That Will Properly Support Your Back
You’ve heard that you need to stand up straight, or sit up straight, but have you ever heard that it is important that you “sleep straight”? When you think about it, it makes sense. You spend a third of your life sleeping, so even a slight misalignment can cause back pain. Recent data suggests that 70 million people in the US report suffering from this type of sleep related pain.
Our hips tend to be the heaviest part of our body. This means our hips and torso area want to sink in further in the mattress than the rest of our body. Depending on how soft our mattress is, this can create a “hammock effect” which allows our spine to inappropriately curve into a U shape. The softer the mattress, the more misalignment we experience.
In order to correct this, we need to find a mattress that is firm enough to push our hips up into alignment with our shoulders. The firm surface prevents the hips from sagging into the mattress, allowing our spine to stay in a straight line. The best technology that is able to do this is a firm innerspring mattress.
One problem we face when trying to find an aligning mattress is that aligning mattresses are also firm on our hips and our shoulders, making it uncomfortable to sleep on. Many mattress manufacturers have chosen to focus more on the comfort of the hips and the shoulders when making a mattress, which while initially may be more comfortable to sleep on, cause the spine to be misaligned. Foam beds such as Tempur-Pedic and Airbeds like the Sleep Number Bed are good examples of these types of mattresses. Foam is especially problematic as it will soften significantly as you use the mattress. The very best foams will soften nearly 20% over the life of the bed, and most of the foams used in mattresses soften by 50%! Air mattresses may work if pumped up to be sufficiently firm, but then manufacturers also add the soft foams on top of the air chambers that give us the same problem found in other foam mattresses.
So how do we find a mattress that provides the firm alignment that we need in our back, yet provide a comfortable surface that doesn’t cause our hips and shoulders to be sore? A recent hospital technology called Intelli-Gel has been released for use in retail mattresses sold by IntelliBED. The material is a co-polymer gel that has been used in burn patient units and long-term care facilities because it has been clinically proven to cure the worst types of bedsores. However, the thing that makes Intelli-Gel truly unique is the fact that while it is soft on the hips and the shoulders, it remains firm for the back, making it the only mattress that provides alignment for the spine and comfort for the hips and the shoulders at the same time. Finally, the gel has been found to be the most durable cushioning material available, and testing suggests it softens less than 5% over the life of the mattress.
Don’t be one of the 70 million Americans that wake up sore every morning! Get a mattress that supports you while you sleep. Make sure you are not sleeping on a mattress that lets your hips sink in too far. Your back will thank you.
This office has taken the time to research the major mattress retail products and has identified intelliBED as the first true medical-grade sleep surface available for home use. By using co-polymer intelli-Gel® in place of foam, intelliBED's provide superior comfort and support without harmful off-gassing and they wear 2-3 times better than any of the foam mattresses. Deep, healing sleep is fundamental to your health. If you have questions about the quality of your sleep or what sleep surface and pillow is best for you, visit our Sleep Center. We can help!
For more information please call our office!
Dr. David Girgenti