Latex Mattresses & the Science of Sleep

Posted on Apr 25, 2014


snoopy

Is it possible that switching to an all-natural Latex mattress could help change the sleep habits of millions of tired Americans for the better? Could something as simple as creating a peaceful, healthier sleep environment help with the chronic sleep problems that many American experience?  Recent studies suggest Yes to both of these questions.  It seems that today our plugged-in culture is experiencing levels of sleep deprivation like never before. Research indicates that only one-third of Americans get the recommended seven to nine hours of rest each night, and some estimates show that about 10% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia. Natural ways for getting a better night’s sleep include sticking to a bedtime routine, only using your bed to sleep, exercising regularly and avoiding caffeine consumption in the evening. Natural supplements include Melatonin, Valerian root, Kava Kava, and L-Tryptophan. Listening to delta-wave binaural beats music as part of your bedtime routine is also known to facilitate sleeping better. Another effective method for relaxation before sleeping is breathing slowly, deeply and rhythmically in and out through your nose.

Some mattresses support restful sleep better than others. All-natural latex foam mattresses were first constructed in the tradition of "orthopedic mattresses" in the 1950s. Orthopedic mattresses were designed to properly align the spine during sleep, minimizing stress, and improving various medical conditions. In the same way that orthopedic shoes provide support while walking, an orthopedic mattress provides your whole body with more support while sleeping.

The Medical Benefits of a Quality Mattress

A study in 2006 on Applied Ergonomics used poor pressure distribution and spinal distortion as indicators of poor mattress performance, which led to increased pain and decreased sleep. These are the variable that latex foam mattresses are designed to address (pressure-points and inconsistencies in spinal support). That same year, another study in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics found a strong correlation between "uncomfortable" mattresses and poor sleep quality, as well as a correlation between "comfortable" mattresses and a higher standard of sleep. Sleeping better relieves the symptoms of a range of conditions, from fibromyalgia to arthritis to back and neck pain. A study in 2008 with a focus on Applied Ergonomics uncovered significant differences in satisfactory sleep and pain relief when test subjects switched from their old mattress to new "sleep systems" like latex or memory foam. If you're sleeping on an older mattress (8-10 years for a traditional inner spring), switch to body-contouring mattress, and you may find an improvement your sleep and your ability to manage a variety of physical, emotional, and medical challenges.

Medically Helpful Characteristics of Latex

Latex goes well beyond a comfortable and supportive mattress. Hypoallergenic and antibacterial, latex is basically made of natural rubber that discourages infection by bacteria or invasion by molds or mites. Also absorbent, an organic cotton or wool topper… over a breathable latex mattress will draw perspiration and moisture away from the body. In fact, the air flow in latex is unsurpassed, as it dries moisture before molds or odors take hold. Finally, 100% natural latex beds have organic fire-barriers, and they use no glues or chemicals. For people concerned with chemical-free living or an organic lifestyle, latex is the ideal choice.

 


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