Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, it can benefit your heart, mind, weight, safety and more. Because we spend one third of our lives sleeping, we should be more conscious of the posture.
The laying posture is the only moment when the vertebrae aren’t being compressed by the gravity and the weight above it – the muscles are relaxed (the worst position for the spine is – sitting and bending forward while holding a weight), leaving the body at is total rest so the spine and cartilage come back to their original form. This is one of the reasons why we are about 1 centimeter taller in the morning than in the evening!
Unfortunately, many of us still complaint about stiffness and painful low back pain in the morning. There is likely to be something wrong with the surface on which you are lying or the position in which you sleep.
A wrong laying and resting posture can lead to a stress on the hips and on the joints of the upper body. For instance, laying on the side without a pillow increases the tension in the neck because the shoulder width prevents the head to be aligned with the rest of the body. Furthermore, when the hip width is greater than the body trunk, space is then observed between the mattress and the body.
Because POSTURE DOESN’T LIKE EMPTINESS, IT IS SUGGESTED TO FILL THESE SPACES TO SUPPORT THE NATURAL CURVES OF THE BODY. Here are some tips that can help you restore your body and mind in the morning:
- Preserve the alignment between the head, the hip and the feet;
- The spine should be perfectly aligned and the legs should be parallel, whether you are on your back, side or stomach, eliminating tensions to your pelvis and your lower back;
- Place a pillow between your knees when you are lying on the side to decrease stress in the lower back;
- Preserve a neutral neck position by making sure your pillow isn’t too high or too low. According to a study, it takes around 15 minutes for a pillow to properly mold the neck;
- No scientific proofs show that the ventral position is more damageable than the others, except for the people with sleep apnea.
- Fill the empty space between your low back and your mattress – preventing strain that can develop when you lie on your side or back.
- Finally, make sure your mattress doesn’t sag; it shouldn’t be too hard or too soft. A study reported that patients who slept on medium-firm mattresses were more likely to report reduced back pain than patients who slept on a firm mattress.
I hope these tips were helpful to you this week. For more informations about this topic or if you have any questions, feel free to ask!
Bird Smith C.
Fortier, Denis. (2014). Conseils d’un physio pour une meilleure posture et des articulations en santé. Les Éditions du Trécarré. 192 p.
Hodkinson, and al. (2013). Time to stabilisation of the cervical spine when supported by a pillow in side lying. Ergonomics, vol. 56, n°9, pp. 1474-1485.
Kovacs, and al. (2003). Effect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain: randomised, double-blind, controlled, multicentre trial. Lancet 362 (9396):1599-1604.
McKenzie, Robin. (2011). Treat your own back. N.Z. : Spinal Publications NZ Ltd. 100 p.
http://theweek.com/ (photo 1)
http://trucontour.com/ (photo 2, 3 and 4)