Tips To Help You Wake Up Pain-Free
Waking up feeling stiff and sore? The problem might lie in your mattress, pillow, sleep posture, or all three! When selecting a mattress, look for one that is comfortably supportive. A good mattress should adapt to your body’s shape while providing firm support. It is important to have firm support for each individual sleeper in the bed. Keep in mind that your mattress should be replaced every 8-12 years.
Your sleep posture is equally, if not more, important than the quality of your mattress. The position in which you sleep plays a large role in how you feel when you wake up in the morning. In general, it is best to sleep on your side or back and to avoid stomach sleeping. Choosing to sleep on your back or side allows your head, neck, and spine to relax into a natural alignment which will help you to wake up feeling rested and limber. If you are currently a stomach sleeper and can’t seem to break the habit, try taping a golf ball to your stomach or to the front of your shirt when you head to bed. The discomfort you experience when you lie on your stomach – whether it’s a conscious or sleepy decision – will deter you from staying there. If you note any lower back pain or stiffness, tuck a pillow under your knees when you’re lying on your back or between your knees when you’re lying on your side. This pillow will take the strain off of your psoas muscle, a common culprit in low back pain.
Last but not least is your pillow. If you are a side sleeper, select a pillow that allows your head, neck and shoulders to remain level with your mid and lower spine. If you prefer to sleep on your back, choose a pillow that allows your head and neck to remain level with your upper back. Try to avoid pillows that are either too thick or too thin and thus angle your head away from your body.
As always, if you have any questions about your sleep posture or which mattress or pillow is best for you, ask your chiropractor. Sweet dreams!
Dr. Julia Callaghan, BSc(Hons), DC, ART®, CSCS, Contemporary Medical Acupuncture
Canadian Chiropractic Association (2013). Back Facts: A Good Night’s Sleep. General Chiropractic Information. Retrieved From: https://d2oovpv43hgkeu.cloudfront.net/Public-Ed-Comm-Outreach/patienthandout_sleepingwell.pdf