SLEEP POSITIONS TO HELP YOU SLEEP
When it comes to sleep, we are creatures of habit: 63% of adults sleep on their side and about 30% of adults are stomach and back sleepers. Although each person will naturally favour one sleep position over another, your chosen position may not be the best for your health. Back, stomach or side? The debate is ongoing, but you likely have a preferred sleep position. Read on to see which position may be best suited for you!
Snorers and people who suffer from sleep apnea. These people should avoid sleeping on their back; side sleeping is best as it contributes to opening up the airways. If you have a bad back, a pillow placed between your knees will help reduce the pressure on your hips and lower back. Sleeping on your side is encouraged for those suffering from back or hip pain. Is there a difference between the right or left side? Research studies have suggested that left side sleeping can alleviate heartburn!
Back sleepers. If you favour sleeping on your back, be aware that this may contribute to lower back pain and even episodes of apnea. Consider placing a pillow or rolled up towel under your knees to follow the natural curve of the spine and contribute to a more restful sleep.
Stomach sleepers. If you favour sleeping on your stomach, you are likely not going to be happy. Sleep professionals suggest that you avoid sleeping on your stomach as this can affect your lower back and lead to potential neck pain. If you must sleep on your stomach, consider using a very soft pillow or none at all, to avoid your neck being at an awkward angle. If you have trouble sleeping, it is best that you avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Try out different positions and, unless you have a health condition that suggests otherwise, go with what feels best!
THE MATTRESS AND PILLOW THAT ARE RIGHT FOR YOU
Your mattress plays an important role in the quality of your sleep. Although it may still feel comfortable, it may no longer offer you the support your body needs for a restful sleep. You may be surprised at how much a new mattress can influence the quality of your sleep. Even though your mattress and box spring may be guaranteed for 10 years, it could be time to replace it even after 7!
Is it time to change your mattress set?
Here are a few things to think about:
- Is your mattress between 5 and 7 years old?
- Do you often wake up sore, stiff or numb?
- Do you sleep better at a hotel or in a friend’s guest bedroom?
- Does your mattress show signs of overuse (sagging)?
The best mattress for you must meet your needs for comfort and support. Here are some bedding basics that will help you make the best choice and lead to a good night’s sleep:
Innerspring. Tempered steel coils are used in a wide range of configurations. Different types and layers of upholstery insulate and cushion the spring unit, resulting in an array of comfort choices.
Foam. Solid foam mattresses are available in varying firmness levels. Some are made of a solid core; others consist of several layers of foam bonded together. New technologies include “memory” foams.
Airbeds. Instead of an innerspring or foam mattress, airbeds use an air-filled core to provide support. These are also available in varying firmness levels.
Other options. Futons, adjustable beds and waterbeds are other options that you may consider.
Comfortable, durable, supportive and… just the right size
|Comfort||Cushioning materials and extra-soft treatments make for a lush, comfortable feel.|
|Support||The goal is to gently support your body. When testing out a mattress, be sure to focus on how your shoulders, hips and lower back feel, as these are the heaviest parts of your body. The mattress should keep your spine in the same position you have when standing with a good posture.|
|Durability||The quality of the materials and how these are assembled will influence how long your mattress remains comfortable and supportive.|
|Size||Be sure that your mattress allows you to move freely. Feeling confined can impact the quality of your sleep. Consider whether you will be sleeping alone or with your partner, as well as the size of both of you. This will influence whether you should purchase a double (53″ x 75″), queen (60″ x 80″) or king (76″ x 80″) size mattress set.|
Regardless of the mattress set you purchase, be sure to carefully evaluate it for comfort, support, durability and size. Take the time to try out various mattresses in the store to be sure the one you choose is the best for you.
Now that you have the right mattress, you must make sure that your pillow is right. Your pillow plays an important role in the quality of your sleep. Your mattress must support your body; your pillow must cushion your head and neck.
If you sleep on your side, you should look for an extra-firm pillow that offers additional support to your head and neck.
If you sleep on your back, you should use medium-firm pillow that will support your head with a bit more bounce.
And, if you insist on sleeping on your stomach, even though many sleep professionals suggest otherwise, opt for a very soft pillow, or no pillow at all, to minimize the strain on your neck.
How long will my pillow last?
If your pillow looks and feels different than the day you bought it, it is probably time to change it. A good test is to fold your pillow in two and push out the air; if it springs back into its original shape, it is still good. If not, you’re likely due for a new pillow.
There is a wide range of pillows to choose from and if you take the time, you will certainly find one that suits your needs and your price point. Remember: your pillow also plays a key role in helping you to get a perfect night’s sleep.
To learn how to fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep, continue reading all our sleep tips and exploring our tools.