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Sleep: The Best Defense for a Healthy Life

Jan 22, 2013 01:09AM ● By Erin Frisch

Sleep: The Best Defense for a Healthy Life

We all know a good night’s sleep is important. Some of us can get by on fewer hours of shut-eye than others, but no matter how much sleep we need, quality is as important as quantity. Quality sleep has been linked to better health, a stronger immune system, and even weight management.

Your mattress can make or break your best efforts at getting the proper amount of sleep that you require. The innerspring mattress used to be the favorite choice for a good night’s sleep, but as with most other products, advances in research and development have resulted in many other materials and kinds of mattresses on the market during the last 20 years. One of these is known as memory foam. Memory foam mattresses were introduced in 1991 in Sweden, and then brought to the American market a year later in 1992.

Why Choose Memory Foam?

A mattress made of memory foam adjusts better to the shape of each sleeper’s body. This results in less pressure on the sensitive pressure points on your body. In addition, memory foam spreads your weight over the surface of the mattress more evenly.

Memory foam mattresses should not require box springs to make them feel good. You can place these mattresses on an attractive platform frame that suits your height requirements for a bed, or one that fits the particular design style in your bedroom. It’s said that memory foam should feel comfortable even placed on concrete!

Memory foam mattresses are made of viscoelastic material that has heat-sensitive properties. This keeps your body more comfortable by helping to regulate body temperature, thus adding to better quality sleep and fewer sleep interruptions. Some people find it takes a while to get used to this feature of memory foam, and some note that on hot summer nights, it’s too warm.

If you’re a restless sleeper or you share a bed with someone who is, memory foam is great because it transfers motion much better than a regular innerspring mattress. You don’t feel like you’re going to get bounced out of the sack every time your partner tosses or turns, or gets in and out of bed. Memory foam may in fact be the best solution for those who sleep with partners who suffer from “restless leg syndrome.”

Memory Foam Mattress Price Points

When it comes to mattresses, larger price tags don’t guarantee that you will be more comfortable. Everyone’s different, and even people with similar body types won’t necessarily like the same mattress. Personal preference plays a big part when it comes to comfort. Some enjoy hard mattresses and others like to sink into softness. Try a few different memory foams from the highly priced to the basic model, and see which one is the most comfortable for your body and your preferences.

Foam mattresses may be more expensive then innerspring mattresses, but they also last longer. Most memory foam mattresses can last close to 20 years.

How to find the best quality

The quality of your new memory foam mattress will depend on several characteristics:

• Density: The ILD (indentation load deflection) rating will measure how compressible the material is as well as its resilience and tensile strength.

• Mmhg: This is a measurement unit that determines a mattress’s reaction to pressure. A standard of 32 mmHg or lower is considered pressure relieving, according to the health care industry.

• Country of origin: Some companies claim their products are made in the US or Canada, but materials from other countries may be used to fill the middle of the mattresses. The problem with this is consumers have no way of knowing what chemicals have been used in foreign assembly. It’s wise to investigate mattresses carefully, and if you can, determine that all components of a mattress you like are in fact made in the US or Canada.

Consider swapping out your old mattress for a 21st century memory foam mattress today, and sleep your way to better health!

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