Obesity has become one of the biggest threats to the health of our population today. While few realize it, obesity can lead to a wide range of health problems, including sleep disorders. In turn, sleep disorders impact the quality and amount of sleep you receive. This impacts your productivity throughout the day and can even result in life-threatening health problems.
Could some of these problems – obesity itself and obesity-driven sleep disorders – be attributed to the quality of your mattress? It could be worth a closer look. Since sleep deprivation can result in over-eating throughout the day to increase energy levels and over-eating results in obesity, taking a look at the quality of your mattress, even if it feels “just fine” or “better than new,” may be a worthwhile and beneficial exercise.
Do you stir through the night? As a test, make a conscious effort to note the position you wake up in and ask yourself if that was the same position that you tried to fall asleep in. A tough question to answer, but you might be surprised.
According to research conducted by qMattresses.com, a website primarily dedicated to mattress reviews and sleep health, an older mattress will lack the support characteristics of a younger model. With a lack of support, specific pressure points in your body will become strained, causing enough discomfort that your brain triggers you to move. While this stirring relieves the strain on those pressure points, it actually disrupts the quality of sleep. Because the stirring is done subconsciously, the only indication of a restless night and poor sleep may be in the morning, when people wake up still feeling exhausted.
As a consequence of a poor night’s sleep, a lot of people will eat high-energy (most often high-sugar or high-carb) foods throughout the day to boost energy. Most of us know what these foods do to our physique; carbs are converted into sugars which, if not used to fuel the body, turn into fat. Sugars and fats also cause our bodies to crave more sugars, further perpetuating the cycle. Give it a few months or a year and, eventually, people are left with a weight problem. As mentioned earlier, weight problems often lead to sleep problems.
One by-product of obesity, snoring, is such a common sleep disorder today that most of us do not even consider it a disorder at all. It affects up to 50% of adults, most of which are male. Snoring can also be linked back to poor mattress support. Since most mattresses can be deemed “comfortable” when back-sleeping, a lot of people ignore the signs that their mattress needs to be replaced.
Do you snore? Try sleeping on your back. Try falling asleep on your side or stomach. A mattress with good support will allow you to fall asleep in a side-sleeping or stomach-sleeping position. A mattress with poor support will leave you uncomfortable. Untreated, snoring can lead to more serious sleep disorders like sleep apnea, a sleep disorder that deprives the brain of oxygen.
When you take a closer look, it is obvious how this self-perpetuating cycle of poor sleep, poor eating, chronic fatigue and poor mattress support can result in serious health problems down the road. In some cases, the cycle can be broken by improving sleep quality through a better mattress. If left unattended, however, a mattress that needs to be replaced will continue to cut into hours of quality sleep until the problem evolves into something more serious.