How should I be sleeping?

How should I be sleeping?

Do you wake up with pain from sleeping wrong?  One of the most frequent complaints chiropractors hear is, “I think I slept wrong and now (fill in the blank) hurts.  How do you sleep?  Do you wake up in pain?  Does your bed partner complain about you tossing and turning all night long?  You may be surprised at how good you feel in the morning with a few tweaks to how you sleep.

One of the best pieces of advice I have is DO NOT, under ANY circumstance sleep on your stomach. Eight straight hours of your neck being turned to one side and your lower back arching all night is going to leave you in pain the next morning.  If you have been sleeping that way your entire life, it is going to take a few weeks of sleepless misery to change your habit, but it will be worth it in the end, stick with it.  I recommend using a body pillow to start turning yourself over.

If you are a side sleeper, make sure you have a nice thick pillow supporting your head so that it is inline with the rest of your spine.  Also, make sure you are not choosing to sleep on an extra firm bed or that will create pressure points on your shoulders and hips.  Putting a pillow between your knees will also help your lower back be better aligned through the night.

For my back sleepers, thank you, you are the least likely to have pain from your sleeping position.  I would recommend getting an orthopedic pillow for your neck that has the lowered area in the middle and roll for your neck to fall over.  I would also recommend those of you with lower back pain to put a pillow underneath your knees to provide support for your lower back.

Another question I get constantly is, “what kind of mattress should I sleep on?”  Honestly, there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to mattresses because we all have different body shapes and physical demands.  Personally, I love the Temper-Pedic mattress that my wife and I have slept on for just over 6 years but I have heard of others complain about the way it makes them feel.  The best piece of advice I can give an individual regarding a mattress is to spend the extra time and money by searching out the appropriate mattress store where the staff has been trained in fitting customers for the correct mattress.  Too many times, people shop for mattress based on the best deal but experience will tell you that if you spend 1/3rd of your day on something, you want it to be quality.  Here in Broken Arrow and the surrounding Tulsa metro area, I recommend stores like Relax the Back, Mattress King and Mattress Firm because their staff is put through ergonomics training to fit the right mattress to the individual.

Keep an eye on how you feel when you wake up in the morning.  If you wake up sore or tired, you may need to look to your mattress as the cause of discomfort.  Also, don’t neglect pro-active spinal care like chiropractic care, exercises and stretches.  The more good stuff you can do on a daily basis, the better and better you are going to feel.  If you follow these tips you should enjoy more restful nights and less painful mornings.  If you have any questions, remember that we are just a phone call away at 918-940-4630.  Thank you for allowing us to be your chiropractor.