Common Sleep Disruptors

Sleeping In A Hole

Ever wonder why your back is sore when you wake up from sleeping?Feel like you got an eight hour back work out while you were sleeping? Can’trelax in bed in the morning because the back pain makes youuncomfortable? It is probably because you are sleeping in a trench! “If youcan fit three fingers between your lower back and the mattress, then it’s notgiving enough support,” says Karin Mahoney, director of theBetter Sleep Council. When your body doesn’t receive the proper support it needs whileyou sleep, your back ends up doing all the work, hence the back pain whenyou wake up. Mahoney recommends rotating the mattress by 180 degreesevery six months or so to keep the pressure even as the mattress is beingused. Sleep experts are always hesitant to recommend the perfect model,material or brand of mattress, due to the fact that comfort is subjective andtherefore different per individual, but medium-firm has been shown in studiesand through patient reports to be comfortable for most people. Your body willlet you know when it is time for an upgrade when you regularly wake up withstiffness, numbness and back pain! It is common practice to test-drivemattresses at hotel chains before committing to a purchase, or working witha distributor that has a comfort guarantee to truly test out the mattress. Forthe shopper that shops on averages, according the industry data, queen-sized innersprings are the most popular in the U.S. but the new gelmattresses are said to be a comfortable and low stress alternative.

Pillow Height

A pillow is essential to a good night’s sleep and waking up feelingenergetic! This is when it really matters if you are a back, side, or stomachsleeper. The purpose of a pillow is to properly align the spine but if you don’tget the right fit for the pillow you could be doing more harm than good. Forthe stomach sleepers, you have to make sure your pillow isn’t too thick. Ifyou get a pillow that is too thick it will push your head back! Not only will thisbe extremely uncomfortable but it could also cause some knots in your neck.For the back sleepers, a medium sized pillow seems to be best. If you go toothin you won’t have the proper support for your head and neck but if you gotoo thick your chin will be touching your chest. You will know when you foundthe right level when your head isn’t being forced into an awkward angle.Last but not least, the side sleepers. The typical side sleeper seems to have afairly large profile and space to fill when they are on their side. This is when athick pillow comes into play. Thick pillows can typically fill the big gapefficiently, providing the amount of support side sleepers crave. A well sizedpillow can save you from weeks of unwarranted neck and shoulder pain. 

Breathe Easy

The optimal way to breathe in general is through the nose, says NancyCollop, MD, president of theAmerican Academy of Sleep Medicine. Our noseswarm the air and filter out dirt and other particles. When sleeping, especiallywhen on the back, breathing passageways can start to be partiallyobstructed either by your tongue or objects around you. When an airpassage is blocked, the typical response is to open the mouth creatinganother air passage. Breathing through the mouth, especially while sleeping,can lead to snoring, throat irritation, intense dry mouth and even abnormalrespiration and sleep apnea. This is when adjustable bases becomemedically advantageous. That’s right; they aren’t just for sitting up in bed tosee the TV better! With a slight lift of the head, typically referred to as apillow tilt, you can help open up the breathing pathways which allow you touse your nose, stop the snoring, and most importantly, sleep throughout thenight.

Too Hot In Here?

The body actually uses temperature to help us get tired and prepare usfor sleep. Cold temperatures make us drowsy, and a falling core bodytemperature helps us get to sleep faster. If you want to fall asleep faster andmore efficient, try and help this process along. You can do this by turningdown the heat and keeping your bedroom cool (ideally, around 60 to 68degrees). Opening the windows also helps bring in fresh, oxygen-rich air(unless you live near a freeway), which can contribute to a healthy sleepcycle. Most importantly, it is good to know that there is a certain period ofREM sleep during which your internal heating and cooling systems changeand you become more sensitive to the temperature of the air around you. Ifyou wake up at this point it may interrupt the point in your sleep cycle whereyou are actually gaining energy. Luckily, technology has advanced in the mattress industry and most mattresses have some sort of way to orientateyour temperature. These gel foams or phase change materials won’t makeyou cold but they do keep you at one sleeping temperature so that you don’tawake to any temperature changes and can sleep fully throughout the night.A Cool Bed Just Isn’t Cool Enough!Even if you sleep on a cooler mattress, in a cold room, you may stillwake up soaked in sweat. This is commonly due to your sheets or even yourpajamas underperforming. Luckily, the mattress industry has advanced instride when it comes to heat. Several new technologies and products addressthe problem of night sweats and overheating, such as: cooling mattressprotectors, performance protectors and sheets that are made from wickingfabrics, and even pillows with cooling technology. 

Tossing And Turning?

CIf you get mad at your significant other every time they get in and outof bed for waking you up, stop getting mad at them and get mad at yourmattress. The mattress jiggles are a problem of the past nowadays with mostdecent mattresses being made with independently pocketed coils. With thecoils no longer being connected through a steal rod, they act independentlyof one another, minimizing the movement between you and your partner.Memory foam is also known to help with this type of dynamic response! Ifyou really need to tackle that mattress movement, your best bet is a little ofboth worlds; a hybrid!