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Are Mattresses and Pillows Enough to Help You Sleep Better?

It’s not unusual to have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, which is why there are so many products that claim to be able to help. Among those products are an enormous variety of mattresses and pillows, all claiming to be able to help give incredible improvements to your sleep.

But do they? Below, we’ll take a look at how effective mattresses and pillows can be in improving your sleep. We’ll also give some other, research-backed tips you can follow that can help you get better rest, too.

Can Mattresses Help Improve Sleep?

Yes, an appropriate mattress can help improve your sleep. There have been several studies that focus on whether or not changing your mattress really makes a difference. Studies seem to suggest that a medium-firm mattress is consistently one of the best options for having more comfortable sleep. 

Keep in mind, this isn’t a blanket solution. For starters, you should choose a mattress that feels most comfortable to you, and there may be reasons why a medium-firm mattress doesn’t feel quite right. In general, you should focus on a mattress that provides proper support and spine alignment without putting too much pressure on joints and vertebrae. 

There’s also a little variety among studies. For example, one study recommended a medium-firm pillow, but also provided the caveat that a self-adjusted mattress may give better results. 

Should I Get a New Mattress to Help Sleep Better?

Even though a mattress could improve your sleep, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to replace your current mattress or spend several thousand dollars on a boutique option. You need to make sure that the reason why you’re struggling to sleep can be addressed by a better mattress. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if a new mattress is the solution:

  • Are you uncomfortable in bed? If you have a hard time getting comfortable when you go to bed, or you find yourself struggling to get comfortable (despite otherwise being tired and able to fall asleep), then you might want to consider a better mattress.

Do you suspect a bad mattress is the cause of pain? Do you wake up with a stiff neck, shoulders or back? Does this pain subside as you loosen up throughout the day? Can you sleep elsewhere and wake up feeling fine? If you suspect that your mattress is the root cause for your pain, then definitely consider getting a new one.

A Mattress Can’t Solve All Sleep Issues

In fact, a mattress can’t address the majority of factors that may be preventing you from getting good sleep. If you have general chronic pain not caused by a mattress, then a new mattress isn’t going to help much. It also won’t help resolve chronic anxiety, and it can’t do much for sleep disorders, like insomnia.

If you can get a good idea of why you can’t sleep well, it will help prevent you from spending thousands of dollars you don’t really need to spend.

Can Pillows Help Improve Sleep?

We’ve talked about mattresses, but can pillows help you sleep? Yes, a better pillow can help you sleep. Research suggests that an ideal pillow is one that is comfortable to the user and helps keep the cervical spine aligned. This could be an orthopedic pillow with a unique shape to cradle your head, or other pillow types like rubber or spring pillows.

Just like with mattresses, there’s not an objective “best pillow” that’s available. Customers should choose a pillow that has a comfortable shape, a comfortable feel, and keeps at a comfortable temperature (not too hot and not too cold).

Should I Get a New Pillow to Help Sleep Better?

Getting a new pillow isn’t a magic bullet to fix your sleeping issues. If you’re thinking about getting a new pillow to help your sleep, make sure you ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your pillow uncomfortable? This is an easy way to determine if you need a new pillow. If you actively find your current pillow uncomfortable, then of course you should consider getting a new pillow!
  • Do you suspect your pillow is causing poor sleep? Even if your pillow isn’t obviously uncomfortable, you could still be making a poor pillow choice. If you wake up with a stiff neck or shoulders, tension headaches, or believe that your pillow is otherwise encouraging poor sleep posture, then you should consider getting a new pillow.

Is your pillow too hot or too cold? Temperature is a huge factor in how well we sleep. If you find that your pillow gets too hot or too cold in the middle of the night, causing you to wake up and having trouble getting back to sleep, you may want to consider another pillow.

A New Pillow Can’t Solve All Sleep Issues

Just like a mattress, a better pillow can only do so much to help with sleep issues. If you have a general sleep disorder (like insomnia), a new pillow won’t do much, nor will it help if you struggle with anxiety and racing thoughts when you’re trying to sleep. A pillow can help relieve pain if a worse pillow is causing it, but a pillow won’t help with general, chronic pain.

Tips on Improving Your Sleep

A new mattress or pillow might be able to help your sleep, but there are several other things you can do to take charge of your sleep quality:

Improve Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene refers to how “hygienic” your sleep area and habits are. There’s a lot of behaviors that can be classified as good sleep hygiene, but some of the most common ones are:

  • Making sure to turn off screens and bright lights around an hour before you plan on trying to sleep
  • Only sleeping or having sex in bed (avoid watching tv or lounging where you sleep)
  • Avoid eating late, especially foods that may cause gastric distress
  • Avoiding caffeine at least six hours before you plan on trying to sleep

These kinds of tips can help improve your sleep dramatically. We recommend trying to improve sleep hygiene before making a significant investment in an orthopedic pillow or a new, high-quality mattress. 

Exercise Regularly

While most people wouldn’t argue that exercise is generally good for you, many don’t realize how good for you it can really be. Research suggests that exercise can be an effective tool in improving your sleep (especially if you’re an older adult). 

If you know you don’t exercise much and are thinking about seeing if it can improve your sleep, just make sure to finish exercising around 1-2 hours before you plan on trying to sleep. Research suggests that you should start to see the benefits of improved sleep quickly, sometimes even on the same day you exercised.

Don’t Use Alcohol as a Sleep Aid

Avoiding alcohol at bedtime is often listed as a part of sleep hygiene, but it’s a common mistake people make. Alcohol is often used as an aid to help people fall asleep, and while it does have a sedative effect, it’s actually terrible for sleep. Research has shown correlations between drinking alcohol at night and increased sleep disruptions, lower sleep quality, and sleep duration.

Consider CBD

If you have consistent sleep problems and think you want a sleep aid, then you may want to consider CBD. CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is a compound that is naturally found in hemp, a kind of cannabis. CBD products are legal in most countries (including the U.S.A. and the U.K.).

CBD is often used to help improve sleep, and there’s a lot of reasons customers look to CBD for help. Research suggests that it can help manage anxiety (which can impact your sleep), and if chronic pain is a reason you’ve struggled to get good sleep, then CBD may be able to help, too.

If you struggle to sleep because of a potential sleep disorder, like insomnia, then early research suggests that CBD could improve your sleep. Remember, the research into CBD and its relation to sleep is new, and scientists are still learning how CBD affects your sleep.

How to Use CBD to Improve Sleep

If you think that you may want to try CBD, then you’re at the right place! We’re the CBD experts, and know the right ways (and the wrong ways) to approach CBD for the first time. Take a look at the tips below to understand how to choose a CBD product and to use it for sleep.

You should always talk with your doctor before starting to take CBD, especially because it can interact with certain kinds of prescription medications.

Choose the Right Form of CBD

There are several different ways you can take CBD, and depending on what kind of help with sleep you’re looking for, one form may be a better choice than the other:

  • Transdermal patches: A transdermal CBD patch is applied directly to your skin and sticks with a gentle adhesive. The CBD is absorbed through your skin in a slow, steady, and long-lasting dose. If you have trouble sleeping through the night (but not falling asleep), then you may want to try a transdermal patch. 
  • CBD capsules: A CBD capsule is swallowed, just like a normal pill, where the CBD is absorbed through your digestive system. It’s another great solution to help sleep through the night (but not necessarily falling asleep, since it takes time to take effect). 
  • Inhaled CBD: Inhaled CBD is usually done through a vaporizer, where CBD liquid is heated, vapor is created, and then inhaled. CBD is absorbed through the lungs in this method, so the effects are felt quickly. If you have trouble falling asleep, then you should consider trying inhaled CBD. 

Choose the Right CBD Formula

In addition to how you take CBD, there are several different kinds of formulas you can choose from. For example, PhenoLife has three catered formulas that are designed to target specific problems, like anxiety, pain, or general sleep issues. If you know for sure what is causing you sleep problems, then consider trying a formula that targets those specific issues.

Take CBD Daily

Regardless of what CBD formula or product type you start with, you need to take it daily. It can take time for CBD to saturate your body, and if you stop taking it after only one or two days, then you may never experience the full relief CBD can provide. It can take several weeks of using CBD to feel the full benefits, so be sure to take it everyday.

Adjust Dosage as Needed

When you first get started taking CBD, you’ll start with a very low dose (think a single patch, a single capsule, or just a few puffs of CBD a day). You want to do this in order to avoid side-effects, which are generally mild but can still be uncomfortable, like an upset stomach or dry mouth.

However, that low starting dose is not likely your ideal dose, so after you have taken CBD for a few weeks, you can start to increase your dose without a big risk of side-effects. Slowly increase your dose until you start to get the benefits you want, but you should go over 70 mg of CBD a day without talking to your doctor about it.

Mattresses, Pillows, and Sleep Takeaway

Mattresses and pillows do play a role in how well we sleep. However, upgrading your mattress or pillow will only provide benefits if your mattress or pillow are already the cause of why you’re struggling to sleep well. They won’t help with issues like:

  • Anxiety, stress, or racing thoughts
  • Chronic pain (unrelated to the pillow or mattress)
  • General sleep disorders, like insomnia

There are steps you can take to improve your sleep, like improving sleep hygiene, getting regular exercise, and avoiding alcohol as a sleep aid. You can also try CBD, and we talked about some tips on how to get started using CBD for the first time to help with sleep.

If you’re interested in trying CBD, but have questions, we would love to connect with you. You can reach out to the PhenoLife experts through our online form, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about CBD or our products.

Don’t have questions but are ready to get shopping? You can visit the products we have available in our online store.

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