Firm Or Soft? Which Mattress Is Best...

By Dr. Bryant Harris

Is there such a thing as the "perfect mattress" for the "perfect sleep"?

Sleep Number? Tempurpedic? Sealy? Serta? Pillow Top? Memory Foam? Waterbed?

More often than not, patients come in with questions regarding proper sleep positions and the best mattresses to use and for good reason...Did you know that you spend about 1/3 of your life sleeping?

If I was spending 6 to 8 hours a day sleeping, I would want to make sure I was doing to everything to ensure that I received the proper support to not create more harm than good during those hours of rest and recuperation.

But do you know how many people come in complaining of feeling worse upon waking than when the went to sleep? Or that they must've slept funny because they woke up with a stiff neck or an achy back?

More than you would think...The golden rule is that the mattress should be designed to be supportive!Unfortunately, most Americans prefer a softer mattress which does not necessarily conform to the body's contours and evenly distribute the weight of the body

So, what mattress do I recommend?

Classic 8" Ventilated Memory Foam Mattress

The Classic 8" has 6 inches of the firm foam with 2" of a slightly softer foam on top.T

he best thing about this mattress is that it can be purchased on Amazon, where the king-size will cost roughly $330.00 (price will vary). It comes rolled up (vacuum sealed) in plastic and in a box.

There are a few caveats though...

Caveat #1: Remember, this is a foam mattress. So, it is recommended that you have a platform or a GREAT boxspring.  A bad boxspring is the kiss of death for a memory foam mattress.

Caveat #2: You must give it a few days to a week to restore itself to its full size due to the fact it comes vacuum-packed in a tight roll.  Just be patient and make sure you get the SureGuard Waterproof Mattress Cover

Now that you have the perfect mattress, you should get the perfect sleep, right? Not Exactly...

Your Sleeping Position Matters

In order of preference:

1. Face Up (Supine)

Supine sleeping is without question the best position for sleep. You should have some support under the knees, like a body pillow, or ever a regular pillow folded in half. If you're sleeping on a pillow, make sure that the neck isn't in a flexed position. If you can tolerate it, I would recommend sleeping without a pillow or going with one of the pillows recommended in-office.

2. Side Sleeping

Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees is also acceptable. Placing a pillow between the knees keep the hips even and prevents any unwanted strain while sleeping. It's important that the height of your pillow is such that the head stays in a neutral position.

3. Face Down (Prone) Sleeping

Don't do it! Along with the fact that it puts the lumbar spine into slight extension and compresses facet joints, you also end up having to turn your head to one side if you plan on breathing while sleeping. Since we spend 1/3 of our lives sleeping, the goal should be to keep everything balanced. If you sleep, night after night with your head turned to one side, it's only a matter of time before it starts to cause disc and joint deterioration in the spine, no different than a car being out of alignment causes uneven wear and tear on tires.

Please share if you feel that someone could benefit from a better nights sleep.