What’s Your Sleep Style?
Everyone has a sleep style–Side Sleeper, Back Sleeper, Stomach Sleeper–and each style has its own unique needs. A big problem is when people are buying a new mattress, they are not taking into consideration their sleeping style.
- Side Sleepers who lie on their sides don’t always remain in the same position. A lot of times they rotate during the night from both legs fully extended, to one leg straight and one bent, to both legs bent. This sleep style needs a mattress that’s firm but soft enough to contour to the curves of their body. A soft mattress with a lot of support will relieve pressure points on your neck and back. The wrong mattress can result in hip, back, or neck pain. With this constant change, side sleepers need a mattress with soft to medium level firmness, usually something in the 3-6 range out of 10 (where 10 is the firmest).
- Back Sleepers need firmness and support. A mattress that is too soft will create pressure points on the sleeper, not providing the right amount of push back they need. It’s important to note that support and firmness are not the same. You can have a soft mattress that still has great support. By the same token just because a mattress is firm doesn’t mean it is supportive. When you lie on a mattress your spine should be aligned and supported, while also providing appropriate comfort. The ideal mattress firmness is one that provides enough softness to eliminate pressure points, but still has great support. Usually a firmness level in the 4-7 range is best.
- Stomach Sleepers are the least common and most finicky of the sleeping positions. The problem faced by stomach sleepers is that they need a mattress rigid enough to keep their spine properly aligned, but soft enough to reduce pressure on your ribs and stomach. For this reason, the mattress needs to provide equal support across the body. If the mid- section sinks at the middle of the mattress (too soft mattress) the sleeper will see a curving of the spine, causing lower back pain and other problems. Stomach sleepers need to be as flat as possible with respect to the surface of the mattress. Typically stomach sleepers need a mattress in the 5-7 firmness range.
No matter what your sleep style is, your weight will also play a part in choosing the best mattress. Weight may not seem that important, but it can be crucial. How far you sink and the feel and support of the mattress is highly affected by how much you weigh.
A good night’s sleep is crucial to good health. The proper mattress for your sleep style is the first step in getting a restful night’s sleep.