Flopping down on our bed after a long work day is a bliss few things can replace. We spend a good deal of our lives in our beds, so it's only appropriate that we find the best match for our tastes. The match made in heaven may have been intoxicating at first, but after years of prolonged use, our mattresses can do more harm than good. Sleeping on an older bed isn't good for anyone, least of all you, and we're here to tell you why.

1. Old Mattresses Increase Stress

a woman sleeping in bed under skylight

Our beds are meant to give us comfort, not create added stress. While this is true for most mattresses out there, the older your bed gets, the harder it'll be on your stress levels. Studies have proven that when people sleep on new bedding, their sleep quality increased, and back discomfort lowered. Reduced back discomfort is a serious pro when trying to fall asleep since the pain may be related to stress-related symptoms.

2. They Collect Undesirable Things

We've all heard the stories of dust mites, dead skin cells, and even bed bugs infesting our mattresses. In fact, experts are still talking about it now. Glen Needham, a retired professor of entomology at Ohio State University told Slate that "every mattress is a crime scene in terms of how it gets inoculated with mites. All you have to do is get a female dust mite to start laying eggs, and pretty soon you have a starter set going in your mattress." That alone should be enough to entice us into cleaning our mattresses, but sometimes life gets in the way and we put it off. You really shouldn't though. Experts recommend cleaning your mattress twice a year, and that's time we can all spare.

3. Older Mattresses Can Mean Less Sleep

woman yawning at desk

Tossing and turning on an old mattress isn't going to do you any favors. You're not only turning up the dial on your stress levels, but you're also getting fewer hours of shut-eye. On top of being drained in the morning, fewer hours of sleep can lead to getting sick more often as less downtime weakens the immune system. In an interview with WebMD, Diwakar Balachandran, MD, director of the Sleep Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston said not sleeping enough can cause fevers. "One of the things that happens when we sleep is that we can get a better fever response. This is why fevers tend to rise at night. But if we are not sleeping, our fever reaction is not primed, so we may not be waging war on infection as best we can." He added that less than six hours of sleep a night tends to raise mortality rates.

4. Less Sleep Negatively Affects Our Appearance

a woman looking at her eyes in the mirror

Beauty sleep is a real thing and when you're sleeping on an old mattress, you're not getting enough of it. WebMD spoke with several dermatologists who revealed that more sleep equals fewer wrinkles, a better complexion, brighter eyes, and healthier-looking hair. The skin repairs itself while we sleep, so if we're not catching enough Z's, our skin will inevitably suffer.

5. Less Sleep Can Cause Heart Problems

Studies have shown that the less sleep you get, the greater the risk you face of heart complications such as hypertension, coronary heart disease, a greater increase in heart rate, and diabetes mellitus. They specify that people shouldn't get too much sleep either, but you're causing potential damage to your heart by not sleeping enough. Generally speaking, people aged 18-64 need anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

Beauty sleep is a real thing and when you're sleeping on an old mattress, you're not getting enough of it. WebMD spoke with several dermatologists who revealed that more sleep equals fewer wrinkles, a better complexion, brighter eyes, and healthier-looking hair. The skin repairs itself while we sleep, so if we're not catching enough Z's, our skin will inevitably suffer.

6. Your Allergies And Asthma Can Worsen

3d rendering of dust mite

Sleeping on an older mattress could also make your allergies worse. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America linked dust mites as a trigger for allergy symptoms including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Cough
  • Itchy skin

It's recommended that you put hypoallergenic covers on your mattress to prevent your allergies from flaring up.

They also discovered that dust mites could trigger your asthma, which causes difficulty breathing and trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath.

The older your mattress, the greater the risk of more dust mites and dead skin cells. All it's going to do is make it harder for you to sleep by irritating pre-existing conditions. You should aim to put hypoallergenic covers on your mattress to prevent your allergies from flaring up.

7. Old Mattresses Become Uncomfortable

woman tired in bed

A running gag in many sitcoms is when a character tries to sleep on an old bed but complains of springs and lumps making things uncomfortable. It's funny in the show, but it's not just a comedy trope. Older mattresses lose their firmness over time and the longer you sleep on it, the more susceptible it is to become lumpy and saggy. Mattresses last a good 8-10 years, so if your time is running out you may want to tag in a brand new bed.

8. Your Memory Could Suffer

Another con to fewer hours of shut-eye is that your memory could suffer. Studies have shown that "sleep has been shown to trigger overnight learning on a motor-sequence memory task, while equivalent waking periods produce no such improvement." We retain memories better when we're in a deep sleep (REM sleep) and if we never reach that state, our memories will suffer.

Final Notes

Mattresses last for a good decade before they need to be replaced. As you reap the benefits of your mattress, make sure to clean it properly so you can get a good night's sleep without triggering your asthma or allergies. If you notice your bed start to sag or develop lumps, or if you're in pain when you wake up, it might be time for a new bed.

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