There is a reason that back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.(1) If your back goes out, your mobility is so greatly affected that even the most benign tasks become overwhelmingly taxing and even physically impossible. The National Center for Biotechnology Information estimates that up to 80% of people will experience back pain episodes at some point in their lives. They also found that out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, lower back pain ranked highest in terms of disability.(2)
Most people don’t fully realize the significance of maintaining a well aligned spine until they injure their back. Simply witnessing somebody cope with the pain and discomfort of a back injury can go a long way to convincing one of the importance of keeping your back healthy. The back is the anchor to the entire body.
There are a number of precautions one can take that will help maintain proper alignment (3) and there is a lot to be said for ideal body movement during waking hours, but how are you supposed to manage your alignment while you’re asleep? It comes down to properly supporting your body based on your own personal sleep style and the specific needs of your body. We’ve all woken up sore at some point wondering, “what the heck did I sleep on last night?!” One night’s sleep has the potential to amount to eight hours of improper body positioning, which will usually result in some serious discomfort. Just imagine subjecting your back to that abuse on a regular basis. Alignment issues that an improper sleep surface can cause could potentially domino and affect many aspects of physical wellness. Spine injuries in general have serious implications on crucial bodily functions.(4)
The proactive solution to maintenance of healthy alignment really comes down to using the proper sleep surface. According to the International Chiropractors Association, “The influence of bed design on spine support and other elements is of central importance to the health and well-being of the individual as these elements directly correlate with the physical/psychological/physiological components of health.”(5) Getting enough sleep is very important, so comfort is crucial, but you may have to adjust the your sleep style to maintain a healthy alignment. Ideally, a proper mattress should cater to the sleep style of the user.
There are three primary styles of sleeping: back, stomach, and side. The best sleep style for your posture is on your back, followed closely by side sleeping. (6) We do not recommend stomach sleeping because of the effects your sleep position has on your overall health. Stomach sleeping can add a tremendous amount of unwanted stress to your overall back and spine. A good mattress can encourage proper support whether sleeping on your back or on your side. A back sleeper requires a flatter, firmer surface. The firmer sleep surface will not sink, therefore enabling the spine to maintain stability throughout the night. A softer surface will give way to the curvature of the body, which is beneficial to preventing unwanted pressure points for a side sleeper.
But what if you move around a lot while you sleep? Maybe you fall asleep on your back and wake up on your side. Maybe you fall asleep on your side and wake up doing a full split. Whatever it may be, the catch all fail safe is a middle ground mattress. Right between soft and firm, there lies an ideal option that has just enough give to contour the curves of the body, but remain stable enough to support a flat back sleeper. This is the best option for people that like to switch it up, consciously or unconsciously.
Regardless of your sleep style, there is a healthy option when it comes to maintaining proper body alignment. Both SpineAlign mattresses are design approved by Dr. Jason Loth, D.C. to specifically cater to both back and side sleepers with full body support, posture, and back health in mind. So, stop asking why you can’t get a good night’s sleep or what is causing you so much back pain, and start sleeping smart.