Your Bed: Too Much of a Good Thing?
By Sara Butler
How much time do you spend in your bed during a 24-hour period? Do you often lie in bed and watch some television at the end of the day or read a book? Do you scroll through Facebook on your smartphone for a few hours when you get home and unwind? If you said yes to any of that, you’re probably not doing any favors for your back.
Many people love their beds because they’re comfortable, but if you spend 12 hours or more in it per day (including sleeping), then you may just be headed for trouble. That’s because all that time you're feeling cozy, your spine is maintaining alignments that aren’t natural or healthy. Here’s what you need to know about spending too much time in your bed, and how you can correct any problems that it might have caused for you.
The Problem with Being in Bed
One of the reasons that too much time in bed is bad for you is spinal compression. That’s because your bed doesn’t supply a lot of support for your lower back and doesn’t help to support its natural curves. It causes your spine to overarch and that can result in pain and long-term problems for your back.
Another problem with beds is that people often keep them for far too long. Mattresses break down and compress over time, and when that happens they won’t offer the support you need to keep your back healthy. When you have a lack of support in bed, then spinal dysfunctions and restrictions will arise, impacting the function of your spine and eventually your entire central nervous system. According to the National Sleep Foundation, you should replace your mattress every five to eight years to be safe.
Finally, the last way your bed can wreak havoc on your back is by promoting muscle fatigue. Lying on your back for long periods of time promotes weak core muscles as well as lower back muscles. This means your spine will have to work overtime to keep you upright when you’re out of bed.
What You Can Do
First and foremost, see your chiropractor! They can identify any spinal restrictions or dysfunctions that are contributing to your back pain. Also, make sure you have a supportive mattress that isn’t too old. Work on strengthening your core muscles and lower back muscles too, because they will help to support a healthier spine.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.