Many of the clients visiting our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent mention that they don’t sleep well. Common complaints include: “Waking up multiple times in the middle of the night”, “Waking up with a sore back”, and “Struggling to get to sleep at all”.
Many of these issues are a result of poor sleep hygiene, which are habits and practices that are useful for sleeping well. In this post, I’ll share several useful tips for improving your sleep hygiene and enjoying the good night’s rest you deserve.
To learn how chiropractic care can improve your health, contact City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent on 01782 848 184. You can also read this blog post to learn more about healthy sleeping habits.
Why is sleep important?
As you sleep, your body performs several important biological processes. These include:
- The body’s energy levels will be restored
- Additional hormones will be produced and hormone levels will be balanced
- Muscle, organs and other cells will be repaired
- The immune system is strengthened
- The brain will process all of the day’s information
- The sympathetic nervous system gets a chance to rest
- Cortisol levels are reduced (a hormone which contributes to chronic stress)
- Inflammation levels are reduced
These processes all combine to ensure you are happy, healthy, and ready for the day that is ahead when you awake.
Getting a good night’s sleep
Here are a few useful tips to help you get a great night’s sleep and enjoy a healthy musculoskeletal system:
Sleep on your back
Many people visiting our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent ask which way is the “correct” way to sleep. My answer is always the same – sleep on your back unless you find side sleeping much easier.
When you sleep on your back, your spine will be optimally aligned and won’t be twisted at an unusual angle. Ideally, you should only use one thin or regular pillow under the head when sleeping on your back, so the neck is more in line with the shoulders. This will reduce your risk of waking with a sore neck. Back-sleepers who occasionally experience lower back pain may find it useful to place a thin pillow underneath their knees, which takes some strain off the back.
Side sleepers can obtain better spinal alignment by placing a thick pillow under their neck. This will prevent the neck from being aligned too far up or down during sleep. It can also be helpful to place a pillow between the knees, which reduces hip strain and ensures the pelvis remains correctly rotated.
Use a mattress that provides head to toe support
A great mattress will provide uniform support across the entire body. There shouldn’t be any large gaps between your body and the mattress, as they can place additional strain on your musculoskeletal system as you sleep.
Obviously, it is also important that your mattress feels comfortable to you. If the mattress doesn’t feel firm enough, try placing a board underneath it. If it doesn’t feel soft enough, add some padding on top of it.
If you have an uncomfortable mattress that is more than 8 years old, it may be time to replace it. If you have recently gained or lost a lot of weight, it may also be a good idea to replace your mattress as it may no longer be providing adequate support.
Rotate your mattress
Mattresses can develop indentations if you always sleep on the same part of the bed. These indentations can eventually become soft spots that don’t correctly support your body. For this reason, it is always a good idea to rotate your mattress clockwise at least once a month.
Use a great pillow
Having a high-quality pillow available is almost as important as having a high-quality mattress. Look for a pillow that is the right size for your sleeping style. If you sleep on your back, use a thin pillow, if you sleep on your side, opt for thick. Ideally, choose a pillow with a memory foam core, as it will retain its shape for a long time. Also, consider the type of material used for the pillow surround. Many people like Down and Feather pillows, but you may prefer soft foam.
Use a sleep routine
A sleep routine is a series of activities that you perform every evening before bed. These tasks can help you wind-down before going to sleep and ensure you are ready for sleep when you lay down in bed. Some useful tasks to add to your sleep routine include:
- Begin preparing for bed at the same time each night and go to bed at the same time each night
- Having a cup of herbal tea or warm milk before bed
- Turn off the television and any electric devices one hour before bed
- Read a book
- Perform breathing exercises
- Listen to soothing music
- Brush your teeth and have a relaxing bath
- Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bed
Create an environment that is conducive to sleep
The location where you sleep plays a critical role in the quality of your sleep. Ideally, it should be a quiet, cool, and dark space. You should also use high-quality sheets and wear clothing that you feel comfortable in.
Get plenty of exercise
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining your health and is very useful for getting a good night’s sleep. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise most days.
Our team of chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are here to help you. If you want to book an appointment with one of our team contact City Chiropractic Clinic on 01782 848 184 or drop into our Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke on Trent.
Take your first step towards better health and call us on 01782 848 184 today
From the team at City Chiropractic Clinic
Our Chiropractors in Stoke on Trent are here to help you