Pillow Talk: Why Mattress Matters to Your Back

Have you ever wondered why you wake up with body pain even with a full 8 hours of sleep? You

Kim Le

April 8, 2023

Getting good quality sleep is essential for good health. But did you know that the quality of your mattress and pillows contribute a lot to sleep quality? Do you wake up with a sore back or neck pain despite having no injuries or significant health issues? Do you keep waking up tired even though you go to bed early? If so, there might be a problem with your pillow or mattress.

How Your Mattress Affects Your Sleep

Mattresses provide support for the body while we sleep. It should keep the spine in alignment and allow us to change positions easily during the night. A too soft mattress will sag in the middle and put a strain on our back. A mattress that's too firm won't contour to the body, leading to back pain.

Did you know that people spend approximately 36 years of their life in bed? It is why investing in a high-quality mattress is a must for improving sleep hygiene and your overall well-being. Sleep quality affects every area of your life, from how you feel to your productivity and leisure time enjoyment. So, invest in a mattress that supports good sleep.

Can an Old Mattress Cause Back Pain?

If your mattress is already over seven years old, it's probably time for a new one. An old mattress can contribute to back pain. Mattresses wear out over time and lose their ability to provide proper support. It can lead to neck and back pain and other health problems.

There are many other potential causes of back pain, but your mattress is an excellent place to start if you're looking for ways to improve your sleep and reduce pain. Finding a mattress that prevents or reduces back pain can be challenging, but it's worth the effort. There are many different types of mattresses you choose from, so take the time to find one that's right for you.

How to Choose a Mattress That Supports Your Best Sleeping Position

Sleeping on Your Side

Side sleepers have sharp pressure points at the hips and shoulders, making them prone to spine misalignment if they use a mattress that's too firm or soft. If you're a side sleeper, look for a mattress that's soft enough to contour to your body but firm enough to support your spine. A pillow between your knees can also help keep your spine in alignment.

Sleeping on Your Back

Back sleepers experience the most pressure on their back. If you sleep on your back, look for a mattress that's firm enough to support your lower back but soft enough so that it doesn't put pressure on your hips. A pillow under your knees can also help take pressure off your lower back.

Sleeping on Your Stomach

Stomach sleepers should choose a mattress that's soft enough to contour to your body but firm enough to prevent your stomach from sinking in. It helps keep your lumbar spine from making a U-shape, and it will help you breathe better while lying face down. A pillow under your pelvis can also help take pressure off your back.

No matter what sleeping position you prefer, there's a mattress out there that can help reduce pain and improve your sleep. Take the time to find the best mattress to reduce or prevent back pain, and you'll be on your way to better sleep quality.

How Your Pillow Affects Your Sleep

Your pillow should support your head and neck so that your spine stays aligned, no matter your sleeping position. A too firm pillow won't provide enough cushioning, leading to neck pain. If you use a pillow that's too soft, your head will sink and strain your neck muscles.

How to Choose a Pillow That Supports Your Sleeping Position

Sleeping on Your Side

Are you a side sleeper? Then it would be best if you used a thick pillow to keep your head level with your shoulders. A thin one won't provide enough support and may cause your head to tilt forward, putting strain on your neck.

Sleeping on Your Back

If you're a back sleeper, you should use a thin pillow so that your chin isn't slumped into your chest. A thick one will raise your head too high and strain your neck.

Sleeping on Your Stomach

If you sleep on your stomach, you shouldn't use a pillow. A pillow will raise your head too high and strain your neck. But if you feel more comfortable with a pillow, choose a thinner pillow. You can also place one under your shoulders to keep your spine in neutral alignment.

What is the Best Sleeping Position?

The best position for sleeping is to lie on your side with a pillow that supports your head and keeps it level with your shoulders. This position allows your spine to stay aligned and prevents strain on your neck and back. Then again, it depends on your preference. Some people sleep better in different positions. Find one that helps you sleep better, but ensure that your body is supported correctly.

When to Buy a New Mattress or Pillow

If you wake up with a sore back or neck, it might be time to invest in a new mattress or pillow. A good mattress and pillow should support your body and help you sleep better. Buy new pillows every two years and a new mattress every six to eight years. With a good night's sleep, you'll wake up feeling refreshed and rested.

What to Look for in Your New Mattress

When you are choosing a new mattress, there are four aspects that you should consider:

Support: A supportive mattress gives your lumbar spine (lower back) the assistance it needs to relax and de-stress throughout the night. It is essential for people who sleep on their back or suffer from middle or lower back pain.

Comfort: Choose an adequately firm mattress made of breathable cushioning materials for comfort. A mattress that's too firm won't contour to your body, leading to back pain. A mattress that's too soft will sag in the middle and strain your back.

Construction: A sturdy mattress should have a coil count of 300 or more. The coils should be tightly wrapped and spaced close together. The best mattresses also have a layer of padding on top of the coils for additional comfort.

Warranty: Buy a mattress that comes with a good warranty. It will protect your investment in case there are any problems with the one you bought.

How to Choose a Good Pillow

Sleeping Position: When choosing a new pillow, you should consider your sleeping position because the type of pillow you get ultimately depends on how you sleep. A good pillow will keep your spine neutrally aligned throughout the night, reducing neck pain and promoting good sleep.

However, if you frequently change positions while sleeping, choose a plush pillow where you can move the fill around. Doing so will help you find the most comfortable sleeping position, even when tossing and turning.

Fill: Some pillows are machine washable, while some only have a machine washable cover. You can choose from fluffy down pillows and down alternatives made with synthetic fill. Memory foam pillows are also available in solid or shredded forms. Lastly, latex pillows are similar to memory foam but bounce back much quicker.

How a Chiropractor Can Help

Is it challenging to find the right mattress or pillow that supports your sleeping position? Avoid back and neck pain from sleeping incorrectly and seek help from professional chiropractors. Book a session at our Marrickville chiropractic clinic to get started. At Hyper Health, we can advise you on which mattress or pillow type fits you best.

You might also want to book a consultation at our Marrickville clinic for chiropractic care if you have chronic back pain. Find other ways to reduce pain and improve your quality of life.

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