What are pressure points?
Pressure points. We all have them. Points on our bodies where our weight is distributed. Places that can be used to relieve muscle tension, or are vulnerable to being attacked by a Kung Fu master who can paralyze you in the blink of an eye. Pressure points have a big influence on our sleep, too!
In the sleep world, pressure points are those spots where all your weight is distributed on the mattress while you sleep. Typically there are 3 main pressure points while you sleep. These are your shoulders, hips, and knees. These are the places where you are going to want the most conformity and support. You want a mattress to give under your pressure points and support you in the in-between areas like your sides and legs.
Most people assume that certain types of mattresses are good for alleviating certain types of pain. Such as a firm mattress being able to relieve you of back pain. But the truth is, you need a mattress that conforms to YOUR pressure points in the best way possible. People are highly individual; no two are the same. So how can you believe that there's a one-size-fits-all solution to pain? Everybody’s pressure points distribute weight differently, and it is up to your comfort level as to what best helps you.
A good rule of thumb for finding the perfect pressure point balance is to pay attention to how your spine feels. If you are a side sleeper, your spine should be straight, not dipping or arching in between your pressure points. If you are a back sleeper, you'll want your mattress to keep your back straight without stiffening or stretching you. You want to position yourself to be as natural as possible.
For some, memory foam might feel like a perfect fit, others love pillowtop, and some prefer classic spring beds. It's really up to you what suits you best. For instance, someone with a bad back may love a latex mattress for its support and the slight pushback of the material to support their pressure points and take the weight off of their spine. Side sleepers may prefer a memory foam option for the ability of the foam to sink and conform to the hard shoulder and hip areas.
One more reminder: these rules are not universal. It's important to consider your own personal needs before consigning yourself to the blanket “bed advice” systems that are floating around. There are plenty of mattresses to go around, and with a little research and effort, you can sleep better.
June 11, 2018