I Realized That I Need a New Mattress

Karen Del Vecchio avatar

by Karen Del Vecchio |

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I hadn’t slept well in weeks. I kept doing that whole “wake up, turn over, try to get comfortable” thing, but nothing worked. As someone who manages chronic fatigue due to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), this sleep interruption was really difficult. In addition, I kept waking up with extra stiffness and pain. I couldn’t figure out why.

About a week ago, while unable to get comfortable and fall back asleep in the middle of the night, I rolled over onto my stomach. After just a few moments, my back began to ache, like I was lying in a hole. Confused, I wondered what was going on. Since I was unable to sleep anyway, I got up and examined my mattress.

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Turns out my mattress is on the fritz. It currently has a nice body-shaped indentation on the side where I normally sleep, leading to my discomfort. I had no intention of flipping my mattress in the middle of the night, so I decided to sleep on the other side instead. I slept through the rest of the night.

My mattress has probably gotten about eight or nine years of consistent use, so I suppose it’s time. I’m getting a bit more time out of it by flipping it, as I do have a traditional double-sided mattress that’s meant to be flipped and rotated every few months.

Simply flipping it to a fresh side has allowed me to start sleeping through the night again and wake up only slightly stiff, which is normal for me as my muscles tighten to try to compensate for my loose joints.

I usually don’t give much thought to my mattress. It’s comfortable, I sleep on it, and then I go about my day. But it’s amazing what a big effect a seemingly small change can make! As my mattress got older and provided less support, it began to affect my sleep quality. This worsened my chronic fatigue and increased my pain level because I was waking up awkward and uncomfortable.

Considering those are two things I try to manage as best I can on a daily basis with my EDS, anything I can do to improve them is important. While looking online, I found that some studies even mention the importance of a quality mattress in EDS pain and chronic fatigue management.

I’ll be getting a new mattress in the near future, and if this happens again down the line, I know what I’ll be checking out first!


Note: Ehlers-Danlos News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ehlers-Danlos News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Ehlers-Danlos.


Avril Hodge avatar

Avril Hodge

I couldn’t survive without my Tempur Mattress! I discovered Tempur back in 2005, after decades of looking for the ‘perfect pillow’! I had NO idea about hEDS at that time. Only discovered and received a diagnosis just over a year ago.

My neck and back always gave me problems when sleeping. It wasn’t unusual to wake up with a nasty headache each morning. So, discovering the Tempur pillow was a game changer for me.

I found the Classic Tempur Pillow and while purchasing, mused out loud how wonderful a bed made out of this ‘memory pillow’ would be amazing! Much to my surprise, the salesperson said ‘oh, the do make mattresses too!’

Knowing how expensive the pillow was, I was a little scared to ask the price of a mattress! Although, having purchased one, and starting to wake up in much better condition, the investment has been worth every cent. At that stage I had no idea how in years to come, that EDS and POTS, with the associated chronic fatigue, how much my bed would play in my day to day life too!

They have a life span of around 20 years, in which time they lose less than 5% of their ‘memory’ (support). Mine is 15 years old and holding up well considering the additional amount of use it currently gets.

Now, memory foam mattresses don’t suit everyone, but most places will allow you to ‘try’ a mattress for a week or so to see if it suits. Just by it’s nature, it takes a month or so to ‘settle in’ to the mattress, which may feel a little too firm to start with. But perseverance is key. I would highly recommend trying one, in your upcoming search for a new mattress. Good luck! 😊

Karen Thompson avatar

Karen Thompson

Hi Karen,
I had the same issue, and actually have a decent mattress. So, I decided instead to go with a mattress topper. The Dormeo mattress is built with material they use on space ships made by NASA so I know they are durable. So, I've been saving my pennies to get one. I can't wait!
Good luck with yours! I'd recommend the Sleep Number 360 mattress, it adjusts to your sleep needs while you are asleep!

Phylis Coates avatar

Phylis Coates

Just diagnosed self at age 75….only one who knew my life medical history of FM, unexplained falls due to blacking out, hyper mobility , sister with some of same problems. Found the best mattress for me was the Sleep Number. Just bought my second one…..expensive but last one lasted 24 years. It’s has air filled chambers you can adjust each nite and has single and double controls for the two sides. Great for our changing needs….along with a few pillows and meds as needed, I usually can sleep well.. Good luck in staying as healthy and sane as possible.’


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