How To Choose a Mattress [and Diet?] That's Best For You

coaching nutrition Apr 04, 2018

Have you ever gone mattress shopping? If your answer is no, it may be time (hello inherited bed and everything that comes with that...ewww). If you have, did you choose a mattress that was best for you?

Depending on the study you read, anywhere between one-third to one-half of Americans report not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to a host of health issues for the body and the brain, including high blood pressure, hormone imbalance, mood disorders, digestive issues, weight gain and so much more. 

The purpose of this post is not to do a deep dive into the implications of poor sleep. Rather, it's to highlight how challenging it is to choose a mattress that's best for you and provide some tips to make it easier. Surprisingly, they apply to how we choose the best diet, too.

Since the quality and duration of our sleep (and what we eat) is so important to our health, shouldn't we make this choice wisely? Unfortunately, we often apply the same faulty method to both pursuits. 

Not surprisingly, we're unhappy with the results.        

During my 25 years of marriage we've owned three mattresses. We're a little ahead of the recommended pace for replacement (overachievers unite!).

We purchased our first mattress, a queen (coil spring), on our newlywed's budget. The second, a king (memory foam), was a splurge when we moved to a new home with a larger bedroom to accommodate it. Our current mattress, also a king (adjustable), was a recent investment (a BIG investment...).

What do all three have in common?

The outcome.

Sleepless nights, back pain, and an ongoing search for another solution. Though recommended by experts and validated by enthusiastic friends, they weren't right for us (okay... me. Kevin can sleep on anything).

Hmmmm. Sounds familiar. 

We choose diets the same way. We do some research (maybe), ask people we trust (or at least like), catch the excitement of their great results (thanks to social media), and eventually invest (time and money).  

After a couple of day (nights) or maybe a month (or two), reality sets in. We're still lethargic, still wake with the same "problematic" body, and still hope that the "breaking in" period will eventually lead to better results if we just tough it out. The inevitable truth finally surfaces.

The fix didn't work. 

Depressing, right? Well, yes. And no. 

Every time we "fail" we learn. Is it fun? Nope. But learning like this increases the odds that next time we are a step closer to finding what truly is best for us. 

Here are three ways to choose a mattress [and diet] that's best for you: 

  1. Stop making everyone else's body your own. While research is important and our friend's experiences matter, what works for one doesn't work for all. Even the experts get it wrong sometimes. Each body is unique. Our age, gender, weight, body structure, preferences (love veggies/hate veggies, side sleeper/back sleeper) impact how our choice will work for us. You may love firm support (no sugar, no gluten, no dairy) while I love soft support (less sugar, more water, adding a veggie). You may have a spouse who likes the same thing... or not. Or you may live alone. The more you know your body, your temperament, your lifestyle, and your support system (pun intended...) the better able to you can choose the best fit for you.
  2. Take it for a test drive. Whether it's 30 days, 60 days, or longer, take full advantage of the satisfaction guarantee. When I was a coach with Beachbody, I strongly encouraged this. Shakeology, for example, has a "bottom of the bag" guarantee, encouraging consumers to try it for up to 30 days before committing to ongoing use. A 100% money-back promise remains their firm commitment. Same with their workout programs (I took advantage of it... once... after deciding I wasn't made for Insanity). Laying on a demo bed, awake, with a salesperson hovering nearby (and asking questions) isn't exactly the best way to buy a mattress! Unfortunately, after purchasing our first king-sized mattress it remained unoccupied for over a month prior to our relocation, which prevented us from giving it a proper test-run. Don't be afraid to try something new, but make sure the timing is right and take full advantage of the trial offer.  
  3. Notice how you feel. Your body doesn't lie. It speaks every day. Sometimes we just forget to listen. If you wake up and feel great, then it's time to "rinse and repeat" the next day. If you feel good... body, mind, and soul... then keep doing what you're doing. But, if you're lethargic, sore, cranky, and basically feeling lousy, it's time to do something different. Sometimes all it takes is a small tweak, like changing the bedding to cotton (better airflow - breathing room...) or swapping a pillow (better support...). Be a detective. Notice what's "wrong" and start hunting for the cause. Follow the trail and explore your theories. Recognize when the trail's gone cold and abandon what you think is true for a better fit.  

How well are you sleeping (and eating) these days? If your answer is "not so great," you're not alone.

Choosing a mattress (and diet) that's best for you isn't easy. If you Google either of them, you'll find hundreds of experts, companies, and social proof claiming to have the answer. 

Ultimately, finding the best fit for you comes down to one thing. You. The fearfully and wonderfully made you. 

The more you know about your unique body, the more likely you are to find a good fit... eventually.

I hear the fourth time's the charm. 

 

QUESTION:  Have you found a mattress (or diet) that's worked best for you? What criteria did you use to find your fit?

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IT BEGAN IN THE GARDEN: UNDERSTAND YOUR PAST FOR A HEALTHIER FUTURE

Long before you were born, your story started with Earth’s first inhabitants, Adam and Eve, and one small decision.

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