Many people would agree there’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep. Stressful day at the office? Long hours running errands with the kids? All this can be repaired with restorative slumber.
On the other hand, not getting the eight to nine hours of sleep you need may leave you feeling grumpy and tired all day. However, you have far more control over the quality of your sleep than you think.
Choose a good mattress
If you wake up with aches and pains that were not there when you went to bed, it may be time for a new mattress.
- A good mattress supports the natural contours of your body, letting your muscles and joints fully relax.
- When choosing a good mattress, look for one that is comfortable and supportive.
- A mattress should be flexible enough to adapt to your body’s shape while providing firm support for your spine.
- Your mattress should be replaced every eight to twelve years to ensure proper support and comfort.
Test your pillow
The quest for a restful night’s sleep should always include a proper pillow. Keep in mind that your head weighs eight to twelve pounds.
- A good pillow provides comfortable support for your head, neck and upper back muscles, so they can get some much-needed rest.
- A good pillow for sleeping should be comfortable to lay your head upon, but most importantly it must support your neck, keeping it in line with the rest of your spine.
- Choose from many different pillows on the market today — from traditional feather and fibre ones to shaped, memory foam and buckwheat-filled pillows.
There is no one ‘best’ pillow for everyone. Find the pillow that works best for you.
Try these tips to pick your pillow:
- Choose a pillow size that best fits your body size or frame. It should cover the entire back of your neck to avoid putting pressure on your spine.
- Try out the pillow. Most pillows are packaged in a plastic wrapper so you can lay it on a display bed in the store and put your head on it. This is the best way to find out if you are on the right track.
- A hypoallergenic pillow is a good choice for anyone, particularly if you suffer from allergies.
- Buckwheat-filled pillows have become increasingly popular. Buckwheat is hypoallergenic and will mold to the contours of your head and neck to provide good support. It will also change shape when you move.
Good quality and supportive pillows provide many benefits. They help you get a better night’s sleep, improve your circulation and even reduce your snoring. Take your time and choose carefully. Your neck and back will thank you for it.
Don’t sleep on your stomach
Chiropractors recommend sleeping on your back or side. These positions allow your head, neck and spine to relax into their natural position. This reduces stress and strain on your muscles and joints, which can disrupt your sleep and lead to aches in the morning.
Get to bed on time
Try to go to bed at the same time every night – even on weekends – to keep your sleep cycle in a regular rhythm. Avoid naps, but if you must, limit them to less than 30 minutes and be sure to have your siesta before 3 p.m.
Avoid caffeinated beverages, heavy meals, alcohol and vigorous exercise within two hours of bedtime. They can all disrupt your sleep.
While getting into your bedtime routine, it’s a good idea to limit your screen time. Mobile phones, computers and TVs emit blue light. And exposure to that bluish light during the two hours before bed can keep you from getting a good night’s rest.
Some people like a hot shower before bed, while others like to listen to relaxing music or read. These cues let your body know it’s time to prepare for sleep.
Light up your life!
In the morning, open the curtains or blinds soon after you wake up. Bright light helps to regulate your natural biological clock.
If you can’t fall asleep after 30 minutes of tossing and turning, get up and do something boring in dim light until you feel sleepy. Try not to look at the clock – it may only make you feel anxious.
Sleep is an important part of your overall health. Both your body and mind rest and refresh while sleeping.
To find a chiropractor near you, use the chiropractor locator on our website. In Ontario, you can visit a chiropractor without a referral from a doctor, nurse practitioner or other health care professional. If you already have a chiropractor and/or another health care professional, join our Partnership4BetterHealth online patient advisory community. Then, you can share your ideas on how to enhance chiropractic services and make a positive impact on our health care system. It’s confidential, free, and always your choice to participate.