If you wake up from a night’s sleep feeling less than fresh, rest assured you’re not alone. According to research conducted by the British Chiropractic Association, nearly one in three of us suffer back and neck pain first thing in the morning, while more than eight in 10 people face the day feeling achy or stiff. This could have a lot to do with our choice of mattresses. The same study revealed that despite recommendations to replace these sleeping aids approximately every seven years, a fifth of Brits change their mattresses less than once a decade, and one in ten of us have never replaced them.
If you think now’s the time for your current mattress to make way for a new, improved version, perhaps a memory foam design would fit the bill. Lots of people around the world now swear by these space age mattresses. But what exactly are they, and could they be right for you?
Understanding the science
It might seem over the top to describe what is at first glance just a simple sleeping aid as an example of space age technology, but in fact memory foam mattresses may be more hi-tech than you think. The viscoelastic material they are made from was first developed for NASA to make space flight more comfortable. It is highly energy absorbent and it moulds to the body in response to pressure and heat. This helps to distribute body weight more evenly, and it provides effective cushioning.
Once the heat and pressure is removed from the viscoelastic material, it quickly returns to its original shape. Memory foam has proved so effective that it’s now used in a whole range of products, from mattresses, seats and pillows to medical padding.
Could it help you to get a sound night's sleep?
Technicalities aside, you’ll no doubt want to know if this material can actually help you get a good night’s sleep, and leave you feeling rejuvenated in the morning. One of the reasons why so many people are attracted by memory foam mattresses is the fact that they help ensure the right parts of the body are cushioned and lifted. Because they mould to your curves, they help to relieve pressure on your back and limbs, reducing the risk of pain and stiffness.
This is in stark contrast to many traditional metal sprung mattresses, which can create pressure points on key contact areas, like your buttocks and shoulders.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll wake up pain free if you sleep on memory foam, but many people find it helps to keep any stiffness and soreness to a minimum.
Making the right choice
Of course, not all memory foam mattresses are created equal, and if you’re looking for one of these sleeping aids, it’s important to choose carefully. Many people find that rather than solid memory foam designs, which can be too soft, they prefer designs that feature a layer of this material resting on a pocket sprung core. Before you splash your cash on a memory foam mattress, make sure you research your options carefully so that you’re able to select a design that perfectly suits your needs.
As long as you consider your options carefully, getting a memory foam mattress could help to boost your sleep quality and leave you feeling fresh when morning comes.