Receiving chiropractic adjustments can bring plenty of relief to clients, but clients need to keep aligned at home. Furniture in their bedroom may be reducing the benefits of their therapy. The right mattress, with the necessary support and comfort, as well as the proper pillow, can also make a difference in the long term outcomes of chiropractic alignment.
Poor Sleep is a Problem
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) noted that 40-60% of the population has interrupted sleep, due to a variety of problems, such as stress, body aches, and uncomfortable mattresses and pillows. There are sleep hygiene solutions that patients can try on their own. These include: “Exercise regularly… at least two or three hours before bedtime…Limit your intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, colas and tea…for each cup of caffeinated beverages you drink each day, drink an equal amount of water…Eat an early dinner…Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning…Keep your bedroom at a cool, comfortable temperature and try to make it as dark as possible”.1
Choosing the Right Mattress
There are some specially-designed chiropractic mattresses on the market that are manufactured to keep the spine in a natural position. They reduce motion-transfer and create a stable sleeping surface. They can relieve pressure points. Some are even anti-allergenic.2 Patients with lower back pain, stomach and back sleepers, and larger patients tend to prefer a firmer mattress. Those who have upper back and neck pain and side sleepers generally lean toward a plush mattress. Patients with painful joints/pressure sores, people who toss and turn, and those with allergies may benefit from memory and latex foam beds. Adjustable beds are best for those who like to read, watch TV, or eat in bed.3 The ACA suggests purchasing a new mattress when it is needed, and to get a mattress that has head-to-toe support, or even adding a soft topper to a too-firm mattress.4
Selecting a Pillow
The ACA also recommends a supportive pillow, such as one by Innovative Choices. “A good pillow will keep the cervical (neck) section of the spine aligned with the thoracic and lumbar (chest and lower back) sections. “[The sections] move together and should be supported together,” suggests Peter Mckay, DC. The head and neck should be in alignment with the upper back/spine.5
The Better Sleep Council has suggestions on mattresses and pillows, proper sleep hygiene, and other beneficial ideas. It is also necessary to pick the best position for sleeping. “The most comfortable position involves bending the knees slightly upwards towards the chest area.” They suggest some people might prefer sleeping with a pillow between their legs. Back sleeping can induce pain or worsen apnea, but for those who prefer their backs, they suggest putting a pillow under the knees.6
Check out more about chiropractic and ergonomics.