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A good night sleep: How to choose your equipment?

Sleep occupies a large part of our days. This is what allows us to refuel, but how to recover if your sleep is altered or you start your day with aches or more pain than the day before? What is the cause: the type of mattress, the type of pillow or the position? Is it a mixture of three or one in particular? Here is a document that will help you choose the best equipment for you.

The Mattress

There are several types of mattresses: with springs, with memory foam, etc. There is no standard or miracle recipe for choosing a mattress. The rules to respect are comfort and firmness. The mattress should be firm enough to support you, but if it is too firm, it may cause discomforts to the more prominent bones. On the other hand, if it is too soft, this can cause muscular and joint tensions that would not be there with a good mattress. It should not be forgotten that a mattress has a lifespan of maximum 10 years.
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The Pillow

Like the mattress, there are several types of pillows: with down, with synthetic fibers, orthopedic pillows and those in viscoelastic. Here are the good and/or bad sides of each.

  • Down: They lose their shape during the night.
  • Orthopedic pillow: They are not very malleable and can create muscular tensions.
  • Synthetic Fibers: This is the best choice at low price
  • Viscoelasticity: This is the best choice because it marries the shape of your body, but they are expensive.
    Despite their good or bad side, the most important thing is that you are comfortable with your pillow and that your alignment is optimal for your spine, as shown below.

 

Sleep Positions

In this section we will discuss the three most common sleep positions explaining the importance of maintaining the natural curvatures of the spine and how to maintain them.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 5.18.48 PM

 

On the back:

In this position, you must:

  • Have a pillow under the head and neck to keep the cervical curvature.
  • Put a pillow under the knees. This results in a decrease in tensions in the lumbar region, in the hamstrings (muscles under the thighs) and in the psoas (muscles in the front of the thigh).

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 5.18.37 PMOn your side:

In this position, you must:

  • Insert the pillow into the space between the head and the shoulder.
  • Keep your back straight to prevent twisting at the dorsal and lumbar.
  • Put a pillow between the knees to keep the pelvis as straight as possible.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 5.18.42 PM

 

Prone (belly):

The position on the belly is the least recommended position due to the increased curvatures. It is possible that this position is comfortable for you.

In this case, you must:

  • Put a pillow under the shins to decrease flexion at the ankle.
  • Avoid putting a pillow under the head because the cervical curvature will be even higher.
  • Keep this position as short as possible.

In conclusion, the best way to have a good night sleep is to choose wisely your equipment: A firm but comfortable mattress, a comfortable pillow that keeps its shape during the night, and a good sleeping position that keeps the curvatures of the spine in the optimal position.

Sabrina Paquet, TRP