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Fortunately for us, times have changed, doctors are well read and trained and have become educated in the ways of modern mattresses. As a result of this “extensive training,” many more people are sleeping better and receiving the healthy benefits of a properly diagnosed mattress.
Back in the day, doctors used to tell you the firmer a mattress was the better mattress was for you. Most physicians would go so far as to suggest putting a piece of plywood between your mattress and the supporting boxspring for extra firm support.
Before we recommend anything like that, lets learn about the mattresses first, and then we will address the doctors’ recommendations.
Hard mattresses often share the same internal components as their softer counterparts the plush topped and pillow top mattress. Firm mattresses are just what they say they are – stiff and firm and usually have very little to no give what so ever. In the mattress industry, the term support means to hold up, mold, take shape of the body by its very definition. Firm, hard, and nongiving does not lend itself to contouring, much less properly supporting the body.
Soft mattresses often offer the choice of comfy-cozy plush mattress tops or the popular pillow-topped surfaces. Their names are self-defining and without a doubt precisely describe their distinctive feel. Softer types of mattresses have plenty of give in order to support and contour to your body’s natural shapes and curves. The problem with these types of beds can actually be under buying. This can either be don by the persons who don’t know any better or salespeople who are inexperienced or don’t care. Neither seems to have a clue that sometimes individuals can be too heavy for a beds design. This allows anticipated support to slip into unbeneficial sagging. This by itself can create a whole bunch of other sleeping issues.
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I feel the majority of us know our limitations when it comes to diagnosing sick people suffering minor to serious health issues. So why would we take it upon ourselves to dispense prescription medications to them?
The fact is that nearly all physicians know little to nothing about mattresses, mattress design, and just as important how one works to support your back. So why do doctors continue to suggest, prescribe, and recommend mattresses they know nothing about? Could some of them actually be getting paid for their endorsements?
With the invention of the waterbed, which is quite soft, the entire mattress industry was turned upside down. Whether you like them or hate them, the way you sleep today has been affected by the now 40-year old hippie fad. Yes, waterbeds were hard to move, get in and out of and make, but people seemed to sleep well on these squishy soft mattresses.
Throughout this same time period, the mattress and boxspring industry was ramming the hard, firm, inflexible mattresses down our throats. Many of the admittedly untrained “sleep specialists” (doctors) followed suit by suggesting the addition of plywood between the mattress and boxspring for even more firmness. Shockingly many still recommend this today.
I am sure there are people that will disagree with this article, but I will point out one clear fact – when you or I attend a ball game and sit on the bleachers, our butt falls asleep very quickly, and the area can become numb and even painful from the restricted blood circulation.
I am curious why people can’t understand that the same thing happens with a hard, firm mattress. Poor circulation throughout the body is the primary cause of restlessness and constant repositioning throughout the night? Take that away and we are on our way at the very least to an improved night of sleep.
The problem will exist as long as humans continue to be creatures of habit. We fear change and unorthodox lines of thought such as mine.
Medicinenet.com reported Kim Bergholdt, DC, of Denmark’s Funen Back Center attempted to find the answer. Her groups’ study had varied results, but the study concluded that more people find a soft bed slightly better for back pain.