How do you feel after a bad night’s sleep? From drowsiness to headaches, the short-term effects of a night of low quality sleep are usually easy to notice as soon as you wake up.

The long-term effects, on the other hand, can take slightly longer to develop. From a less effective immune system to weight and respiratory issues, low quality sleep can cause a wide range of negative health effects.

Your mattress plays an important role in helping you fall and stay asleep. A mattress that’s too firm, too soft, not supportive enough or just plain uncomfortable can often be all it takes to prevent you from getting the quality sleep you need.

Are you concerned about the effects your mattress is having on your health? In this guide, we’ll share 10 annoying – and in some cases, potentially serious – health side effects of sleeping on a bad mattress.

Reduce side effects like these and more by sleeping on a custom mattress made to your specifications. Check out our selection of bespoke mattresses today.


It shouldn’t be any surprise, but low quality sleep will usually leave you feeling tired and drowsy. If your mattress prevents you from falling asleep, it could have an effect on your alertness throughout the day.

While it’s normal to feel a little drowsy during the afternoon and particularly late in the evening, early or extreme drowsiness is not normal. If you can’t fall asleep easily on your mattress, it could be causing you to feel unnaturally tired during the day.

Back pain


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Does your back hurt? While a wide range of different things, from sports injuries to joint issue, can cause back pain, a low quality mattress can often force you to sleep in an unnatural position that twists and strains your back.

If you need to twist awkwardly to feel comfortable in your bed, you could eventually injure your back. A soft but supportive mattress that lets you sleep comfortable on your back or side can keep your back straight and prevent injuries from developing.


People that don’t get enough sleep, or often wake up during the night, have a higher risk of becoming obese than their peers. This is because the drowsiness and lack of energy caused by sleep deprivation can often lead to overeating.

If you feel hungrier during the day but haven’t increased your activity level, a poor quality mattress could be to blame. You should be able to fall asleep in 30 minutes or less – if not, consider replacing your mattress or adjusting your lifestyle.

Lung and throat irritation

The older your mattress is, the higher the likelihood of it containing large numbers of dust mites. Dust mites are a reality in every mattress, but older mattresses have a particularly high chance of being a haven for these irritating creatures.

Dust mites can lead to a number of skin and reparatory conditions such as eczema, asthma and sore throat. If your mattress and pillows are getting old, think about if it’s time to replace them. If new, take steps to prevent dust mites from developing.

Weak immune system

Have you ever noticed that you’re more likely to become sick when you don’t sleep enough? Long nights out with friends and low quality sleep at home can wear down your immune system and make your more likely to become sick.

From fevers to the common cold, a weak immune system makes you more likely to get caught by a wide range of illnesses. Keep yourself protected against illness with a mattress that gives you the comfort and support you need for great sleep.

Heart conditions

If your mattress prevents you from getting eight hours of quality sleep per night, it could have a negative effect on your cardiac health. According to a European Heart Journal review, short sleepers have a 48% higher risk of developing heart disease.

That’s not an insignificant amount. When you cut your sleep short or fail to enjoy a full night’s sleep because of an uncomfortable mattress, you could increase the risk of developing heart disease.

Short sleep is also associated with a heightened risk of stroke, as well as high blood pressure. Replacing your mattress and spending an extra hour in bed could help you avoid several serious heart-related conditions.

Memory issues

It’s no surprise that your memory starts to fade after a bad night’s sleep. However, the long-term effects of sleep deprivation on memory are less well known and just as worrying.

Sleep plays a fundamental role in creating memories. When you’re sleep deprived, you won’t just fail to recall memories – you’re also less likely to form memories in order to remember the events that happen to you at that time.

Premature aging

Have you ever noticed black half-moon shapes under your eyes after you wake up from a bad night’s sleep? If your mattress keeps you awake, it could affect your skin in both the short term and the long term.

In a study of women’s sleep habits, cosmetic company Estee Lauder found that the women that slept the soundest had the youngest looking skin. Women that failed to get a good night’s sleep, on the other hand, were more likely to show signs of aging.

Joint soreness

Is your mattress too firm for comfort? Firm mattresses are occasionally marketed as being good for your posture, but the reality is that they’re more likely to contribute to joint pain than softer, more supportive mattresses.

There’s nothing wrong with a firm mattress, provided it’s supportive. If you sleep on a mattress that’s overly firm and stiff, the extra pressure on your tailbone, shoulders and arms could lead to joint soreness over the long term.

Reduced libido

The less you sleep, the lower your sex drive is likely to be. Research shows that lack of sleep has a serious negative effect on the sex drive and, in men, can lead to lower-than-normal levels of testosterone.

The link between low quality sleep and a weak sex drive is common to both women and men, although men appear to suffer the most side effects. In addition to a lower sex drive, lack of sleep can lead to erectile dysfunction and a reduced sperm count.