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Upgrade Your Main Sleeping Partner – Your Mattress

Who doesn’t like to hear the melodious words “you were right”? In the past couple of months, three different patients came back to me and said those exact words. Not as sweet as from the mouth of a spouse but still a nice ring to it. What were they referring to? -- My suggestion of purchasing a new mattress. ​


In each of the three scenarios the situation was different, however they all had the similarity of waking up with pain. Case no. 1, Kate* refused to believe that her symptoms were from her brand new mattress. However, sometimes we do buy lemons and in this case the coils had broken down in less than six months. Thank goodness she had a warranty. Case no. 2, Stacey* had her mattress for so many years that she couldn’t remember when she had purchased it but insisted that it was in great shape (aesthetically). It wasn’t until she took a closer look that there was a nice Stacey size divot in her bed. Lastly, case no. 3 is a young teenager, Chloe*, who was still sleeping on her childhood foamie, which had no support except perhaps for her childhood stuffies. In each of these cases, it took some convincing as for some curious reason people do not want to spend money on something that they use for on average a third of every day. Sure, it is common to wake up with morning stiffness such as with osteoarthritis or after a day of heavy activity, however it is not “normal” to have worse morning back pain. Unfortunately, like most things these days, mattresses are not built to last and on average should be replaced every 7 to 10 years. My suggestion is to try sleeping on a better, more supportive bed for a few nights and see if that convinces you before you make that big purchase. Here are a few tips on purchasing a new mattress:

  1. Look for firm support. A mattress shouldn’t sink if you or your partner sits or lies on it.

  2. Take it for a test drive. Lie on a bed with your partner for at least 15 minutes right there in the store.

  3. If you like cushioning next to your body, then get an attached or detached pillow top on top of your firm mattress.

  4. Do ask about a comfort guarantee or trial period.

  5. Don’t sleep on your stomach, opt for your back or side instead.

Happy shopping and sleeping! * Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

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