Physical Therapy Tips on How to Sleep Better with the Right Bed and Pillows

APT NEWS:  Trigger Point Dry Needling (TDN) is a treatment technique that utilizes thin, solid filament needles to deactivate and desensitize trigger points in muscles. Trigger points can contribute to pain, decreased flexibility and decreased muscle function.  We perform Dry Needling in both of our offices!



Physical Therapy Tips on How to Sleep Better with the Right Bed and Pillows

For many people, getting a good night’s sleep could be as easy as changing their pillow and mattress. Anyone who spends the night tossing, turning and wakes with aches and pains would benefit from a consultation with a physical therapist. What many individuals don’t know is that sleeping on the wrong mattress or pillow can result in muscle spasms, strains and ligament damage – even while they sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic. A lack of restful and restorative sleep has been cited as the cause of accidents in vehicles, industrial settings and the medical field. Wakefulness disorders have been recognized as a serious problem, with up to 70 million adults being affected.

The wrong mattress and pillow can be the impetus that transforms a minor joint, muscle or ligament problem into a chronic condition. Those with a deficit of restorative sleep show the effects physically and mentally. They’re more prone to chronic diseases that include obesity and high blood pressure.

Insufficient sleep support has a variety of emotional and psychological impacts. People that don’t obtain restful sleep have difficulty with memory and concentration, are less productive at work, and have lower grades in educational pursuits. Each individual is different in the number of hours they need to sleep, but everyone needs a supportive sleep and a physical therapist can help.

Bedding Essentials

The primary function of a pillow or mattress is to provide support for the resting body. Choosing a mattress or pillow is a confusing and frustrating experience for most people. They don’t know what qualities to seek in their mattress and typically choose one based on price or laying on it for less than 60 seconds. Pillows present another dilemma. With dozens from which to choose, many buy whatever is trendy at the moment.

The firmest mattress isn’t always the best solution and there’s no industry wide standard for firm or soft. Couples should always choose a mattress together or consider an adjustable bed that accommodates the needs of each sleeper. Pillows should support the head and neck in the same position as if the person was standing upright. A poor pillow will cause neck, back and shoulder pain as easily as a bad mattress.

A Prescription for Sleep

The most important decision you can make before purchasing a mattress or pillow is to consult with one of our physical therapists. Pillows should reflect the preferred sleep position of the individual and our therapists can show people what to look for that accommodates their height, weight and sleep positions.

The therapist will provide information on sleep positions that are conducive to restful sleep and maintain proper positioning of the spine and neck. Consumers must factor in their height, weight, the mattress dimensions and how their weight will be distributed. Our therapist will also teach individuals how to recognize when a pillow or mattress requires replacing.

Our therapist can also assist with sleep aids for individuals with special slumber needs, the biomechanics of sleeping well, and ergonomic devices and usage, along with information on mitigating poor sleep habits. There’s no one pillow or mattress that’s perfect for everyone, but with the assistance of our physical therapists, anyone can obtain the restful, pain free sleep they need.

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