The best mattress & sleep position for your back

The Challenge of selecting the correct mattress for you.
In the above statement the emphasis is heavily placed on the “correct mattress for you”, we here at The Chiro Clinic are frequently asked for advise on selecting new mattresses. However if we are completely honest there is no one correct answer for everyone, therefore we have put together this information to help guide you in determining which mattress is the best for you.
When we consider how much time we spend in our beds it becomes apparent that it should provide with sufficient support & comfort to not cause or exacerbate pain.
First of all lets cover how do we know if our mattress needs replacing?
Here are some questions to ask yourself

  • Is your current bed >10 years old?
  • Is your mattress sagging?
  • Can you feel or see the springs?
  • Do you wake up aching?
  • Have you had a better nights sleep in another bed recently?
  • Does your bed creak?
  • Are the base or legs worn?

The Sleep Council website even has an Bed MOT checklist (www.sleepcouncil.org.uk/interactive/bed-mot)
Tips on purchasing a new mattress.
The primary question we here at The Chiro Clinic are asked is “Should I get a firm or soft mattress?” The best answer is a supportive mattress as due to weight, height and build everyone’s requirements are different.
The optimum word as mentioned previously is supportive, you can see how supportive a mattress is by lying on your side your spine should be neutral & parallel to the mattress without sagging. This is also true for your neck, your pillow should help maintain a straight line from in between your shoulder blades to the base of your skull, so not to cause compression on one side of your neck & stretching on the opposite side.
Remember to lie on the bed for as long as possible prior to purchasing it. Wear loose comfortable clothing & remove shoes & coats to get a more true representation of how it would feel to sleep in.
Try as many beds as possible, so you can compare them.
Bed bases & mattresses are dependent upon one another so don’t neglect your bed base when looking for a new mattress.
Consider the height of the bed also. How easy would it be to get in & out of daily.
A bed made for 2
Remember that you & your partner may have different mattress requirements therefore it is always advised that you go mattress shopping together and try the mattress out simultaneously, whilst adopting your usual sleep position. The larger the bed also the lesser impact your partners sleeping habits will have on your own sleep. In addition some mattress companies offer mattresses that have 2 different halves which can be joined to provide both your individual requirements within the same mattress
Sleep Posture
Not all the responsibility for a pain free nights sleep can be placed on your mattress (and pillow) although it is a great place to start. The rest is reliant upon your sleep posture & hygiene.
It is never advisable to lie on your front on a night as this results in 90 degrees rotation of your neck & causes an increase in your lumbar lordosis (the natural curve in your lower back).
Lying on your side is advisable if you adopt the neutral spine position as mentioned earlier so that your spine is parallel to the mattress with no mattress sagging or spinal rotation.
Try & avoid remaining in the same position continually as this results in the same stress & strain being placed through the same muscles & joints repeatedly.
Stretch your way out of bed. During the night as we are more inactive the circulation of the synovial fluid which lubricates our joints is reduced, thus causing stiffness in the mornings, therefore we advise gentle stretches in the a.m to help increase the synovial fluid circulation & to reduce muscle tension.
Sleep Hygeine
Have a routine
Don’t have excessive stimulus e.g TV mobile phones
Drink water
Dark environment
Sleep tight