Choosing the right bed for you

Choosing the right bed for you

Chiropractors are often asked for advice on the selection of beds and mattresses and, in truth, there is no one solution that suits all. But, choosing the right bed can minimize factors that may lead to, or aggravate, back pain.

We come in different weights, shapes and sizes, but have one thing in common: we spend more than a third of our lives in bed, so we should choose our beds carefully.

Which is better: a hard or soft mattress? The best mattress is a “supportive one.” A person weighing 224 pounds sleeping on a mattress may not get the same support as a person weighing 140 pounds sleeping on the same mattress.

How do I know which is the right mattress for me? If you are lying on your side, your spine should be parallel to the mattress and your spine should not sag (bed is too soft) or bow (bed is too hard). The longer you can spend lying on a mattress before you buy it, the more accurate this feeling will be. Your pillow should be an extension of this. For example, your neck should be a continuation of the straight spine and, therefore, should not be too high nor too low.

How do I know if my current bed/mattress needs replacing? Are you and your partner getting comfortable nights’ sleep? If the answer is no, your bed may be the problem.  Can you feel the springs through the mattress? If the answer is yes, it is definitely time to buy a new one! Is the bed more than 10 years old? If the answer is yes, consider purchasing a new one. Beds generally tend to wear out and may sag or lose support with time.

Lastly, try and adopt a sleeping position which creates less physical stress on your back. For example, lying on your side is better than lying on your front with your neck twisted to one side.

Also, don’t leap out of bed first thing in the morning. After you have woken up try doing some gentle stretches to get your body moving.