Sleep is one of the most valuable parts of your health routine, allowing your body to rest and heal. If you’re not getting quality sleep because of health problems, you may be looking for alternatives. Could adjustable beds help you to sleep better?
There are various health and sleep benefits to using an adjustable bed. They can reduce sleep apnea, snoring, the effects of gastric reflux, back pain, and inflammation. Adjustable beds can also increase circulation, help you sleep better, and improve general independence.
In this guide, we discuss the benefits of adjustable beds. We cover in detail the health and sleep benefits of these tools and also discuss any potential downsides. Overall, we help answer the question, “are adjustable beds worth it?”.
What Is an Adjustable Bed?
Adjustable beds are bed frames that allow you to change the angle of your head and knees. They have a mechanism that you use to adjust the incline of the pillow section. They also usually have a curved section that elevates your knees.
You can elevate your head between 30 and 45 degrees with an elevated bed. Combined with the raised knees, it is often more comfortable for lying and sleeping than a regular flat mattress. People who have suffered an injury or who live with chronic back pain often find relief from an adjustable bed.
Are Adjustable Beds Good for Your Health?
The short answer: yes!
There are many health and sleep benefits to using an adjustable bed, all backed by scientific studies. An adjustable bed can be particularly beneficial if you live with sleep apnea, gastric reflux, snoring, back pain, or other health issues.
Health Benefits of Adjustable Beds
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, can be a painful, chronic condition. It happens when stomach acid travels up your esophagus, burning the inside of your chest. Many people call it heartburn because it feels hot and uncomfortable inside the chest.
Acid reflux can happen because of a hernia. It can also occur if you are overweight, a smoker, pregnant, or from dietary choices. Lying down or sleeping on your back can worsen the symptoms of heartburn, particularly if it happens after you eat.
Heartburn can be uncomfortable and can cause long-term health complications. If you have many incidents, it can damage your esophagus, causing it to narrow, inflame, or even develop cancer. It can also damage your respiratory system, teeth, and even your voice.
Adjustable beds can alleviate acid reflux. While your head is elevated, the acid cannot travel as far up your esophagus. This gives your body more time to get rid of it and prevents exposure inside your chest and throat. This can reduce your discomfort and overall reduce the frequency of it happening.
Adjustable beds can help you sleep more easily if you have back pain from an injury or chronic condition. Because you can elevate your neck and knees, it causes less pressure to your spine and muscles.
There are a few conditions that can be improved by using an adjustable bed:
Various other back pains and conditions can benefit from an adjustable bed. If you are unsure about your particular illness, you should check with your healthcare provider.
Circulation and Inflammation
Many adjustable beds allow you to prop up your knees and elevate your legs. This can have multiple health benefits, particularly improving circulation and reducing inflammation.
When your legs are higher than or level with your chest, gravity helps blood flow through your body. This movement of blood can also remove excess fluid that can accumulate and cause inflammation. Lastly, it can lower your blood pressure because the blood doesn’t get stuck in your legs.
This can be beneficial if you have or live with any of the following conditions:
Sleep Benefits of Adjustable Beds
Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep condition. It refers to when you stop and start breathing several times while sleeping. This usually happens because your throat muscles are overly relaxed or because your brain is not controlling your breathing muscles.
It usually causes loud snoring and also has a host of other health complications. Sleep apnea can reduce your quality of sleep, making you feel more tired during the day. It can also increase your blood pressure and risks of heart disease, diabetes, liver problems, or metabolic disorders. Overall, it puts your health at risk in the long-term.
Adjustable beds can reduce the effects of sleep apnea because they elevate your head. The head elevation is non-intrusive enough that it doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, but it can stabilize the upper airways. If you use a CPAP machine for your sleep apnea, an adjustable bed can reduce your reliance and symptoms.
This is also true for people with paralysis and sleep apnea. The raised sleeping position allows the pharynx to operate correctly, which reduces the symptoms of this sleep disorder.
Overall, by reducing sleep apnea symptoms, adjustable beds can improve your sleep quality and minimize long-term health complications.
Snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea or a standalone condition. It is caused by the movement of air across your throat tissue, producing the annoying and often loud sound. It may happen because of your throat structure, sleeping position, allergies, illness, weight, or other factors.
Other than being annoying for your sleeping partner, snoring also has negative health implications. It can leave you feeling more tired during the day, more irritable, and reduce your concentration. It may also increase your risk for heart disease.
Elevating your neck can often prevent snoring. Adjustable beds can do this by raising your head and improving airflow through your throat. The angle is enough to reduce snoring and little enough that it doesn’t affect your comfort or sleep quality.
Other Benefits of Adjustable Beds
Adjustable beds can help you be more independent if you struggle to get out of bed by yourself. Because you can raise parts of the bed, it can help you stand up without help from a family member or carer. Therefore, you can mobilize more effectively.
They can also generally increase comfort when compared to a regular mattress. If you are getting a poor night’s sleep, it could be worth seeing if an adjustable bed can improve the quality.
Are There Downsides to Adjustable Beds?
There are a few potential downsides to buying and using an adjustable bed. You should consider each of these factors when deciding if the product is worth it for you.
Adjustable beds can be expensive. They can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the model. While the same can be said for premium mattresses, you will be hard-pressed to find a very cheap adjustable bed.
Adjustable beds are significantly heavier and bulkier than regular mattresses. This could be problematic if you need to move house or rearrange your furniture. It will also take up more room, so it could feel cramped in a small bedroom.
The frame of an adjustable bed has more mechanisms than a regular bed frame. Therefore, it might creak or make other sounds. If you toss and turn while you sleep, this could annoy you or your sleeping partner.
Adjustable beds may have different dimensions to standard mattresses. Therefore, it could be challenging to find compatible bedding like sheets, blankets, and quilts. You may need to purchase from a specialty store, which can be more expensive.
In conclusion, an adjustable bed could be worth it for you if you have a medical condition that prevents you from sleeping. Suppose you feel uncomfortable from heartburn, back pain, or general swelling. In that case, the high neck and legs design could alleviate some symptoms.
Adjustable beds can also reduce or eliminate sleep-related disorders like sleep apnea or general snoring. Because your neck is higher up, the air can flow more easily through your throat. Therefore, you can get a better quality of sleep and avoid long-term problems.
There are a few downsides to adjustable beds. They are larger, heavier, more expensive, and more difficult to buy bedding than regular mattresses. You should consider if these negatives are substantial enough to outweigh the health benefits.
Overall, adjustable beds can be helpful but may not be worth it for everyone. If you are still in doubt, you should have a chat with your doctor about your health condition and symptoms.
Using an Adjustable Bed for Back Pain
The influence of head-of-bed elevation in patients with obstructive sleep apnea
Effects of sleep posture on upper airway stability in patients with obstructive sleep apnea
Sitting Posture Decreases Collapsibility of the Passive Pharynx in Anesthetized Paralyzed Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Effect of bed head elevation during sleep in symptomatic patients of nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux
PayPerView: Effects of Posture on Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux
The anti-snoring bed - a pilot study
Elevating Legs: Health Benefits, How To, Precautions
Acid Refluc Disease Symptoms, Causes, Tests and Treatments
Effects of Uncontrolled Heartburn