On New Mattresses and First-Night Effect

new mattresses first-night effect

On New Mattresses and First-Night Effect

There are a few things some people experience when sleeping in any kind of new setting, and it’s broadly known as the first-night effect. Abbreviated FNE, this is a legitimate, scientifically-backed phenomenon – and it’s one that can impact those who have just purchased a new mattress, along with a few other common situations.

At 2 Brothers Mattress, we’re here to offer a huge range of sleep products to clients around Salt Lake City, Provo, American Fork and nearby parts of Utah – including mattresses, adjustable bed frames, sleep accessories and more. Let’s look at the first-night effect, the science behind it, and how it may impact some (but definitely not all) buyers of new mattresses on that initial night home.

What is First-Night Effect?

For those unfamiliar with it, the name gives a strong clue for what the first-night effect entails. Basically, it’s a phenomenon where people experience difficulty sleeping or poor quality sleep when they are in a new environment – one that is unfamiliar to them. This can include a new hotel room, someone else’s home, or even their own bedroom after purchasing a new mattress.

FNE can impact people in different ways. Some will find that it causes them to struggle to fall asleep, while others may wake up more frequently throughout the night. Still others may simply have a lower quality of sleep overall, leading to grogginess or fatigue the next day.

The Science Behind FNE

While there’s still plenty of research being done in this area, current theories suggest that FNE is caused by an over-activation of one hemisphere in the brain during the first night in a new environment. This can be due to a number of factors, including increased alertness and vigilance as the brain tries to protect itself from potential danger in an unfamiliar setting.

Basically, your brain is split into the left and right sides. Your left side is more responsible for imagination and creativity, while the right side primarily covers logical and calculation-based areas. Those experiencing FNE often have more active left hemisphere activity – their brains are trying to keep logical functions alert even while the body is trying to go to sleep. This can lead to the aforementioned difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.

How Common is FNE?

As we noted earlier, not everyone experiences FNE – and even those who do may only experience it in certain situations. It’s important to note that while this phenomenon has been studied for decades, there’s still plenty we don’t know about it. We do know that it’s more common in adults than children, and that it can decrease with repeated exposure to a new environment. Additionally, those who are more anxious or sensitive to change may also be more likely to experience FNE.

Possible Symptoms or Issues Resulting from FNE

Luckily, the vast majority of cases of FNE are limited to just a single night – hence the name. Many will be minor even within that scope – you might take just a bit longer to fall asleep than you normally would, rather than hours and hours longer.

As we noted above, however, it’s possible that it can be more severe in some rare cases. Those who experience such severe FNE may find that it has an impact on their daily functioning, leading to fatigue and other mental health issues. These are rare cases, however – most of the time, FNE is a minor inconvenience at worst.

Preparing For and Managing FNE

There are a few simple ways to prepare for possible FNE, whether you’ve just bought a new mattress or you’re sleeping in a new environment. These are especially beneficial if you know you’re a sensitive sleeper and think your chances of FNE are higher, or if you’ve experienced it in the past. Some examples include:

  • Simply be aware of it: It may sound silly to some, but simply being aware of the possibility of FNE can make it less likely to actually occur. Knowing that your brain could be over-activated and preparing yourself for this can help you relax.
  • Bring familiar items: If possible, bring some familiar items from your own bedroom into a new environment. This can include pillows, blankets or even just a favorite book – anything to give you a sense of comfort and familiarity.
  • Quality mattress: While not a guarantee, having a high-quality mattress can also help reduce FNE. Having proper support and comfort is key to getting good sleep in any environment.
  • Wind down before bed: Taking some time to relax and unwind in the hour leading up to bedtime can also help prevent FNE. Avoid screens and activities that stimulate your brain during this time.

The first-night effect is a real phenomenon that can impact some people when sleeping in a new environment, such as on a new mattress. While there’s still much to be learned about it, being aware of it and taking simple steps can help minimize its effects.

At 2 Brothers Mattress, we’re always here to help you find the perfect sleep solution for your unique needs. Come visit us today and see how we can improve your sleep, whether you’re in SLC, Provo, American Fork or any nearby part of Utah.

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