SLEEP

Written By Durham Sport and Wellness on January 23, 2017


Sleep

Jeez, I love my sleep and my napping.  I can sleep anytime, anywhere…with my head down on a desk, on a plane before we have even taxied away from the gate, at the office, in my car.  Wow, it kinda sounds like all I do is sleep.   But seriously, sleeping is extremely important.   It is vital for our health and plays a major role in our well-being.  It has been shown that sleep is important for neural development, learning, memory, emotional regulation, cardiovascular and metabolic function, and cellular toxin removal.
Your sleeping posture is just as important as how you sit or stand throughout the day, and it can have a great impact on your quality of sleep.  It is important to ensure that, as we rest, we are in a comfortable and safe position in order to prevent any additional strain to the body.

The ideal sleeping position is on your side, legs drawn up slightly towards your chest with a pillow between your legs.   If you need to sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees to help maintain a neutral low back curvature.  Sleeping on your stomach is terrible for you and it is a habit you should break.  Tummy sleeping creates strain on your neck and low back that may lead to compression of your nerves, muscle tightness and pain.

Everyone has a different preference on mattress and pillows.  Hard vs soft.  My only recommendation is choose a mattress that does not sag and that supports the natural curvature of the spine.  In regards to pillows, choose a pillow that keeps your neck as neutral as possible, it should not allow your neck to be curved to the right or left.  Your head and neck should be straight and aligned.  

There are more things that can affect your quality of sleep- pajamas, using your devices in bed…look for my future blog post on that.  Happy Sleeping.  zzzz