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Is your mattress ruining your sex life?

Mark Quinn is a Segment VP of Marketing with Leggett & Platt and has more than two decades of experience. Quinn writes a bedding industry and marketing blog called Q's Views. Visit http://mquinn.com for more information.

Sleep better and have better sex

You’ve been a little grumpy lately. You haven’t been sleeping well and you’ve spent so much time at the coffee shop down the street that you wish you could invest in a caffeine IV drip instead. Worse, your sex life has been rather lackluster as of late, so even that’s not cheering you up. It’s a vicious cycle.

Couple laying back to back in bed

What you probably haven’t considered is the fact that the same object responsible for your bad sleep – your crummy old mattress – is also contributing to your ho-hum sex life. It may seem innocent, but your mattress can make or break your daily contentment – in more ways than one.

The downfall of your sex life

You’re well aware of the havoc your mattress can wreak on your sleep: from giving you backaches to causing you to wake up in a hot, sweaty mess, your mattress can make you uncomfortable. These elements can affect your nighttime experience, whether you’re asleep or indulging in some late-night recreation.

But the other side is what you don’t know: the unconscious component. The mattress can be a “third participant” in your sex life. A “dead bed” doesn’t react to your movements, and this lack of bounce can stifle your activity, your motion and your playfulness. You want the bed to participate – as the bed reacts to your movement and transitions to the next with a bounce, it improves your experience. You surely don’t want a mattress that could double as a trampoline, shooting you 10 feet from your bed, but you do want a bed that pushes back and has some playful bounce. And if you don’t have one, it could be hurting your sex life.

Consider this article from Barron's that quotes memory-foam bed owners as saying that nearly 40 percent think memory-foam sex is less than ideal. Why in the world would you own a bed that might be comfortable but isn't good for the more intimate moments? Your bed should deliver it all, and hybrid mattresses can! Would you buy a sports car that handled great but was just plain ugly to look at? Of course not!

Getting the right bounce per ounce

Because bounce is so vital, Leggett & Platt developed a Bounce-Per-Ounce (BPO) app to highlight and celebrate the bounce in your bed. (There really is an app for everything, including salvaging your sex life.) This app measures the bounce your phone absorbs when placed on another object – try putting your phone on an airplane tray table or your car’s dashboard and it will do the same thing. Extreme bouncing isn’t something you seek in flights or commutes, but you do want the bounce when it counts. The BPO score you receive can serve as a factor to help you determine if your bed has the right amount of bounce.

Better yet, the BPO assesses edge-of-bed bounce. People like to use the entire surface of their mattress when they sleep; we’ve all witnessed the spread-eagled sleeper who can make a California king look small. But the edge can come into play in intimate moments as well. A firm edge is important, whether you’re lying, sitting or standing on it -- you want to be able to utilize all angles. A hybrid mattress can help you do that.

How new technology can spice things up

People want intimacy, no matter their stage or age in life. Some events used to be game-changers for people – from carpal-tunnel surgery to hip replacements – but sex doesn’t have to end just because the body has undergone some changes. Why not get your bed to change with you?

Adjustable beds address the ergonomic issues that today’s lifestyles can create. Adjustable beds can put you into a zero-gravity zone, which feels incredible not only on the joints, but also during more adventurous activities. Beyond that, adjustable mattresses create many more options from a position perspective. You can raise the foot of the bed or move the head of the bed; this introduces a whole new world of possibilities. From an intimacy perspective, adjustable beds are the Kama Sutra of the mattress industry – they can give you options that you didn’t have before and even massage you in those moments after the act.

Hybrid mattresses are the way to go

Hybrid mattresses are like a very happy marriage in the mattress industry. Hybrids combine the comfort of memory foam with the coolness of innersprings. Foams and fibers that allow for cooler sleep are important. If you’re actively “heating up the sheets,” you don’t want a heat conductor that makes you so sweaty you have to get up and take a shower. Cool materials, like those used in hybrid mattresses, allow you to enjoy the afterglow.

Terrible sleep -- and a lackluster sex life -- can be improved with a quality mattress. The old-school mattress that seemed like a great idea when you bought it shouldn’t be expected to meet all your needs in life. As your body changes, your activities shift and the desire to “spice things up” may be increasing, you should invest in a mattress that will let you enjoy your two favorite S-words: sleep and sex. It’s hard to argue that there are two activities more essential to your day-to-day happiness.

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