If you've ever woken up from an awkward sleeping position that not only wakes you up from the discomfort but lasts longer, your mattress might be the culprit. Waking up with this kind of pain not only ruins your entire day but probably the next few days as well. Now, when we consider the long-term damage waking up bad or sleeping on bad mattresses does, it gets a bit serious. While waking up awkward might numb your arm or leg or cause painful shoulders, sleeping on incompatible mattresses can do chronic damage. By the time you realize that it is not your lifestyle that is damaging your body, it might be too late. The best part is, you can know about these issues in the short term.
An incompatible mattress would cause frequent awkward positions, sleep quality issues, and pains around the body. This doesn't mean that you're getting unfit because of the mattress in this short time. The discomfort is a signal that your mattress is causing improper pressure in specific body points, which affects your blood circulation in these points. Moreover, this discomfort and blood circulation don't mean that you will get chronic pains or become unfit directly. It means that your mattress is hindering your sleep and can lead to a domino effect causing problems due to lack of quality sleep. A good quality mattress that suits your body and lifestyle wouldn't cause these issues and maintain your body's physiological health.
Here is how an incompatible mattress can cause issues to your body:
1. Shoulder Pain:
Waking up in a wrong position or not, your shoulders face the brunt of the discomfort a mattress can do. Most people tend to fall asleep on their sides (usually right side) and face discomfort with the shoulders first. Sleeping on the side has several benefits for your body, including spinal alignment. But when you match these things to an incompatible mattress, it can either be too soft or rigid enough to cause discomfort. Shoulders face unprecedented pressure also because of the way they're positioned against the pillow and your mattress.
Waking up from your sleep on a mattress that doesn't suit will lead to shoulder pain issues. This doesn't mean that you're developing long term or chronic pain in the shoulders. The blood circulation issues, extra pressure on your shoulders as well as general discomfort are things that wouldn't let you sleep. For this, you need just the right amount of pressure, that is, a medium-firm mattress that supports and sinks and comforts and supports your shoulders at the same time. A medium-firm mattress helps support your shoulders and keep appropriately aligned with your head, in either the side or back sleeping position.
2. Pain in Upper Back:
Going to sleep in the fetal or stomach focused sleeping position can lead to pains in your upper back area. But this depends entirely on your body type, as well as the mattress's rigidity. When you're sleeping stomach first, your upper body, abdomen, pelvic area, and knees face the pressure. But more on these areas in a while. Your upper back faces the most pressure out of the mentioned areas in these sleeping orientations. If your mattress is rigid, it won't allow your upper body to sink and support it to a certain degree.
However, the proper pressure needed is just enough to uphold your chest area. This kind of pressure leads to proper alignment of your upper spine and the rib cage. Ideally, either in the back, stomach, or fetal sleeping position, you shouldn't feel any pressure or pain in your upper back. But, if you do, that's a red flag from your mattress, and time to fix things as improper blood circulation and pressure in your chest and upper back areas need more attention. It doesn't lead to any cardiac issues, but because of the extra pressure from your upper back and spine, your lungs and chest cavity can feel the unease and wake you up. You would also feel a 'heaviness' in this area while breathing in general or going about your day. A medium soft mattress that upholds your chest area without allowing it to sink would work the best in this scenario. You would face upper back pains when you're using a softer mattress than you need, and it tries to incline your spine, but the sinking prevents it from uniformly doing the same.
3. Pelvic Area:
The pelvic area doesn't face much pressure usually, but if you are sleeping in the fetal or stomach positions, it is also prone to mattress pains. Pains in your body are not just because of the mattress, but also because of the body composition, form, BMI, and sleeping position. This is the reason that you need mattresses to take care of these issues and maintain your body. You need your muscles and organs to recover from the previous day's exercise, strain, or use in your sleep. The same applies to the pelvic area, as it needs just as much care and support as your upper back. Your pelvic area and upper chest are similar in the sleeping position regarding the weight and pressure distribution. You might be having pelvic pain because of yoga or some strenuous exercise, but that's normal and fades away as you keep up with your exercise regime.
When a mattress leads to pelvic area pain, it is mainly because it is too rigid and doesn't let your pelvic area sink in, to some extent. Your spine has a natural S-Shape, and the pelvic area below the curve needs to be supported and in a comfortable position. A mattress that is too hard wouldn't let your pelvic area sink in even a little bit, causing pains in this region. The best-case scenario for pains in the pelvic area is to go for a softer mattress, which doesn't let it sink too much but doesn't even let it relax, unlike hard mattresses. HR Foam, latex foam layers, or mattresses can help maintain and avoid your pelvic area pains.
4. Lower Back Pain:
Lower back pains affect a vast percentage of the population across the globe. Part of this problem is a sedentary lifestyle or excess strain from long-standing hours or excess body weight. With so many factors contributing to the lower body, specifically lower back pain, how does one diagnose the causing issue? The answer lies in analyzing your sleep. While you may notice lower back pain throughout the day when standing up, it might be chronic or because of other factors. However, for the sake of explaining the impact of the mattress, let's assume you have a perfectly healthy lower back.
Any good mattress supports your entire spine, a way that your spine can rest in its natural S-shape in the back-sleeping position. In the fetal, stomach, or side sleeping position, your spine needs to be straight. While your mattress cannot diagnose which area is weak or strong and automatically applies pressure, a general sense of pressure requirement works. Even in this case, your spine needs pressure as per your lifestyle and body weight. More specifically, your lower back needs more attention. The small curve at the end of the spine tends to uphold all the pressure from above. As a result, it needs just as much care and support.
If you tend to face pains after waking up in the lower back, it can be because of mattresses that either cause it to sink in too much. Or the other reason can be- it is lying on a rigid mattress that doesn't let it relax in the S-Shape that it lies in. A mattress that is too soft or too hard, or aged enough to sag can lead to lower back pains. Generally talking, a wide variety of mattresses tend to support your lower back as they maintain just the right amount of pressure and support that your back needs. However, the best way to assess your mattress's pressure in line with your spine is to see how your sleep is like over 30 days. If you face frequent pains in your lower back, it means the mattress is too hard or too soft to be comfortable for your back.
5. Neck and middle spine area: If you face pains in your neck, it is mostly caused by a bad pillow. However, it can also be a result of the wrong mattress with your body type. How? Your spine needs to be in a natural curved shape, especially when sleeping on your back. If this is not the case, it can lead to pains in your neck and abdominal area. This is because the vertebrae in your neck may not be adequately aligned because of your pillow and mattress. While your neck and shoulder pains rely on your pillow, your sleeping orientation also dictates how they are in the natural rest position.
As mentioned in the shoulder pain case, your mattress needs to be soft enough to let your shoulders' pressure point sink without causing your spine's unnatural inclination. If you tend to sleep in the back or side position, your shoulders and neck can have these body pains due to the wrong mattress.
The best way to fix and prevent pains in your neck and shoulders is to use a medium soft mattress that allows your heightened neck and shoulder regions to relax. At the same time, they need enough support to not overextend or contract from their natural positions. The same scenario also applies to your abdominal area. Using more pillows can cause your neck and shoulder area to extend unnaturally, and in this case, even a good quality mattress cannot help you.
Your abdominal area needs even more attention because, in addition to inclining your spine correctly, your internal organs can also face the pressure from the sleeping position and incompatible mattress. Your spine and internal organs face most of the pressure from your mattress in the abdominal or fetal position. If your mattress is too hard (which might seem comfortable for your stomach sleeping position), it won't let your spine rest. It would be best if you had a firm enough mattress to support your abdominal area, but soft enough to let your spine incline and rest to some extent. The best-case scenario to avoid neck, shoulder, and abdominal pains is to use a medium-firm mattress. It lets your spine rest, lets you feel comfortable in the abdominal region, and allows your neck and shoulder area to get used to the average pressure distribution.
Any pains that you experience after waking up can be because of several reasons- lifestyle, body weight, inactivity, overuse, pillow problems, and sleeping orientation, to name some. However, it doesn't mean that you are in for chronic pains because of your pillows' discomfort unless you address and fix these issues. Your mattress and pillows' discomfort and pain turn chronic if you do not take care of your body in general because of lifestyle issues. Taking care of your sleep quality and body is easy. But the best way to ensure that you wake up feeling rejuvenated and not with a variety of pains is to make sure you use a compatible mattress.
Your mattress cannot address each area in your body differently, in most cases, unless the mattress is specifically designed with different systems. The 5-Zone FirmTech pocket spring mattress can address each region differently. In case you are facing too many problems with your body, a new mattress can fix most of them. The awkward sleep and body pains are signs that your new or aged mattress is no longer suitable for your body and good health in general. You can ensure excellent physiological health in your body by making conscious decisions about your mattress and lifestyle. The best way to check if a mattress is suitable for your body is to use SleepID. It helps pair your body with the right mattress and avoid pains arising out of an incompatible mattress.
1. I have pre-existing issues; how do I know my new or old mattress wouldn't damage my body further? If you have a diagnosis of pre-existing issues, it is best to follow your doctor's prescription of mattresses that would suit you. While our SleepID helps figure out and narrow down the mattress choices for people with no idea, you should follow your doctor in case of diagnosed issues. If your doctor has prescribed a mattress for back pain or other physical issues, you should follow the same and stop sleeping on your current mattress without any delay.
2. I wake up with neck problems and shoulder problems occasionally. Should I change my pillow or mattress? This is a complicated situation that needs you to address the issue on multiple fronts. It would help if you fixed your posture when awake and make sure that you go for the best pillow and mattress combinations for your body. If you wake up with a stiff neck or painful shoulders, it is both because of your pillow and mattress and not either one as a single option. The best way to address both issues is to go for a memory foam pillow and use our SleepID to see which mattress works for your body. You should also not use multiple pillows at any given time; it means that either your mattress or pillow does not give you the support you need for the neck and shoulder region.
3. Is lower back a sign of mattress pain or my lifestyle? It depends on your mattress and lifestyle, both, and not just one factor. If you have lower back pain, it can be because of many reasons, including your lifestyle and mattress. The best way to diagnose it is to see if your mattress is aged and sagging and no longer able to support your lower back with the pressure that it needs. If you have a relatively new mattress, try changing your lifestyle, and if there are pains, even after 30 days, it is time to change your mattress too.
4. Can changing my mattress guarantee that my body pains go away? Getting rid of pains is a multi-faced challenge, and although the right mattress can solve most of the issues, you should also look towards other problems. Staying without exercise and relying on a mattress can be an easier way to live. Still, sooner or later, those pains can become too unbearable that you might have to change your mattress again, consult your doctor, and then change your lifestyle. While out mattresses assure that you get the best sleep possible, and most of your problems should go away, it also depends on your lifestyle, sleeping position, and body type. The SleepID tool takes most of these elements into account and recommends you with the best mattresses for your body and lifestyle.