By Thomas Pere
EVERY human being needs to sleep in order to be healthy. However, many people ignore the importance of having a good bed and mattress and instead invest in sexy night wear or bedspread.
Many complain of discomfort and back pain when they sleep, unaware that an uncomfortable mattress or bed could be the cause.
â€œI realised our bed was horrific when my wife and I spent the weekend in a hotel. We had the best sleep ever,â€ says, William Mubiru.
He adds that the bed was large and comfortable and the pillows did not leave their necks hurting. This inspired them to buy a new mattress when they got back home.
Baingana Bala, the principal health tutor at the School of Physiotherapy at Mulago Hospital, says: â€œA bed can have a negative effect on your health when its frame has either caved inwards, which is common with spring beds if the wire mesh has curved in.
It is also common with wooden beds which curve outwards because of poor workmanship or the type of timber used,â€ he says.
Bala points out that old mattresses, especially six inch ones; or those caved inwards, are a potential hazard to oneâ€™s back.
â€œMattresses are not supposed to be used beyond 10 years because they lose their shape with time, causing discomfort,â€ he says.
Steven Matibano, who suffers from back pain, says: â€œAfter experiencing severe back, I put the mattress on the floor and the pain subsided,â€ he says.
Bala says 80% of adults are suffering from lower back pain due to poor quality of beds.
â€œThis causes a slip or prolapsed disc, which exerts pressure on the nerves, causing pain in the leg muscles and a burning sensation in the thighs, lower legs and feet.â€
He advises people with back pain to rest, take painkillers or see a physiotherapist (a specialist who treats injury, weakness or pain in the joint and muscles by exercise).
An ideal bed should have timber, plywood or planks as the surface on which the mattress rests.
Ensure that your mattress is neither too soft nor too hard and is at least 4 inches. Never pile mattresses in a bid to achieve comfort as this can affect your body posture.