Sleep… How much? What Position? Which Bed/Pillow? Everything you need to know for a great night’s sleep!
Questions about sleep would have to be one of the top three things we get asked from our patients on a regular basis. Sleep is such a crucial factor in ensuring our body is not only well rested, but it is also very important in injury recovery and overall health and wellness.
So firstly… How much sleep should we be getting?
As a general rule of thumb, we should all be aiming for between 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night. Avoiding technology for 20-30 minutes before going to sleep will also help in your body winding down at the end of the day. Also a good breathing technique will assist you in de-stressing and set you up for a relaxed state. A good habit to get in to during this time is to also think back over the day and think about all the positive things you have achieved.
What position is the best for posture to sleep?
Either side sleeping or back sleeping is absolutely fine as long as you have a good supportive mattress and a quality contoured pillow that has been specifically fitted for you body shape. Stomach sleeping is a big No-No as this places significant stress on your lower back and neck, leading to issues such as; pain, muscle stiffness, poor movement, headaches and migraines.
When lying on your back it is a good idea to place a pillow under your knees. This allows the lower back to relax and generally take tension off your whole body.
When lying on your side it is a great idea to slide a small pillow between your knees (a small peanut shaped pillow works great) in order to keep your hips and pelvis in an optimal alignment whilst you sleep (it also helps in stopping you rolling on to your tummy).
How do I pick the best Mattress and Pillow?
Every person is going to be different, so just buying a mattress or pillow based on price, look, or a testimony online isn’t the best approach. As far as pillows go, we recommend the use of either a Memory Foam or Latex contoured pillow (we stock a range of Posture Form pillows in the clinic) and all our Thrive Health Co. Chiropractors and Physiotherapists will personally custom fit the pillow for you at no extra cost.
As far as mattresses go, you want to find something that is supportive, and allows your hips and shoulders to sink, whilst keeping you in good spinal alignment. There are lots of great bedding companies out there and we refer regularly to Forty Winks at the Jindalee Home Maker centre due to their expert knowledge and honest & ethical advice.
How often should I change my Mattress/Pillow?
A good quality mattress should last you 7-10 years. If you get out of the bed in the morning and notice a big crater where you’ve been sleeping, then that is a good indication that your mattress probably isn’t supporting you as well as it once did!
A quality pillow should last 2-3 years before the materials start to denature. We are fortunate enough to have all our pillows under $100 in price which means you can have a great supportive pillow for around $30 per year.
At what age should Children start using a proper pillow?
It is crucially important for a child’s developing spine to be well supported throughout their growing years. We stock a wide range of Ollie Owl and Posture Form pillows that will support a child’s neck and spine from the age of 2 all the way through their adolescent years. These pillows are also quite inexpensive ranging from $50-$80!
On average we spend one third of our lives in bed (think about that for a second) This is why it is so important to ensure we are giving ourselves the best chance possible to rest and recover. If you are worried about your sleep or constantly wake up in the mornings with a stiff back or sore neck, then please feel free to contact the clinic for a chat – we are always happy to help!
Check here for some more information about sleep posture.