Vanguard (Lagos)

28 June 2011

Nigeria: Your Mattress Determines Quality of Your Sleep

opinion

It is generally believed that human beings spend a third of their lives in bed. But most of the time, they end up not getting the desired rest. It is common to find people complaining of not having a good sleep. Most people have attributed such sleepless nights to the activities of satanic forces in their vicinity.

But the truth remains that many of these complainants sleep in substandard mattresses. There are various types and grades of mattresses in the Nigerian market today and each of them have their strengths and weaknesses. Shopping for a comfortable but affordable mattress can therefore be challenging.

Kate Moore, an eHow contributor writes that there are different types of foam mattresses in the market today. They range from newly developed memory foam and latex to the old standard polyester foam.

Mattress for quality sleep

She noted that each type of foam mattress has its advantages and drawbacks. If you are considering purchasing a new foam mattress, you should start by educating yourself on these advantages and disadvantages.

The first thing you should take note of is the density of the foam mattresses. "Densities range from low, 3 lbs. or less, to high, 5 lbs. or more. Mattresses with higher densities may last longer, but they will feel much firmer and stiffer. Lower density foam will break down much more quickly and loses the comfortable feel that foam mattresses are known for.

You should go for a foam density of 4 lbs. for a blend of comfort and durability," she said. Another common drawback of a foam mattress, according to Moore is a chemical-like odour, or off-gassing, for the first few weeks after bringing home a new mattress.

This odour which is not known to be harmful, but it is usually annoying to the small percentage of people who notice it. Even fewer people have a physical reaction to the odor such as headaches, nausea, eye and throat irritation, sleeplessness, sweating and asthma. The odours are more common among memory foam mattresses than latex or polyester foams.

Memory foam mattresses are sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. Cool air will make the mattress firmer, but if the air is very warm or when warmed by body heat, it will be softer and can sometimes make rolling over or getting up more difficult. Memory foam, latex and polyester foam mattresses feel like no other mattress and take time to get used to.

Some people even find that they are not comfortable at first, especially on higher density mattresses. After a few nights most get used to how they move and adjust on the foam and find they are much more comfortable than on an innerspring or inflatable bed.

While memory foam mattresses have been around since the 1990s, latex foam mattresses are newer and do not have a proven track record for durability. Fewer latex mattresses are sold, so there is not as much owner experience or data recorded. From the information available, 100 percent natural latex rates higher than those that are a blend of natural and synthetic latex.

Both memory foam and latex foam mattresses are heavy, though latex is more so, which makes changing linens and making a bed somewhat difficult. Moving, turning or flipping a mattress will require two people.

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