I often get asked which position is the best for achieving proper rest. This is a great question and you may find the answers eye-opening. What are the possible sleep positions?
- The Back Sleeper
- The Nestler, or side sleeper
- The Baby, or stomach sleeper
- The Chairman, or someone who sleeps sitting up or in a chair
The first position, The Back Sleeper, is one of the most common sleep positions. Sleeping on your back ensures that your back, which is curved, to find a neutral position, allowing the muscles around the spine to relax. If the mattress has developed a large divot, your back will follow the curve of the mattress and thus will lead to pain. Ever take a long car trip? Remember that dull throbbing pain in your lower back? That's because many car seats do not have a built-in lumbar support, so the lower curve has to rely on the muscles to pull it back into place, causing aches and pain and muscle fatigue. If you are sleeping on a very hard or flat, unyielding surface, your lower lumber, when sleeping on your back, will not get the support it needs and the muscles around the lumbar will work all night to pull the lumbar back into place. This may be why you are waking up with sore muscles.
A traditional wire tied coil mattress, where are the coils are interconnected, forces the back to conform to a flat surface. The spine is shaped like an "S" and only a pocketed coil mattress or an all foam mattress, whether its a latex or memory foam bed, has the ability to support the curves of the spine and allowing you to experience spine neutral, or a relaxed spine. So, for back sleepers, we would recommend the PacBamboo or Tencel memory foam mattress or The Quail or Starling latex organic mattress. As for pillows, consider a soft, shredded latex or kapok or wooly bolus pillow as each are soft and allows the head and neck to relax. Another great choice is either of the contour memory foam pillows in our store, which support the curvature of the neck.
Next is The Nestler, someone who sleeps on their side. I fall into this category myself. For whatever reason, it is most comfortable to curl up in the fetal position to sleep. Perhaps it pulls from some early childhood experience or just feels most familiar. Remember, comfort is something vital to proper rest. When you are comfortable, your body can relax and you will achieve longer bouts of deep, restorative rest. The best mattress for a side sleeper is one that alleviates pressure, something in the medium soft to soft range. When you are on your side, you are concentrating all of your weight on your shoulder and hips. This can be more pronounced for women, who tend to be curvier than men, or for folks in their more advanced years, who get more sensitive the older they get due to diminished collagen in their skin. In the Nest Bedding mattress store, the recommendations would be either the Natural Silk Elegance or Silk Elegance Adjustable in a memory foam option, or the Starling with the optional extra latex foam topper for the customer looking for a more natural mattress or organic mattress.
Some physicians and M.D.'s will tell you than side sleeping can increase wrinkles due to the added pressure of pushing your face against the pillow all night. I believe this can be lessened with the correct pillow. A soft yet supportive pillow like the Kapok pillow or Side Sleeper Gel Foam pillow would be a great choice for side sleepers.
Ah, the stomach sleeper! The bane of a Chiropractors existence. Your Chiropractor will likely tell you this is not an ideal sleep position, and yet one of my friends who is a Chiropractor will admit to stomach sleeping himself. The reason this is not the best sleep position is because it puts added pressure on the curve of the neck. This position also squishes the face and breasts, neither very comfortable. Try forcing yourself to become a back or side sleeper, as either position is much better! If you insist on stomach sleeping, choosing a very flat and firmer surface will help alleviate some of the neck issues. The Sparrow or Quail would be good choices in the natural latex organic mattresses. We can put a firmer piece of latex in the Quail upon request. The Tencel is very flat and as a memory foam bed it would be one of the better choices.
Last would be the Chairman, or someone who finds sitting up in bed to be advantageous or comfortable. This is usually the position someone sleeps in if they are dealing with a very bad mattress or acid reflux. At Nest Bedding in Berkeley Albany area, we would recommend adding an adjustable bed foundation to any of our mattresses to help with this situation. An adjustable bed allows you to gently raise the body without giving up the proper comfort and support of a good memory foam mattress or organic and natural mattress. We are able to deliver throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, so don't hesitate to consider this option when shopping in our Albany Berkeley store or online at www.NestBedding.com