By Dustin Boudreau, Health and Wellness Columnist
I was asked a question last month about the benefits of a memory foam mattress – my response to that person was that it is better for the mind then the body. There is no better feeling then getting into a plush comfy bed at the end of the day – except maybe putting on a brand new pair of socks out of the package. We love the feeling that comfort provides us, especially in a bed. A bed is our safe space, its where we go when we are tired, sick, sad, or need to disconnect from the world. Its no surprise that mattress companies have really started pushing pillow tops, memory foam, and mattress toppers to their clients. Once you lay on a plush mattress, you may never go back to a firmer bed.
But are soft and plush mattresses better for your body? We have all seen the advertisements with the image of a hand pressing into a memory foam and the indentation remaining. Or the image of a person laying on their side with an aligned spine, and gaps filled with the mattress indicating body support. If something that is easily manipulated and compressed with the pressure of hand, how will it support different areas and weights of the body? Laying on a floor can be very relieving for people with back discomfort. There are many research articles out there showing us the benefits of laying on a floor – how a floor can provide support for our backs and hips.
Incorrect posture and pelvic tilt issues are enhanced by soft mattresses. Each area of our bodies has different weight – if a hand resting on top can squish memory foam, then it would make sense that our hips would sink deep into the mattress throwing off the normal curvature of our spine. Unfortunately, people unknowingly sacrifice health when seeking out comfort as we tend to trust what is told to us. If you suffer from body pain caused by any imbalances in muscles, posture, and/ or are overweight – a memory foam mattress will give you comfort and the “ahhh” of laying in a soft bed, but it will cause sleep disruptions, aches, and eventually make you uncomfortable when getting into bed.
Your body needs support – use a firm mattress for long term health. Don’t sacrifice health over comfort.