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Sleep Advice

Published on 02 October 2012  | Download | back to previous

This is an image from this news item.It doesn't matter who you are or where you're from, we all need to sleep and as a result we spend a third of our lives asleep. <br /><br />Due to our diverse nature of size, shape and weight, there is an abundance of beds aimed at helping you get the most comfortable night sleep, but how do you choose what is right for you?<br /><br />Dr. Laura Young has found a surprisingly common cause of back and neck pain is ‘I just woke up with it', and research by the British Chiropractic Association found that 41% of women and 36% of men reported pain brought on by sleep. <br /><br />By choosing the right bed for you can minimise risk factors that lead to, or aggravate back pain. This months news letter focuses on advice aimed to help you choose a bed.<br /><br />Which is better, a hard or soft mattress?<br />The best mattress is a 'supportive one‘. A 16 stone person sleeping on a mattress may not get the same support as a 10 stone person sleeping on the same mattress.<br /><br />How do I know which is the right mattress for me?<br />If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and should not sag (bed too soft) or bow (bed too hard). The longer you can spend lying on a mattress before you buy it, the more accurate this feeling will be.<br />Your pillow should be an extension of this i.e. your neck should be a continuation of the straight spine and not too high or too low.<br /><br />What about my partner?<br />Always shop with your partner as your respective ideal mattress tensions could be very different. If this is the case, buy beds from a range that allow two single mattresses to be zipped together, so that you both get the support you need.<br /><br />How do I know if my current bed/mattress needs replacing?<br />• Are you and your partner getting comfortable nights sleep?<br />If the answer is no, your bed may be the problem.<br />• Can you feel the springs through the mattress?<br />If the answer is yes, it is definitely time to buy a new one.<br />• Is the bed more than 10 years old?<br />If the answer is yes, consider purchasing a new one – beds wear out and may sag or lose support with time.<br /> <br />What things can I do to help prevent back problems even with my new mattress?<br />• Try and adopt a sleeping position which creates less physical stress on the back. For example, lying on your side is better than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.<br />• Keep moving and avoid being in any one position for too long. No matter how comfy the position may initially feel, the longer you stay in one position the more this will ‘load joints'. If your partner moves around a lot at night, try separate beds for a while as your partner's movement could aggravate your back condition!<br />• Drink water. Keep well hydrated; dehydration can make muscles ache.<br />• Don't leap out of bed first thing in the morning. After you have woken up wake up, try some gentle stretches.<br />• Wake up your body. Once up, avoid bending or doing anything sudden or strenuous until you back wakes up!<br /><br />If you would like to speak with Laura Young regarding aches and pains associated with sleep or otherwise, please cal 01656 856162 today.
Scottish Chiropractic Association
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