At the same time, there are several medical conditions which can be a barrier to achieving high quality, sustained and revitalising sleep, but many could be addressed by choosing the right type of bed. Here are some of the ways in which an adjustable bed can deliver recognised health benefits:
Back pain: As anyone who suffers from it will tell you, back pain can keep you awake all night, or only able to enjoy short periods of light sleep before discomfort wakes you again. An adjustable bed which can be raised at both the head and foot can help back pain sufferers find their ideal sleeping position, by supporting the neck and spine in a good posture and reducing pressure on the sciatic nerve. Whether you sleep on your back or your side, an adjustable bed can mould to your contours, providing support where it’s needed most.
Indigestion (acid reflux) and heartburn: Lying on a flat mattress allows stomach acids (needed to digest food) to move up to the oesophagus, leading to the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. If you suffer from these, inclining the head end of an adjustable mattress can make all the difference, keeping stomach acid where it belongs and allowing for better digestion and uninterrupted sleep.
Better circulation: It’s important to keep blood (and the oxygen it carries) circulating freely throughout your body as you sleep, especially if you suffer from poor circulation or heart problems. Fine-tuning your sleeping position with an adjustable bed aids circulation by reducing pressure and limiting ‘pinch points’. Many people find they sleep better with their head and feet slightly raised.
Snoring, sleep apnoea and asthma: Lying flat can promote heavy snoring by putting extra pressure on the windpipe. Sleep apnoea is less common but more dangerous. People with this condition actually stop breathing for short periods while they sleep due to a combination of factors which obstruct the airway. They usually start again with a loud snoring or snorting noise, before the cycle begins again, preventing quality sleep. People who suffer from asthma can also find their airway and sinuses partially obstructed during sleep. In all these cases, sleeping with the top section of an adjustable bed elevated to your preferred position can reduce pressure on your windpipe, keep your airway clear of obstructions and promote deep (and quiet) sleep.
Joint pain and arthritis: Sleeping on a conventional flat mattress can put unwanted pressure on painful and swollen joints caused by arthritis or other musculoskeletal conditions. Positioning an adjustable mattress to support good posture while sleeping and distribute body weight evenly relieves this pressure and promotes longer periods or uninterrupted pain-free sleep. An adjustable bed can also help people with mobility problems to get in and out of bed more easily.
Leg swelling: Various conditions, including pregnancy, can cause fluids to pool in the lower legs, leading to uncomfortable swelling. Elevating the lower legs during sleep can reduce this swelling and the pain associated with it, which is often at its worst when waking after a night in a normal bed. It is also beneficial to raise the legs while sitting up in bed to read or watch TV.
Insomnia: People who suffer from insomnia often cite not being able to get comfortable in bed as one of the factors that keeps them awake. Despite going to bed tired or even exhausted, if they aren’t able to find sleep quickly, it becomes increasingly elusive. Because an adjustable bed offers an infinite number of position combinations, users can find (and programme) their ideal position which allows them to fall asleep more quickly and remain asleep for longer, less likely to be woken by pain, discomfort, restricted breathing or other physical anomalies.
Healthier relationships: If you sleep with a partner and you sleep badly, chances are they do too! Many people report being woken or kept awake at night by their partner’s constant tossing and turning or, worst of all, heavy snoring. If you can address these issues with an adjustable bed, your partner will feel the benefits too and, with both of you sleeping soundly and waking refreshed, your relationship can only benefit. Many adjustable beds for two people allow for each side to be adjusted separately to meet each sleeper’s individual needs.
Better waking health: Whatever way an adjustable bed helps you achieve a good night’s sleep, you’ll reap the real health benefits when you’re awake. You’ll have move more energy, feel refreshed, revitalised and better prepared both physically and mentally to tackle the day ahead. Sleeping well goes hand-in-hand with living well.