There are 3 curves on the body that you should be paying attention to; 1 in the lower back, 1 in middle of your back, and 1 near the neck. The goal is to try to maintain these natural curves when you sleep. One way to help maintain your spine’s alignment is by sleeping on your side. Lying on your back or your stomach can alter the normal natural curve of your spine. In this sleeping position you bend your knees and hips slightly; sort of a semi foetal position as shown in the photo to the right. This position will aid in reducing the pressure on the disks in your spine while you sleep.
Keeping your body and spine level is important. The position of your head, shoulder, hips, knees, and ankles were all designed to interact and operate on the same plane. The most effective method of achieving this is by beginning a postural strength conditioning program to improve your posture during waking hours. The first issue with starting any program is that people do not immediately know what proper posture should feel like.
A simple test that you can do at home is to stand against a wall trying to get the back of your head, shoulders, low back, bum, calves and heels touching. For most people with poor posture, they will not be able to get their shoulder blades to touch the wall. If you fall into this category it is important that you begin a specific regimen for your body’s weaknesses. For example, people who have worked at a computer for years may have shoulders and a forward neck position that require a progression of exercises to strengthen.
Just as we need to review our posture we need to check up on the type of mattress and pillows we use. Maintaining your mattress is key! Replace it after seven to nine years of regular use. If you feel springs or ridges beneath the surface when you’re lying on the bed, or you and your partner tend roll to the middle of the bed (unintentionally), it’s time to go mattress shopping. Choose a pillow that supports a straight spine. If the pillow is too thick, it will cause your neck to bend incorrectly toward the ceiling. If it is too thin, it will bend the other way. Make sure your chin is parallel to the bottom of the bed, rather than resting near your chest.Don’t lose another night’s sleep, book into your local Optimum Studio for an individualised sleeping posture program.