If you’re having trouble sleeping or have poor quality sleep, the first things to try include reducing device usage before you go to bed and getting on a sleep schedule. Reduce your caffeine intake in the afternoon and don’t use alcohol to try to relax. If you’ve tried all of these tricks, the next thing to look at is your mattress.
There are times when it is obvious that the problem is your mattress. If you lay down in the bed and sink so far that your body is in an unnatural U shape, it is obviously going to cause neck and back pain due to the bad posture. We often forget that a bed that’s losing its support can cause us to sink down too far to the point it causes the pain we wake up to each morning. The solution is almost always to replace the bed.
We expect beds to be soft. However, they need to provide a certain level of support. Few of us can be comfortable sinking so far into a bed that it is hard to get out of. On the other hand, a bed that is too hard will cause problems in its own right. For example, if you have neck or back pain already, sleeping on a bed that’s so hard your spine isn’t aligned at night will make things worse.
Furthermore, a bed that is too hard will put pressure on your major joints. This can aggravate existing joint pain, whether it is due to arthritis or injuries. Know whether you need a soft, medium-soft, medium-firm or firm mattress. If the bed is too hard, know that a memory foam mattress topper may or may not be enough to relieve the pressure points. But if the bed is too soft, there isn’t much you can do. After all, pushing wood slats under it will only create pressure points if you sink that far down through the mattress.
You need a mattress to provide quality sleep that fits your body. An obvious example of this is when you’re too big for the bed. It can be hard enough to find a comfortable sleeping positon. If you have to carefully position yourself so that your feet or head don’t go over the edge of the bed, you are at risk of waking up every time your body extends past the edge. Or you may be left with joint pain because your arms dangled over the edge all night. Hitting your feet or head on the headboard is worse. This is why you should be willing to buy an XL mattress if that’s what is required.
A related issue is individual space. Couples shouldn’t try to share a full mattress when they need the space a queen or king bed offers to not rub against each other. And be realistic. You’re not going to spoon all night, every night. Pay a little more for a larger bed that gives you a few inches of space to toss and turn without hitting your partner. Or, worse yet, pushing them out of bed.