How Sleep Can Hurt Your Health
By Sara Butler
One of the most important things you will do over the course of your day is sleep. Your body needs the night to rest and rejuvenate from the day and there’s plenty of evidence out there that correlates poor sleep habits with chronic health problems, including back pain. There are a few mistakes people make when they sleep at night that are bad for their spinal health as well as their overall health. Here are a few chiropractic tips to help you get better, healthier sleep.
From a chiropractor’s perspective, one of the worst things you can do to your spine is sleep on your stomach. But it’s also a bad habit that is easily fixed! The reason it’s so bad is that it places undue pressure on the spine at both the lower back and the neck. Pressure is put on the spine, which creates imbalances that lead to joint dysfunction and restriction. Over time, stomach sleeping will lead to pain, muscle spasms, and muscle stiffness. All that needs to be done to fix it is to become a side or back sleeper!
An Old Mattress
Mattresses are big purchases, but that doesn’t mean you should use one as long as you can. A new mattress should be purchased every 10 years or so, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Many Americans are using beds that have long since expired, which means they lack the ability to assist in a good night’s sleep and offer the type of support needed. Worn coils and insufficient strength lead to a lack of spinal support, which ultimately becomes a night of restless sleep.
Constant tossing and turning is often caused by the sleeper unconsciously seeking a more comfortable and supported position in bed. Over-used mattresses often leave sleepers waking in the morning feeling as if someone snuck in their room at night and beat them up.
Sleeping with the Wrong Pillow
In order to maintain balance in the spine while sleeping, a supportive pillow must be used. Just like mattresses, pillows have a lifespan. If a pillow past its prime is being used, then it can cause spinal health issues from lack of support, causing muscles to work overtime in order to support the head and neck in sleep.
Invest in a good orthopedic or cervical pillow to keep the spine in alignment while sleeping. As long as the pillow you’re using provides good neck support, you should be golden.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Aurora, Colo.