you find it difficult to get to sleep at night – or stay asleep for the recommended 7-9 hours – and experience related sleepiness or lack of concentration during the day. 

You may have insomnia if you often find that you…

  • Have difficulty falling asleep at bedtime
  • Consistently wake up multiple times throughout the night
  • Lie awake at night even though you feel tired
  • Wake up very early, and are unable to get back to sleep
  • Experience ongoing tiredness during the day
  • Struggle to concentrate during the daytime due to fatigue

Insomnia is one of those things that many people simply shrug off. But it’s important to try and resolve the situation. With insomnia considered to be a risk factor for developing conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease, finding a treatment that works should be a main priority. 

And finding a treatment depends on knowing what’s causing your sleep problems. 

What causes insomnia?

There’s no single, definitive cause of insomnia. Sometimes, it can be caused by…

  • Anxiety or stress
  • A noisy sleep environment
  • Use of alcohol, caffeine, or other drugs
  • Jet lag
  • Shift work
  • Certain medications

If none of these are relevant to your lifestyle, then it’s likely your insomnia is simply caused by an inability to get comfortable in bed. This is very, very common. It happens for multiple reasons, like…

  • Being too hot: studies show high temps can even affect healthy people without insomnia
  • Suffering with aches: some sleeping positions can put extra pressure on sensitive joints
  • An uncomfortable bed: for example, being able to feel springs through an old mattress
  • Struggling to find the right position: tossing and turning throughout the night

How is insomnia treated?

The best way to tackle insomnia is to understand what’s causing it. If insomnia is being caused by stress or anxiety, cognitive behavioural therapy may be recommended by a healthcare professional. If insomnia is caused by certain biological processes, medications may be prescribed. However, if insomnia is thought to relate to night-time comfort, then there’s a solution that can be much easier to implement: upgrading the quality of your mattress. 

Upgrading your mattress to treat insomnia

A poor-quality mattress can be a major cause of discomfort, leaving you feeling sore, achy, unsupported and restless. In turn, these feelings can make it incredibly difficult to fall asleep at bedtime, and to stay asleep for the recommended number of hours. According to BUPA, one of the best things you can do to overcome insomnia is to ‘make sure you have a supportive, comfy mattress’. 

Can a mattress really help?

While the extent of the relationship between mattress quality and insomnia isn’t fully understood, many research studies have concluded that the choice of mattress is an important factor in determining the likelihood of experiencing insomnia. One study reported that “[older] persons who slept with a very uncomfortable pillow or mattress experienced insomnia significantly more often than those who reported their pillow or mattress as… very comfortable.” This goes a long way towards demonstrating the importance of mattress quality on an individual’s ability to get the restful sleep they need. 

Of course, a mattress may not always be the right answer to your sleep problems. However, if your mattress is more than 8 years old, upgrading to a new one is a good place to start when it comes to searching for a treatment for insomnia. Even if you’ve had your current mattress for less than 8 years, you should consider replacing it if you notice any of the following:

  • Your mattress feels too hard, putting pressure on your joints (e.g. your hips or knees)
  • Your mattress feels too soft, making you feel like you have no support for your body
  • Your mattress sags in the middle, so that it’s difficult to change position or get out
  • You can feel the inner springs poking out through the mattress materials
  • You consistently wake up with aches and pains in your back or neck

What mattress is best for insomnia?

This is a difficult question to answer, as comfort is subjective. Some people find that they feel much more comfortable on a firm mattress that offers excellent support for the spine. Firm mattresses are often recommended for those experiencing back pain which prevents them from sleeping well. Others, however, report sleeping better on soft mattresses which ease pressure on the joints. 

What we do know, however, is that there are some types of mattress that are better able to provide relief for specific sleep conditions such as insomnia. For insomnia caused by overnight discomfort, mattresses that offer back support, pressure relief, and temperature regulation are your best bet. 

Memory foam mattresses tick all these boxes. 

The ability of memory foam to mould to the individual shape of the body means that everyone – no matter what their composition – can rest in a way that’s both comfortable and natural. This can reduce the risk of overheating, minimise tossing and turning, and ease pressure and pain, resulting in a much more comfortable night’s sleep. With higher levels of comfort, you should find that you’re able to fall asleep much more easily, waking fewer times during the night and feeling fully rested the next day. 

Other tips for treating insomnia

It’s clear that a great mattress is key to overcoming insomnia. And if you’re looking for something that could really help you sleep more comfortably, we’ve got an extensive collection to take a look at. 

While you’re waiting for your new mattress to arrive, why not try these simple tricks which could help you get a better night’s sleep:

  • Build a routine, and try to go to bed – and wake up – at the same time each day.
  • Relax before bed. Turn off the TV, and spend 30 minutes with a book, or listening to music.
  • Use blackout blinds or heavy curtains to block as much light as possible.
  • Try not to nap during the day.
  • Enjoy a healthy diet, and exercise regularly if possible.
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