You probably know that an old mattress can prevent you from getting the type of healthy, regular sleep that keeps your body feeling young. As you age, getting quality sleep is critical to maintaining your health, vitality and weight. Did you know that your mattress goes through the aging process too? In fact, after about eight years, your mattress will have lived its natural life span and then some. If your mattress is eight years old – or older – it’s time to replace it! Read on to find out why.
There are several things that happen to a mattress over time, and some of them aren’t pretty.
As mattresses age, oil stains begin to form on the surface of the mattress. While this is perfectly normal, body oils can cause your skin to break out and the mattress to smell. The best way to protect your mattress from stains and prolong its life is to fit it with a mattress cover or protector before the fitted sheet. Although a mattress protector keeps stains from ruining your mattress; it also absorbs all of the oils and spills, leaving you with a stained surface in which to sleep.
Even worse than stains and oil build-up is the notion that over time, a mattress loses its shape, and by not replacing it you may also be losing your shape. A saggy or out-of-shape mattress doesn’t provide your muscular and skeletal system with proper support, so your muscles will have to overcompensate, leaving you sore and tired in the morning – craving food as a source of alternative energy. It is widely known that when your body is tired, it is more difficult to digest foods, stay active and promote healthy blood flow throughout your body. Exhaustion and day upon day of interrupted or uncomfortable sleep prevents your body from reaching its full potential. Getting better sleep may be the most crucial step in maintaining your ideal weight or dieting – and as our founder, Larry Miller, would say “Healthy sleep means a healthy body.”
While the shape of a mattress makes a huge difference in the quality of sleep you experience, many restless sleepers suffer from bedtime allergies. Little do they know, their mattress may be the cause of their sore throat, itchy eyes and constant sneezing.
Your mattress is the perfect place for dust mites and their good friends, bacteria, to reside. Yep, you heard right. Millions of dust mites can live in a single old mattress alone. Your body heat and dead skin cells provide dust miteswith the perfect home, one that keeps them warm and well fed. Dust mites feed on the skin cells your body sheds at night and their droppings are a major source of discomfort for allergy sufferers. While you may be saving money by putting off buying a new mattress, sleeping on one that is infested with dust mites and other allergens can cause you to lose sleep and productivity during the day.
You spend one third of your entire life sleeping so you should be sure that when you purchase a mattress, you purchase one that best supports your individual body type. A mattress that’s more than eight years old needs to be replaced because it lacks the support necessary for some of the most important areas, like your lower back, hips and neck. A new mattress keeps your lower back supported, hips aligned and cradles the natural curves of your body. New mattresses are also free of the allergens and dust mite colonies that have built up over the years in your old mattress. Although they are invisible to the naked eye, older mattresses are filled with dead skin cells, dust, bed bugs and body oils. After purchasing a new mattress, many who suffer from nighttime allergies and congestion feel instantly relieved, not only from an allergy-free night’s sleep, but from being able to enjoy their waking hours free from the burden of exhaustion.
The most important function of your mattress is to promote a healthy, rejuvenating sleep that properly supports healthy alignment of your spine. Is your current mattress working for you?
Sit ‘n Sleep is dedicated to educating people about the importance of sleep health and how essential it is to Replace Every 8®. For more information about choosing the right mattress, see our “Choosing the Right Mattress” article in our Sleep Resources.