Have you ever woken up and felt that you were afraid to get out of bed, because you just didn't want to fight that soreness and stiffness in your body? Morning muscle aches and stiffness can be a bit of a hurdle to getting your day going.
Next post we will be talking about some stretches that are gentle, safe and effective to do in the morning. But before we get there, give your sleeping position some thought! If you are sleeping on your stomach for most of the night, you are placing an excessive amount of strain on both your lower back and your neck. Ideal sleeping positions are on your back with a pillor or support beneath your knees to prevent lower back loading, or on your side with neutral spine support for the neck and lower back. It is difficult to change your sleeping position, but don't dismiss that this may be part of the reason you are waking up so stiff!
We also often get asked about mattresses. We unfortuntately have not found the perfect mattress! But some general rules to go by are as follows: A mattress should be considered for replacement every 5-8 years, or at first signs of "divot" forming. Some mattresses can safely go longer. Secondly, if you are having morning soreness and have an "ultra plush" pillow top type of mattress, consider going a bit firmer for your next one. Mattresses a bit on the firmer side can offer more balanced support to the whole body, keeping the spine in a neutral alignment, rather than "sagging" into the mattress.
Pillows are another issue. The key rule for a pillow is to find one that keeps your neck in a neutral position, which is particularly important if you are a side sleeper. The distance between the end of your shoulder and the base of your neck should be considered when choosing and sizing a pillow, so there is enough support from your pillow to keep the vertebrae in your neck in alignment with the rest of the spine. A pillow to thin will cause there to be a concave curve of the spine on the mattress side, which compresses the joints in the spine. And the same goes true in the opposite direction for a pillow that is too thick. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to ask us! We can give you more information about pillows and even point you in the right direction for a pillow that may be right for you.
We hope these tips help to ease your sleep. After all, you spend a great deal of your life resting, so rest easy knowing you are doing the best you can for your spine and joint health!