Good posture is of vital importance to maintain a healthy spine preventing disc damage and vertebral degeneration.
Good posture is also of vital importance for symptomatic recovery and to maximize structural correction while undergoing chiropractic treatment. It allows the patient to hold adjustments for longer periods of time and it helps creating new and better muscle memory in our body.
Often people think good posture concerns solely the active or awake part of their day. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Sleep posture is just as important as our daily posture and more. Good normal posture helps us distributing daily weights and stresses on our spine in the most efficient way, preventing injuries to our discs. Good sleep posture allows our spine, and in particular our discs to recover, regenerate and rehydrate and our muscles to rest and relax.
A tangible sign of the daily nocturnal rehydration of our intervertebral discs is our height in the morning, which on average is 1 cm taller than before we go to bed!
So what is good sleep posture and how can we achieve it? The first and most important thing we must consider is that when we sleep we are not actively controlling our posture as we do during the day, hence we must rely on the quality, firmness and shape of our mattress and pillow to help us maintain it.
We personally recommend the Tempur brand as we have used it for many years and we know it offers products, which are reliable and of consistent quality. However, any product featuring the following specifications will be appropriate:
- The mattress needs to be firm, yet accommodate for the normal curves in our spine.
- The pillow on the other hand, needs to be of the appropriate size for one’s body frame and feature the correct cervical support curve depending of the person’s preferred sleeping position.
This brings us to the second ingredient to good sleep posture: sleeping position. The most ideal sleeping position for our spine, especially for people who need to restore their cervical curve, is supine (face up). However, sleeping on the side is equally acceptable, provided that the pillow correctly maintains our neck in a neutral straight position.
Last, but not least, we must think of the quality of our sleep. How long does it take us to fall asleep? Do we wake up during the night? How rested do we feel when we get up in the morning? Modern life often disrupts our normal sleeping cycle and people struggle to find a balance, resorting to sleeping medication and the numerous side effects that come with them. If you have the same problem, a melatonin supplement is a very effective natural alternative, which helps restore the natural sleeping cycle and improve the quality of our sleep.
With these tips in mind I wish you a good night sleep
Written by Pietro Mariani – Chiropractor at Advanced Chiropractic