A good night’s rest

Sleeping on the right kind of mattress is crucial for the body and mind

Published: 13th March 2012 10:49 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:34 PM   |  A+A-


BANGALORE: It is a known fact that a good night’s rest can do wonders for the body and mind. But how does one ensure that the night is well spent? Very often people take into account all possible things and activities that can or could induce a peaceful sleep, in the bargain, they end up overlooking the most obvious factor — the bed.

It goes without saying that if the mind or the body  is stressed, sleep is a distant thought. However, by ensuring the right kind of mattress used, the distant thought can be turned into a reality. “India’s economy today is rising. With the disposable income, people tend to invest in a lot of things like beautiful houses, luxurious cars and other such commodities. But they end up forgetting and neglecting one of the most basics necessities, a place where they spend a major part of their time — the bed,” opines Anand B Nichani, Managing Director Polyflex.

Mattresses have come a long way, from the cotton filling ones to the coir, from the foam to the latest, memory foam. “Contrary to the general belief, that cotton mattress is supposed to be good for the back, it is in fact probably more harmful. This is because of the uneven surface area, which in turn, puts pressure on various parts of the body. On the other hand, the coir mattresses that are made using rubber tend to sag after a certain amount of usage. This also does not help the cause. The memory foam on the other hand, takes the shape of the body when used, and goes back to its original shape as soon as the pressure is removed,” he informs.

Anand says that one of the biggest advantages of such mattresses is that, it moulds itself according to the contours of the body and provides support and cushioning at the same time. “The West has accepted the foam mattress with arms wide open, while in India there is still some amount of speculation,” he adds. One of the basic fundamental beliefs that people in India hold close to their hearts is that a hard surface is the cure for all back and spinal problems. That may not be the case. When looked upon logically, sleeping on a hard surface tends to apply pressure on certain parts of the body. This is probably why very often people wake up complaining of sore body parts after spending the night on the floor or a hard bed. “Instead if one uses the foam mattress, the instances of sore body parts can reduce dramatically,” he says.

Developed in 1966 under a contract by NASA’s Ames Research Centre to improve the safety of aircraft cushions, the open cell technology of the foam helps in air circulation. As a result, mildew and house dust mites may not occur as frequently. Hence, the asthma attacks may also be less frequent and severe.

Anand also cautions against foam mattresses made using additives. “Foam made using additives tends to crack and crumble after a while. One of the best way to check for real foam is to try the vacuum test. Pure foam can be rolled after removing the air from it, but foam made using additives will crack immediately if the same is tried with it. Another deciding factor is the price range. Pure foam is valued at a much higher rate that its counterparts,” he adds.

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