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National Bed Month

The Importance of A Good Night’s Rest

March is National Bed Month, so a good time to focus on improving what we spend most our time doing in bed – sleeping!

Are you waking up unrefreshed and achy? Research shows that 40% of those experiencing back and neck pain identify sleeping or their mattress as the trigger! It’s time to make some changes!

Sleep is just as important as diet and exercise for physical and mental health and happiness.
Here are your chiropractors top tips for a good night’s sleep.

1. Sleeping Position Dos and Don’ts For back pain?

Don’t
Sleep on your stomach. If you do try and break the habit! This position puts your spine into hyperextension and unnecessary strain when sleeping.

Do
Sleep on your side. This keeps the spine all in a straight line and alignment. Place a pillow between your knees to keep your pelvis in a neutral position. This will minimise compression or twisting forces on the sacroiliac joints which are a common source of low back pain.

Sleep on your back bending knees – Lying on your back avoids any twisting and is the best position to keep your back and neck straight and aligned. Pillows can be put under your knees to keep them bent in the night. This allows the spinal joints in the low back to be slightly flexed, taking the pressure off your low back. .

For neck pain?

pillow-positionDon’t
Don’t use pillows that are too high or stiff. These can put your neck into extra flexion overnight, which can strain the joints and muscles and lead to a stiff and achy neck in the morning.

Avoid lying on your front, as this can lead to your head turned to one side and strains the neck.

Do
If you sleep on your side, use a pillow that is higher under your neck than your head to keep you supported and in alignment with your spine.

Picture Credit: pillowsanctuary.com

We sell a range of orthopaedic pillows at our clinic of different types and firmness. Talk to your chiropractor about the right pillow for your sleeping position and your posture.

We even trial our pillows out to patients so you can test if it’s right for you!

2. Sleep Hygiene

General sleep hygiene and healthy sleeping habits should be followed for a good night’s sleep.

  • Keep a consistent sleep schedule waking up and going to bed the same time each day even at weekends to ensure a healthy sleeping routine.
  • 7-8 hours of sleep a night is recommended
  • Make your bedroom sleep-friendly – quiet and relaxing, avoid bright lights and keep the room at a cool temperature
  • Turn off electrical devices 30 minutes prior to going to bed – avoid tablets and televisions in the bedroom use the bed only for sleeping

3. Mattress

We spend more than a third of our lives sleeping – so it’s very important to invest in a quality bed and mattress.

Old mattress? Chiropractors recommend buying a new mattress at least every 10 years. Mattresses become less supportive over time, meaning if you can feel the springs through your mattress or your mattress is no longer level you aren’t getting the support you need for your back when you sleep.

The right mattress? The British Chiropractic Association recommends a supportive mattress is needed. When lying on your side on a mattress your spine should not sag as this indicates the mattress is too soft, and should not bow as this indicates the mattress is too hard. Make sure you try and test mattresses before you buy!

What about my partner? Different weights and shapes of body require different support from a mattress. Ensure you shop together for a mattress with your partner as ideal mattress tensions could be very different. If this is the case, buy beds from a range that allow two different mattresses to be zipped together.

If these tips don’t work then give us a call and we’ll see what we can do for you. Chiropractors are very experienced in treating chronic neck and back pain so it’s worth giving us a call.

Call us on 01425 652951for Fordingbridge Chiropractic Clinic and 01202 300320 for Castle Lane Chiropractic Clinic.

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