- Category: Family Health
Do you feel like the bruised princess who slept on a pea?
- Does your mattress swallow you up like a sinkhole?
- Would a bed of nails be an improvement?
- Do you spend more time tossing and turning than sleeping?
- Do you wake up every morning with an achy, stiff back?
- Are you just as tired as when you went to bed?
If so, it’s time to get a new or better mattress! Every week I find myself consulting patients on proper sleep positions and which mattress I recommend. The answers that follow will definitely get you through the night…
If you really want a good night’s sleep, take the pressure off!
Each night the average person tosses and turns between 80-100 times. Why? When too much pressure is applied to your body where it contacts the mattress, your circulation is restricted and joint position altered. Slight pressure (30mmHg and above) on the blood vessels in your skin can cause irreversible cell damage after 1-2 hours. The brain must regularly signal a positional change to avoid injury. Restful sleep is lost and the normal repair and maintenance during the night is insufficient.
Forget what the Ad’s say. Whether a mattress is soft or firm is not the key factor. The best mattresses are designed to be supportive. By conforming to the body’s contours, the weight is more evenly distributed. The lordotic curves of the neck and lower back are cradled while the convexities of the head, mid back, tailbone and the arms and legs are accommodated during back sleeping. With a lower percentage of the body contacting the mattress during side sleeping, proper support is paramount. When all is in order, pressure points are reduced, proper alignment achieved and blood circulation flows with little interruption. Ahh… a restful sleep is experienced!
Typically, halfway through a “best mattress” consultation, most patients will ask me what the best position is for sleeping. (Passing out on the armchair does not count). Avoid sleeping on your stomach due to the extreme and often one-sided twist of the neck in order to maintain respiration. Lying on your back is the preferred method of sleeping and allows for the largest surface area for the distribution of your weight. Side sleeping would be the next choice. A pillow should support the curve of the neck and not be too high when back sleeping. This would cause the head to jut forward relative to your shoulders.* For some people, a pillow under the knees may add comfort. During side sleeping the pillow must be an adequate height to maintain proper spinal alignment. I have found that most side sleepers have a pillow that is too low and/or they tuck the chin. This causes the head to translate to one side and leads to harmful pressures on the spine and nerves. Side sleepers are also advised to place a pillow between their knees to lesson hip stress.
Years ago I embarked on a weary-eyed journey through magazines, catalogues, showrooms and cyberspace in order to find the best mattress. The first stop on my journey led to a queen-sized memory foam mattress and pillow. This combination felt great initially, but left me unsatisfied within a year’s time. I set out on a new quest. I contacted companies and researched different technologies. After numerous glossy brochures, phone conversations and informational DVD ’s, and completing the below checklist, I found what my bones were aching for!
? Must be supportive during side and back sleeping.
? Must have an adjustable firmness on each side.
? One person can move without disturbing the other person.
? Must have an excellent warranty.
? Must come with a 60-90 day in-home trial period
? Is dust mite resistant and easy to clean.
? Is provided to doctors for free!!
With my journey’s conclusion, I was not able to check all of the items off of the list- it was not free for doctors! Beyond my written requirements, it had other benefits that I did not anticipate. The top is made of a removable and washable wool cover. This natural moisture-absorbing surface combats the existence of dust mites and is comfortable and breathable in all seasons. The bed also is comprised of separate parts including air cylinders that automatically self-adjust when you reposition yourself. The cylinders are covered by a layer of memory foam and padded around all sides. In light of the many people I meet with back injuries caused by lifting a heavy mattress to flip it or change the sheet, I was delighted by the lightness of my new discovery. My wife and I were thrilled… and still are after eight years on it. The mattress I found is the Chiro 9000 Natural Form Mattress.
Perhaps your greatest domestic investment is your mattress. One third of your life is spent on it. Your health and wellness depend on it. I can’t stress enough the importance of a trial period. It is nearly impossible to know how you will feel until you have slept on it for at least a month or two. And then, once the love connection is made, it won’t matter how many peas are lurking under your mattress. You will be lost in your sweet dreams.
Visit www.naturalformchiropractic.com for more information. To receive the discounts and free-return shipping provided exclusively to chiropractic patients (even if you are not a patient presently), mention “Living Well Magazine”.
*Please visit: Rosenthalchiropractic.com and review the article Upper Back HUMP = A Slouch in Your Health or a Shortened Life for more information regarding the negative effects of having a forward head posture.