A good night’s sleep is as essential as breathing. Without it, we can become irritable, stressed, short-tempered, and depressed. More importantly, our body cannot heal properly if we do not sleep well.
Sleep is therapeutic. It assists in the natural repair and recovery of our minds and bodies. A good night’s sleep leaves us feeling refreshed and energised to face whatever the day will bring.
One third of 154 patients who completed a researchinterview reported their sleep pattern was changed immediately after chiropractic care1.
It’s true. Chiropractic care can change our sleeping patterns by locating the source of pain; be it lower back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain. At Optimal Chiropractic, we use an Activator, which is a low-force tool for correcting alignment.
Once pain is located, a chiropractor can help in a number of ways:
- Ease the pain
- Discuss how you sleep
- Help you select pillows and mattresses
- Look at a long-term pain relief plan
The position that we choose to sleep in is extremely important. There are 24 bones in the spinal column and all are vulnerable during sleep. A slight change in the position of any one of these bones can irritate the nervous system and cause us pain.
Sleeping on your front
This is the worst position to sleep in as it places considerable strain on the neck, shoulders and lower back and can eventually create spinal problems.
Sleeping on your back
This is an ideal position to sleep in. You may find that a pillow under your knees is more comfortable and places less pressure on the lower back. Adjust your pillow to suit your neck and shoulders, so you maintain the forward curve of your neck.
Sleeping on your side
Another great position to sleep in. Keeping your underneath leg straight and bending your upper leg at the hip with a pillow between your upper leg and mattress or bending both knees with a pillow in between will keep your back nice and straight.
Spring, air or foam; the material and denseness of a mattress is imperative for comfortable sleep.
Spring mattresses are light and bouncy with springs throughout. The shape and gauge of the springs will indicate the support and firmness.
Commonly found in futons, air mattresses are similar to lilos – light but supportive. Some are self-inflating.
Foam mattresses are thick and have the option of memory foam. Each has a different feel depending on thickness and weight.
Pillows come in all shapes, sizes and materials. From hypo-allergenic to donut shaped, feather to down.
Here are a few of the main ones:
These are designed to give greater support for the head and neck. It is plumper under the neck and will keep your neck straight as you sleep.
The Body pillow is as long as you are and offers all-round support from head to foot. This type of pillow eases strain across the body and is especially useful during pregnancy.
As the name suggests, Donut pillows are round with a hole in the centre. These pillows safeguard the lower back and tailbone area and are designed for sitting on.
U shaped pillows
These pillows are made for travel, as they support the neck while in a sitting position.
A long, narrow, firm pillow filled with cotton or down. These are great for supporting the back while reading.
LONG TERM PAIN RELIEF
A chiropractor will work with you and devise a long-term plan to ease any pain in the back, shoulders, neck or head. This may include trialling types of pillows or testing sleeping positions and regular visits to the Chiropractor to check all is well and ease the pain along the way.
We hope you sleep well and if you do happen to experience any sleeping issues, you can always give us a call at Optimal Chiropractic.