Most people prefer a soft and comfortable mattress, probably memory foam. However, I absolutely despise memory foam! I don’t like the feeling of my back sinking down as if I’m being swallowed up by the bed, like being in a sinkhole of some sort. Not to mention, it promotes bad posture.
Not everyone may experience this. Maybe most have gotten so accustomed to being comfortable all the time, they don’t realize where the pain will come from further down the line.
One thing is for sure, our ancestors didn’t always lay on extra soft mattresses. You lay down on the earth, and that is all the natural padding we need. I find myself actually enjoying my sleep better when sleeping on a mat. I wake up at 5 am (sometimes I beat the alarm), and I’m full of energy, no back pain. I do want to note that I’ve been sleeping on a mat for about 5 years now, so I’ve gotten used to it.
I recall, about 15 years ago, a relative in my family who liked to sleep on a yoga mat, and everyone thought she was weird. Including me. But now as an adult, I’ve come to realize she was indeed right. You do get better sleep on a very firm surface. A surface that resembles the Earth. Not too hard, but definitely not too soft.
Plenty of cultures around the world sleep on the floormats. So it isn’t weird or uncommon.
In Japan, tatami floors are used throughout the house. Then, you place a shikibuton, Japanese floor mattress, and it provides you with an actual firm surface to lay on.
Thai Floor Mats
I really like these! They’re portable, light, and colorful.
Chinese Firm Beds
I’ve been to China under a study abroad program, and I stayed in an international student dorm. The other American students had issues sleeping on the beds because they were harder than what they’re used to. (memory foam lovers!) However, for me sleeping on the Chinese beds wasn’t so bad. I slept pretty good actually.
The Issue with Memory Foam
I’ve slept on memory foam a few times, and it has caused problems for me. I would toss and turn throughout the night, I felt like my entire body was sinking down which made tossing and turning suck even more. So, I did not get a full night’s sleep, and by sunrise I was awakened by back and neck pain. Not a great way to start the day.
Sleeping on floormats is definitely for me, and has worked for many others as well. If you have carpet floors, you’ve already got some cushion, just add a thin mat (blanket, yoga mat, or a pretty Thai mat) on there and you’re good! As for hardwood floors, those would require a floor mattress, such as a shikibuton, that adds some cushion to it. Basically, you don’t want to sleep on surfaces that are too soft or too hard.
Because without a good night’s sleep, your mind cannot unleash its optimal level!