We know well that as you make your bed, so you must lie on it. But how to make your bed properly? Should be the mattress as hard as possible? Is it healthier to sleep without a pillow than with it? Sleep is a very important time when your body regenerates. In order to get the maximum from the rest, don’t let these sleep myths fool you.
Myth # 1: hard mattress is healthier
False. Sleeping on a hard mattress or generally on a hard surface, like the floor, causes muscle tension due to which our body can’t relax properly.
If you sleep on your back, your spine will lose its natural slightly curved shape. It’s not completely straight and reminds the letter S shape. Now imagine what happens if we try to put it on a hard surface. A curved spine will begin to straighten up adapting to the surface to some extent. The effect will be even worse – the lower back spine vertebrae will be slightly pushed out. This, in turn, will make our body tighten the muscles around them automatically.
If you sleep on your side, your body will compensate for the hard surface by the spine rotation in order to get the most comfortable position.
For example, our spine rotated while sleeping on the stomach when one leg is bent. In this position our spine is turned only partially. In practice, when our brain receives a signal that some part of our body needs a protection from the tension, it creates even bigger muscle tension. There is no chance that your tense body could fully get rested before the next day full of challenges and probably long hours of sitting.
So what is a solution then? Is it healthier to sleep on a soft mattress? The answer is still no. Your body “falls into” too soft surface which makes your muscles tighten in order to maintain a good body posture. As we have already mentioned, muscle tension does not serve to a healthy night’s rest.
How to choose a mattress?
The softness of the mattress should respond to your body weight. The ideal mattress should bend under you and support your muscles at the same time. If you are not sure, test it for some trial period – many mattress manufacturers have such an offer for their customers.
Myth # 2: sleeping without a pillow is healthier
False. This is another popular myth. If you sleep without a pillow, your cervical spine is heavily loaded. Whether you sleep on your back or on your side, your neck has no support without a pillow.
How to choose a pillow?
First of all, your pillow should not be too high or too low. The easiest and most comfortable way will be to sleep on a pillow, which you can freely arrange under your head, so that you would be comfortable. A large loose pillow will be the best choice.
So called Swedish pillows with orthopedic design were created to gently support the cervical spine. Attention! If you suffer from a serious cervical Lordosis, do not use such pillows as they will be too low for you!
Myth # 3: ideal sleeping position for everybody
False. Every sleeping position has its own pros and cons. Depending on the way you sleep, you can increase or decrease the following symptoms:
- back or neck pains
- snoring habit
- sleep apnea disorder
- strain on the joints
- muscle tension
For more information, check out our post about the Top Three Sleeping Positions, and choose the one that would suit you!