Many of my patients’ conditions are the product of improper sleeping habits that have developed over the course of their lives. It is estimated we spend about 33% of our time in beds; shouldn’t we make sure that we are doing this right? It’s rather interesting that we are taught from an early age how to walk and talk but sleeping is a task that we simply inherit. It is difficult for some to understand sleeping improperly can perhaps be the most damaging factor towards your back and body issues.
As everyone knows rest is important to the human body but most, drastically underrate its correlation with the immune system and the ability to fight illness. Rest is a paramount component to the pillars of health as the immune system cannot function properly without adequate sleep amounts.
Patients often tell me of their propensity to toss and turn through the night or waking up feeling stiff or painful. Others complain of their lack of energy or their tendency to attract a common cough or other sickness.
As I always tell them there could be some simple alterations that you can make to your sleeping patterns to have you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for the morning.
Firstly you must make sure that you get at least 6-8 hours as an adult. Sometimes it is tough with work and modern distractions but make a point of allotting yourself this time. Less than 6 hours of sleep just doesn’t cut it and the body can simply not fully recharge.
Secondly invest in a quality mattress. If we are spending 33% of our time on earth on this piece don’t you think we should put some time into what we are buying? Make sure your mattress doesn’t have lumps and bumps or sags. Obviously if you have back or body issues than a specialized mattress to combat these issues is the way to go.
Thirdly, dissect your sleeping positions. Are you a stomach sleeper? Do you toss and turn throughout the night? How many pillows do you use? Once you answer questions like these you can begin to change your habits.
Sleeping on your stomach is bad for the body because it forces the neck into one position for extended periods of time. While turned, the muscles in the neck are working to balance your head into position. After several hours this can cause headaches, inflammations and overall pain. It is recommended that you sleep on your back or side in order to keep the neck in a balanced position. It is also recommended that you place a pillow under your knees
Using too many pillows can push the neck up so it is tucking towards the chin. This can cause the same problem as sleeping on the stomach. Pillows should be used to support the natural “S” curve of the spine allowing the head to rest in a neutral position.
This only scratches the surface in regards, if you have any questions regarding sleep, or anything else, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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