Dreams Need REM Sleep, REM Sleep Needs a Good Mattress

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Did you have any good dreams last night? Assuming the average person lives to the age of 75, did you know that person will have spent a whopping 6.25 years dreaming?! Pretty incredible. We still don’t know all that much about dreaming. Though many theories exist, it seems that the more we learn, the more questions are raised, and the more old theories get altered or debunked altogether. But what we do know is, if you enjoy paying a visit to Dream-world each night, REM sleep is the key to spending the most time there; And the key to REM sleep is deep, undisturbed slumber. One way to help ensure you are receiving deep REM sleep is with a comfortable mattress that suits your needs. Tossing and turning or waking up because you are warm or have uncomfortable joints is a surefire way to break your sleep cycle and decrease your REM sleep potential. Memory foam mattresses are great for cradling you in consistent contouring to prevent tossing and turning and relieve pressure on joints, though traditional memory foam tends to trap body heat and sleep hot. Gel infused memory foam helps with heat retention, so if you want to be sure you are getting your ~2 hours of dreams each night, and your 6+ years of dreaming over the course of your lifetime, consider a gel-infused memory foam mattress such as Serta’s iComfort series for maximum REM sleep!

Dream on.

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4 comments

  1. The more I learn about REM sleep, the more I realize that I need to do so much better at taking care of my body in terms of sleeping habits. My current mattress has springs and I have been looking into changing that lately. What other benefits besides comfort are common to memory foam mattresses?

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    • I find the topic of sleep and dreaming and how those phenomena affect your brain and waking hours extremely interesting. Something that surprised me in my research is that studies have shown that lack of REM sleep does not seem to produce any noticeable drawbacks to memory or mental function. I thought for sure those who get more REM sleep would be in better mental condition, but the studies I came across claimed to have found little to no difference between those they deprived of REM sleep and those they did not. Curious.

      Comparing memory foam mattresses and innerspring mattresses isn’t as black and white as some people (and companies) sometimes think. These are just two very different approaches to achieving essentially the same goal. I would say that both have pros and cons, and that a lot of what differentiates these mattress types is merely subjective. For example, I just don’t like memory foam mattresses! I have not tried to sleep in every model out there, but I’ve tested a handful and actually took a nap in one, and they just aren’t for me. I think because I’m a very active sleeper, and I move and change position often during the night (I’ll go to bed on my stomach and wake up on my side or back) and my guess is it’s a little harder to move around in the memory foam, which requires more effort, which takes more energy to do while I’m trying to relax.

      But just looking at the facts, memory foam mattresses do usually win in customer satisfaction surveys. They generally provide better pressure relief and contouring, which is especially nice for folks who have back or joint issues and wake up with sore muscles or aches and pains. Memory foam mattresses also tend to have a longer comfort life and overall life. This is NOT always true, but I’ve seen memory foam mattresses with warranties as far as 25 years, whereas 10 is pretty standard for innerspring models. But like with anything, there are good products and bad products. A good quality innerspring will still outperform a low quality memory foam mattress, and vice versa. Where this gets tricky is innerspring mattresses tend to be cheaper, having been around for longer so there is more manufacturing infrastructure in place and the process has been made more efficient over the years. So an innerspring design that has been mastered over a century might cost the same as a brand new start up company’s first shot at a memory foam mattress. So dollar for dollar, you can often find better value in innerspring models.

      And this is not to say that memory foam is superior to innersprings of the same quality, memory foam has cons of its own. Sleeping hot was a big issue with traditional memory foam that you might still come across today. Most companies have realized and began to combat this by infusing cooling gel or using other features, but if I had to pick a memory foam or an innerspring mattress on a hot summer night, I’d go with the innerspring. Another common complaint of memory foam is a “quicksand” like feeling where the indentation caused by the memory foam contouring to your body can be hard to get out of and move around in. Some people hate this (me, for example) while other people (like my wife who sleeps like a log and never moves) don’t see it as a problem at all.

      So it’s almost like comparing apples and oranges. On the one hand, innerspring mattresses tend to be cheaper, have been around longer and therefore the technology has been mastered, and some people just subjectively prefer their feel. Memory foam mattresses tend to provide better contouring and pressure relief, are good for folks who wake up with a sore neck, back, etc. on their innerspring mattress, and generally receive higher customer satisfaction ratings. So the question isn’t really “which is better,” but it’s more like “which is better for YOUR needs and preferences.”

      Your best bet would be to try one out if you know someone who has a memory foam mattress, maybe take a nap in it and see what you think. You could also try testing one out in a showroom. Or you could always do some research, pick one that seems like it’s good for your needs, we’ll ship it out to you, and if you hate it, you can take advantage of our Comfort Guarantee and exchange it for something else (there is a fee to cover return shipping, but that’s not a huge loss considering the price of a new mattress and being sure you enjoy it for the next 10-25 years). And we have experts standing by if you have any questions or want some help choosing a model, so give us a call!

      Thanks for the comment! Hope this helps!

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    • Latex mattresses have a lot of similarities with memory foam. If you’re looking to try something new, latex mattresses are probably the next big thing in the mattress industry today. Hybrid memory foam/innerspring mattresses are also becoming popular, and provide a lot of the benefits of memory foam with the more traditional feel of an innerspring mattress. Either one of those should provide you a new experience while offering the quality comfort needed for good, undisturbed sleep. And be sure to get the right comfort for how you sleep!

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