If you’re struggling with sleep because of joint pain from an injury, arthritis, or fibromyalgia, a memory foam mattress that contours to your body can be a great choice for relieving pressure points and improving spinal alignment.
Memory foam mattresses, which are made from petroleum-based polyurethane and other chemicals, are primarily characterized by two properties:
- Viscosity – the material moves slowly and reluctantly when pressure is applied.
- Elasticity – the mattress material’s ability to change shape but return to its original form.
While you shop memory foam mattress, you may encounter a wide range of variation in viscosity, elasticity and density from different mattress brands. You can judge the density of a mattress by its assigned compression ratings, and in general, you can expect higher density mattresses to have a longer lifespan than lower density ones. During your search, you’ll likely se memory foam out there: 1) traditional memory foam 2) air cool memory foam and 3) gel memory foam.
But there wasn’t always this much diversity and complexity in materials– read on to learn about memory foam’s interesting origin. To learn more about the material structure of memory foam, head over to this blog post.
The History of Memory Foam
Though it’s been around for decades, memory foam has skyrocketed in popularity as a mattress type only recently with the rise of the ecommerce “mattress-in-a-box” industry. Viscoelastic foam, originally called temper foam, was invented in 1966 by NASA as a material for safer shock absorption during space travel. Since then, spin-offs of temper foam have been used in everything from helmets, seats and saddles to hospital beds to help prevent pressure sores.
Despite the many benefits and applications of memory foam, you might find after buying this type of mattress that you now have a new problem: overheating at night and sweating while sleeping. Memory foam mattresses are notorious for retaining body heat. If you find yourself running into the problem of overheating and excessive sweating at night on your memory foam mattress, here are a few tips to help you find relief.
1. Use BedJet for ventilation
The main reason you’re feeling hot and waking up sweaty on a memory foam mattress is due to trapped heat and body moisture as your body sinks into the viscoelastic foam and becomes “hugged”. The BedJet, an air-powered bed climate comfort system, has powerful ventilation to help alleviate the trapped heat and humidity in your memory foam bed. It will install on any size or type of memory foam mattress and circulate air under your bedding to wick away trapped heat and moisture.
2. Rethink the fabrics in your sleep environment
One way you might sleep cooler on your memory foam mattress is to change (or remove altogether) some of the fabrics in your sleep environment.
- Blankets and sheets. What types of sheets and bedding are you sleeping with? The blankets and covers you might have been using with a traditional spring mattress might not work as well with your new memory foam mattress. Your extra heavy blanket or thick comforter may not be necessary anymore, and you might benefit from lesser thread count cooling sheets for more breathability.
- Pajamas and sleepwear. When it comes to sleeping on memory foam and reducing excessive sweating at night, the lesser the sleepwear and the lighter the fabric of your pajamas – the better. Steer clear of heavy fabrics like wool and flannel and opt for light, airy cooling cotton pajamas.
3. Replace your bed frame for better airflow
While you can’t change much about the air flow in the areas where your body makes contact with your memory foam mattress, you can improve overall breathability of the memory foam with the right bed frame. According to SleepAdvisor.org, the best bed frames for ventilation are ones that have equally spaced slats. This type of frame allows plenty of room for the air to flow freely from the underside of the mattress.
4. Get a cover or cooling pad for bed
While a cooling sleep pad won’t solve the problem of trapped heat and humidity in your bed, putting a cover or light mattress topper - like a Sleep Number Cooling Pad or one from another brand - on top of your memory foam mattress may help to reduce sinkage or “hug”. Although a temperature control mattress topper like a dual temp mattress pad can be a big investment, the less you’re sinking into your mattress, the less heat can be absorbed by the mattress. When used in conjunction with BedJet’s convective and evaporative methods of cooling, you may find your hot sleep problem is completely solved.
5. Cool Your Body Down
Another approach to getting cooler sleep on a memory foam mattress is actually cooling yourself down. Here are a few tips shared around the web for lowering your body temperature before bed.
- Take a cool shower before going to bed to get your body temperature down and ready for sleep.
- Eat dinner earlier in the day. Don’t eat right before you go to bed as digestion can raise your body temperature.
- Drink ice water before bed
- Don’t drink alcohol before bed
- Put your sheets in the freezer briefly before getting into bed – sounds odd, but many people swear by this!
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