Poor Sleep Quality May Lead to Muscle Aches
By Larisa Goldin, MBA, LMP
Among factors that impact overall health, sleep is right at the top. While it is important that you are proactive in your health during the day with nutrition, fitness and healing your body through methods like massage and acupuncture, it is equally important that you are receiving quality sleep. Long-term sleep deprivation is a tremendous stressor to our bodies that weakens the immune system, opening the door to both physiological and neurological disorders.
A mattress that is too firm does not offer enough support for your body’s natural curves. One that is too soft exaggerates the curves of your spine as parts of your body sink in to the mattress. In either case, your muscles, whose job it is to maintain healthy posture and protect the spine, are working hard throughout the night instead of resting. This is why you wake up sore.
Not only does a bad mattress cause muscle soreness but it also hurts the quality of your sleep. Instead of sleeping soundly through a 5 to 7 hour stretch, you tend to wake up frequently to change sleeping positions since you are not comfortable.
When you go shopping for your new mattress, don’t worry about the fancy brand names and all the industry jargon about coils and pillow tops. No matter how fancy or expensive a mattress is, if it is too firm or too soft for you, you don’t want it. Get on the mattresses and try them out for yourself. Most experts recommend you lie on a mattress for a few minutes so your body can adjust to it before you decide how the mattress really feels. One way you can test if you need something softer is if you can slide your hand easily under the small of your back when you lay supine. Ideally the mattress should come to meet your body. On the other hand, if you are heavy-set and experience chronic lower back pain, then you will probably want a firmer mattress.