Sleep is so important to both physical and mental wellbeing. It helps our bodies recharge and our minds settle. For eight hours at the end of each day we leave the hustle and bustle of the outside world behind heavy eyelids and transport ourselves to the blissful land of nod. But climbing into bed and falling asleep isn't always easy, particularly if the mattress is too lumpy, or springy, or harder than concrete.
So when we were recently asked about what to look for in a mattress from the perspective of someone living with multiple sclerosis (MS), we decided to explore...
'I’m looking for some advice for my mum who's recently diagnosed and struggling. I’m trying to find the best type of mattress. Any recommendations or pointers for what I need to be looking for?'
Sleep comfort will directly affect how we sleep. There are many products to consider to help keep your mum comfortable and help with any symptomatic issues she may be having during the night.
If heat is a trigger or an issue for symptoms then there are mattresses on the market that specifically have cooling and protective surfaces. You can also buy breathable ‘toppers/pads’ to put over an existing mattress that can aid with cooling which may help.
You may also want to think about the surface of the mattress itself. Softer mattresses, especially ones made of memory foam, may not be the best choice for someone who has restricted ability to move around in bed. These types of mattresses tend to shape to the body and dip under pressure, which could potentially be an issue when trying to get out of bed for some people.
Latex foam mattresses may be worth exploring. They tend to be naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial by their very nature. Latex foam mattresses will ‘move with your movements’ and are less likely to cause the issues that memory foam may cause.
For some people with MS their priority will be looking at options to protect the mattress due to continence issues. In these instances a good quality waterproof mattress protector is suggested.
For those that spend a lot or all of their time in bed and may be at risk of pressure sores and could need an air circulating mattress or postural support it is suggested that an assessment of need is gained via the NHS to see what is best suited to each individual.
Living Made Easy is a good, independent and impartial resource for disability specific products. They have pressure relief mattresses, elevators, bed wedges waterproof covers and much more.
Depending on whether or not your mum has any physical impairments, or the need for specialist mattresses will very much effect the choices you will be making.