Do you ever find yourself getting up in the morning and wondering "Why does my back hurt a lot when I wake up?”
Does your pain or stiffness get in the way of or make it harder to get your day started?
Quality sleep is a huge part of your whole body health, and it shapes the way that you approach your day. There are many factors that can affect your sleep, but two common reasons that tend to be a problem are one, your mattress, and two, your pillow.
A common misconception that you might hear about mattresses is that mattresses need to be firm in order to better support your back. Although this can be true in some cases, your back likes to be in a neutral position, where the curvature of your spine is as if you're standing upright. If your mattress is too soft, your back will curve forward as you’re essentially sinking into your bed throughout the night. Now, imagine staying in this forward-curve hunched posture for 6-8 hours at a time. As you sleep in this position all night, it’s no wonder that you wake up in the morning and feel so stiff!
On the other hand, your pillow might be another culprit to your neck or back pain.
Pillows are not one size fits all, so choosing a proper pillow in order to get a quality night’s sleep depends on both your mattress type and the sleeping position that you gear towards the most. Are you a back sleeper or a side sleeper? Or do you find yourself rolling onto your stomach to sleep?
Your sleeping position changes the way that your spine lays as you go to bed. Ideally, you want to support the neutral curvature of your spine. So whether you are a back, side or stomach sleeper, your spine should remain as close as possible to how you it is when you are standing up straight.
You want to find a pillow that will support your spine curvature enough to maintain neutral posture. If you're a back sleeper, your pillow should support the back of your neck in a way that doesn’t stress your neck to fall back, as if you are turning your head to look upwards, or stress your neck to be pushed forwards, chin towards your chest. Side sleepers should rest with a pillow that fits right into the curve of your neck and supports your spine as you lay on your shoulder.
Hopefully after reading this blog post, you are able to gain a better understanding of just how important your mattress and pillow are to getting the most out of your good night’s rest!
If you or someone you love has any back or neck pain, especially after waking up in the morning, and would like more information about how we can help you get a healthy night’s rest again, please come by the office or give us a call!
Dr. Daphne Tan, PT, DPT