Many claims for easing health and sleep problems have been made by overly enthusiastic memory foam mattress advocates. Separating truth from hype is easy. The claim must rest on memory foam mattresses' ability to prevent pressure points when warmed by body heat while you're sleeping or resting.
So which of these conditions effecting your health and sleep can be helped with memory foam?
Bed Sores - TRUE. Prolonged bed rest or sitting can cause pressure points and sores that do not heal well. Memory foam mattresses are highly recommended for bedridden patients. Wheelchair memory foam cushions and pads also prevent these sores.
Lower back pain - TRUE. Back problems are a major health and sleep issue. Many people, including my sister (a doctor), consider sleeping on memory foam an important part of lower back pain treatment. Memory foam supports your spine and back without any muscle involvement. Back muscles are able to truly relax during sleep on a memory foam mattress.
Fibromyalgia - TRUE. Fibromyalgia patients can have health and sleep problems because their skin is painfully sensitive. Another symptom can be costochondritis, or painful inflammation of the chest cartilage. A good memory foam mattress will prevent painful pressure points that can wake fibro patients up. And better, longer sleep may help reduce pain throughout the day. Many doctors recommend a memory foam mattress as part of fibromyalgia treatment.
Costochondritis - TRUE This rib pain can be helped by the evenly supportive effects of a quality memory foam mattress. Click the link to find more natural ways to treat this condition.
Lupus - Maybe. Lupus patients often have trouble sleeping due to pain throughout their body. Some have noticed some improvements in their health and sleep using memory foam mattresses and toppers because they relieve pressure points. Environmental triggers may be implicated in lupus. If you suffer from lupus, make sure that the visco foam that you're sleeping on is newer than 2005. Before that time, memory foam products were fireproofed with brominated flame retardant chemicals, which are known neurotoxins. For more information on lupus check out Lissa's World.
Sleep disorders - Maybe. The most common sleep complaints are snoring and insomnia. Memory foam's only effect on insomnia is that it allows you to relax your muscles as the foam supports your body. There are many other ways to get sleep help in addition to sleeping on memory foam.
Snoring is a condition in the "definitely maybe" category. Snoring can be reduced or eliminated by sleeping on your side or stomach. A memory foam mattress or topper can reduce pressure points on arms and legs when you're lying on your side. This makes it less likely that you'll roll onto your back. You can also buy memory foam pillows that claim to reduce snoring by keeping your head in one position. Some people find these anti-snoring pillows effective and some don't. The best way to find out is to try it for yourself. Heck, it's safer and cheaper than surgery.
Arthritis pain relief - Maybe. Whether a memory foam mattress will relieve your arthritis pain depends on which joints are hurting you. People with neck arthritis or pain in other major joints like hips and knees will be helped more by memory foam's contoured support than those whose arthritis is in their hands or feet. A good night's sleep does help the body manage pain better by 'resetting' certain neurochemical processes that make you sensitive to pain.
Bursitis - Maybe. Sleeping on memory foam mattresses can be a significant part of bursitis treatment of hips and shoulders. If you've got bursitis caused by sleeping on your side on a conventional mattress, you probably want to get a full memory foam mattress rather than a simple topper or pad. You'll need the even contoured support that a good memory foam mattress can provide. If you simply cannot afford the full mattress, get the topper. But don't buy one that is any thinner than 3 inches.
Tendonitis - Maybe. Sleeping on memory foam as a part of tendonitis treatment will work if the sore tendon is located in one of the major joints that will be supported by sleeping on a memory foam mattress. Otherwise the only benefit is the greater resistance to pain and slightly less inflammation that you get with a good night's sleep.
Aging skin - uh...sorta. As we age the quality and quantity of uninterruped sleep deminishes. Lack of sleep will prematurely age you and your skin. But sleeping on a memory foam mattress is not a cure for your wrinkles.
Hangnails, excess body odor and cancer - NO. Get yourself to a real doctor for your health and sleep problems and stop worrying the Maniac. Shoo...Go!
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