Do Adjustable Beds Have Health Benefits?
Adjustable beds are all about fine-tuning comfort. Hospitals use them because some patients need elevation to relieve pain and assist with recovery, while nursing homes use them to improve mobility for residents.
While these qualities make adjustable beds fantastic for healthcare settings, they also make them ideal for use at home.
If you have a bad back, poor circulation, or snore a lot, an adjustable bed could improve your health and sleep quality in one fell swoop.
An adjustable bed’s most significant health benefit is improved sleep – your body needs sleep to heal, recover and re-energise (in fact, you need it to survive). An angled position could work wonders if you struggle to sleep in a flat position.
How adjustable beds improve health
Sleeping flat on your back is how people have slept for thousands of years. It aligns your spine (providing the mattress is suitable), but not everyone finds sleeping flat comfortable, and it invokes pain and snoring in some people.
An adjustable bed lets you sleep with an elevated head, legs, or both, at various inclinations, providing ultimate adjustability.
Why would you want to do this? The answer is comfort. Sleeping flat works for some people, but not everyone. Some people struggle to sleep without elevation, so some sleep with many pillows.
Adjustable beds also improve mobility by making it easier to get in and out of bed, improve breathing by opening up the airway, and improve circulation by making it easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the body.
Here’s a rundown of the health benefits of adjustable beds:
It is estimated we spend a third of our lives asleep. Sleep is as essential to our health as food, water, and exercise; only during sleep can our brain and body recover, so a stormy night’s sleep makes us sluggish and groggy.
Anything that helps you sleep is good for your health. Adjustable beds help you sleep by increasing comfort and reducing tossing and turning.
A bed that lifts your upper body enhances mobility by making it easier to get in and out of bed. If you struggle to get in and out of bed, an adjustable bed lets you create a position on your bed that reduces strain and stress.
People with arthritis, sore joints, muscle aches, and a bad back will appreciate the additional mobility an adjustable bed provides.
Several studies have looked into the effects of elevated sleeping on breathing. This study found that the head of the bed when elevated sleeping, reduces sleep apnea by preventing airway collapse, while this study found the same for apnea and snoring.
If you or your partner snores and struggles to breathe in bed, sleeping with your head elevated could improve your symptoms.
Circulation problems in the legs and feet are common in bed. Many doctors recommend people with oedema (feet swelling) sleep with their feet elevated to improve circulation, but this isn’t easy with only pillows and cushions.
An adjustable bed makes it easy to raise the feet above heart level, and the legs cannot fall flat while asleep.
Relief from back pain
An adjustable bed could transform your life if you suffer from back pain. You can relieve pressure on your lower, middle, and upper back by angling your upper body, improving breathing and mobility.
Adjustable beds relieve lower back pain because a pivoted sleeping position reduces hip and spine pressure.
Reduced stress and anxiety
When you are stressed and anxious, an uncomfortable bed can exasperate your anxiety, making you toss and turn. An adjustable bed makes it easier to get comfortable, giving you one less thing to feel stressed about.
Because adjustable beds are tuned for comfort, they can also improve your relationship with your bedroom, making it a nicer place to spend time.
What’s the best type of mattress for an adjustable bed?
With an adjustable bed, you can find your best sleeping position quickly. However, finding the best mattress for an adjustable bed can take longer.
The best mattress shouldn’t be too thick, affecting its flexibility and durability.
Features you need for an adjustable mattress.
- Flexibility- the mattress needs to be flexible to move with the bed base.
- Durability- the mattress needs to bend with the bed and return quickly to the normal position.
- Comfort and support- a vital feature of a good mattress; it will help provide a good night’s sleep while offering support to your body and reducing pressure from pain.
- Memory foam mattresses- offer increased flexibility, moulding to your body shape through the heat to soften the mattress to provide comfort and support to ease aches and pains. They also retain body heat which is great for our cold winter months.
- Latex mattresses– are flexible, but in contrast to memory foam, they can return to their original position much more quickly. Instead of using body heat to soften, they use body weight to mould and shape your body to relieve pressure points.
- Innerspring mattresses- are not all compatible, as bending the mattress could result in broken springs. If you prefer springs, add a pocket sprung and a memory foam mattress topper for extra comfort.
- Hybrid mattress- a pocket sprung base topped with memory foam, is a good compromise between spring and memory foam.
- Orthopaedic mattress- features grooves or air chambers cut into the foam, which soften the mattress to fully support more tricky areas for your upper and lower back.
- Castellated foam mattresses- these are the best as they are more flexible. The grooves in the base foam enable the mattress to bend and adjust freely with reduced strain on the foam.
The best sleep positions when using an adjustable bed
If you are in a position that keeps your spine straight and distributes your weight evenly, there is no right way to sleep in an adjustable bed. But some positions are helpful
This is one of the most common and healthiest ways to sleep, as it keeps your airways clear, reduces the risk of snoring and sleep apnea, and keeps your spine straight. But sleeping on an adjustable bed can lessen your hips and neck pressure.
This is the second most common way to sleep as it can improve your posture and spinal alignment, relieving back pain. However, it puts a lot of pressure on your lower back and neck, so an adjustable bed you can lie on an incline will relieve the stress.
This is where you change your position throughout the night, so you need a bed with good support. You have better circulation, spinal alignment, and decreased snoring, but you often have issues with your neck and back, so an adjustable bed gives you the freedom to sleep to your needs.
Although it does decrease snoring, or if you suffer from sleep apnoea, a minor common position can lead to poor posture and muscle/joint stiffness. We don’t suggest an adjustable bed for this position, as elevating your head and feet can pressure your spine.
Head Raised Position
Keeping your airways open and your spine straight helps reduce snoring or acid reflux.
This helps improve blood circulation, lessening the swelling in your legs, lower back pain, and knee pain.
Head and Feet Raised
This enables you to promote an even weight distribution, allowing better posture and improving spinal alignment. Getting in and out of bed in this position is also easier.
This is good for those suffering from back pain, joint issues, or sore muscles, as it evenly distributes your weight and relieves pressure points.