Sleeping is part of what keeps our body running at the ultimate performance level. For those who sleep poorly or wake up uncomfortable and in pain, learning about the ideal sleeping environment could be a huge help.
Best Sleeping Positions
Sleeping on your side or on your back are the best positions for your spine. When sleeping on the side, place a pillow between your legs so that your legs stay in line with your hips. This puts less stress on your hips and your spine. When sleeping on your back, place a pillow underneath your knees. Doing so will put less stress on your lower back and let it be in its natural curve.
The Worst Sleeping Position
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position you could sleep in. It puts stress on the spine and makes it difficult for it to stay in line. Plus, your cervical spine is never in line with the rest of your spine. Sleeping on the stomach is not recommended, but for those who do, placing a pillow under the pelvis and lower stomach may help back pain by keeping your spine more in line. Also, sleeping without a pillow or a very thin one will help the cervical spine.
Picking the Right Mattress
The right mattress should give support throughout your whole body. Every point of the body should have support without gaps. For those with chronic back pain, a firmer mattress may help. Others prefer softer mattresses. A good tip for picking out a new mattress is to try it out at the store for about ten to fifteen minutes. Bring your own pillow so that the experience is as close to the real thing as possible. Mattresses are recommended to be replaced every ten to fifteen years; however there are factors that may call for a new mattress at any time. When you are continually waking up sore or uncomfortable, it may be time replace your mattress. It may also be a good time to replace your mattress when you lose or gain a lot of weight, or if a medical condition has changed.
Finding the Right Pillow
A pillow should support your head and neck so that your cervical spine is in line with the rest of your spine. The pillow should not be too thick so that your head is propped up at an angle or too thin so that your head feels like it is hanging down. For back and side sleepers, a thick pillow is good to make sure your head meets the rest of your body. Also choose a pillow that stays supportive and does not squish down throughout the night.