Help: I’m sleep deprived and don’t know where to turn

Posted by Veronica O'Brien on

The average person will spend about 12,045 days in bed sleeping or trying to sleep throughout their lifetime. That equates to roughly 33 years, which is a substantial amount of time! With a large proportion of our lives spent in bed, it's no wonder that the bedding market, specifically products to supplement mattresses, is booming. We are presented with a myriad of options to enhance our bed's comfort and support quality sleep. Recently, there has been an influx on the emphasis of sleep health in America because sleep is linked too many health outcomes. However, if you're like most, then all of the available options can quickly become overwhelming. Which products will provide the comfort you crave with longevity and durability in mind? What are the differences between seemingly similar products? How can these products hold up with peripatetic individuals? Through extensive research, we've compiled the answers to the above questions in a single place in hopes of taking the sense of overload away from our readers.

Mattress Topper vs. Mattress Pad vs. Mattress Protector

To start, let's break down the main categories of products for mattresses. There are three main categories of products used in conjuncture with a mattress: mattress pads, mattress toppers, and mattress protectors. Mattresses can be pricey, and sometimes owning a personal mattress isn’t an option if students live in college dorms or pre-furnished apartments. Therefore, more and more are turning to supplementary products to enhance their existing mattress or one that they are borrowing.

Mattress Pads are thin layers of fabric that sit on top of the mattress and act as a barrier for potential damage to the mattress. Some mattress pads offer some cushion to the mattress and an added layer of comfort, but their primary role is a barrier. Therefore, if you're seeking a substantial change in your bed's comfort level, then mattress pads won't be helpful.

Mattress toppers are somewhat similar to mattress pads in that they provide a protective barrier for the mattress. Many people use the terms mattress topper and mattress pad interchangeably, but mattress toppers are thicker and provide substantially more comfort. They are used to change the feel of the mattress entirely. For example, if you are stuck with a hard and uncomfortable mattress, mattress toppers can provide a thick plush layer and vice versa. Moreover, if you own a mattress, then a mattress topper can also lengthen the lifespan of your mattress.

Mattress protectors are the least exciting of the bunch, as their sole purpose is to protect the mattress. They wrap around the entire mattress and do not add any additional comfort or support but prevent staining and discoloration from the mattress. You often see mattress protectors used for little kids who are in the midst of potty training.

In sum, if you are searching for mattress protection, look for a mattress pad or mattress protector. If you're searching for an item that will change the way your mattress feels and provide optimal comfort, then search for a mattress topper.

When might you need a mattress topper?

Mattress toppers are ideal for anyone who wants to improve the comfort of their mattress, but we believe every student living in a dorm should invest in a mattress topper. The mattresses found in dorm rooms are manufactured for easy sanitization and durability, not comfort. With discomfort comes lack of sleep, which results in poor academic performance. The best gift that any student can give to themselves is a mattress topper because it's an easy solution to the big problem of bed discomfort. As we said at the beginning of this article, people spend A LOT of time in bed. Students likely spend even more time in their beds in small, cramped dorm rooms because it doubles as a space to read for that Chemistry class. Cognitive psychologists found that we recall information easier when our mood during studying matches our mood during testing. If students are trying to study on an uncomfortable bed, they'll likely face frustrations that won't help them recall the information on test day. Moreover, if those reasons aren't enough to convince you, then consider your living situation --Is it permanent? Mattress toppers aren't permanent fixtures, meaning they can travel with you. Whether you're a student or peripatetic, having a moveable sleep solution product can help ensure that you get great quality sleep no matter where you are.

Popular Types of Mattress Toppers

Mattress toppers are a popular product for those wishing to improve the comfort of their bed, but there are many options. Gel memory foam toppers are a popular option due to their benefits, but another material rising in popularity is copper.

Gel Mattress toppers are known for their cooling properties, as they encourage air circulation and draw warmth away from the body. While also keeping you cool at night, they promote spinal alignment, pressure relief and have slight sinkage for a plushness sensation. These toppers are great if you own a mattress and want an added layer of comfort.

However, comfort is not the only consideration, especially if you live in a college dorm room or rent a pre-furnished apartment. The newer material trend in the mattress topper industry is copper. Yes, copper-like the metal! Copper offers many benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, brain health support, and most importantly, it helps take the "yuck" factor out of sleeping on a borrowed mattress. Copper mattress toppers provide similar benefits as gel toppers in that they provide support, pressure relief and can keep you cool. In addition to these comfort properties, they also have embedded anti-microbial, hypo-allergenic properties and resist bed bugs and mites. Moreover, sometimes when you're living in a college dorm, laundry is a chore and is not always accessible. Copper mattress toppers eliminate odors, so if you go an extra day or two before washing your sheets, it won't cause your dorm to smell.

If you’re looking for a company that specializes in the two, and provides a good-til-graduation guarantee for college students, check out Sleepyhead. Their company values student success and they strive for quality sleep enhancement products. 

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