Waking up stiff or sore?
If yes, this is NOT normal! You should be waking up each morning feeling rested and relaxed. If this is not the case, chances are that either your mattress and/or your pillow is past its use by date. The body is really self-explanatory – we just need to listen to it. If you are waking up with a stiff or sore lower back, then your mattress is possibly too soft. If your neck and shoulders feel tight, or you are suffering from headaches whilst sleeping, then your pillow is probably not the best for your sleeping position. Stiffness is just as much of an indicator as pain.
There are some general rules to follow when looking to purchase either a mattress or pillow.
1. No pillow top
These are great for the first year but that soft fluffy layer loses its integrity with time and you end up having a 3-5cm dip in your mattress. Not good. If this is what you like, then buy a secondary topper so when this is dead, you can throw it out and retain the mattress.
2. Firm yet comfortable
Soft beds do not support the back – your mattress should not feel like a cloud.
3. You need to spend $1000-$2000
Cost does not guarantee quality – I would prefer you to spend less and buy a new mattress every 5 years, than holding onto a bad mattress because you spent $5000 on it
4. Don’t listen to the sales assistants
When they talk about ‘posture-this’, ‘osteo-that’, ‘chiro-this’, this is marketing and doesn’t guarantee the quality of the bed. Never lie on their magical beds that will tell you the ‘perfect mattress for you’.
5. Go for Spring
These have stood the test of time so stick with what’s tried and tested.
Side Sleeper: Latex or memory Foam, Medium Height, Medium Feel, $100
Stomach Sleeper: The flattest pillow available
Side and Back Sleeper: Contour, Latex or memory Foam, Medium Height, Medium Feel, $100
Back Sleeper: Latex or memory Foam, Low Height, Medium Feel, $100
This is just to be taken as a guide so please do not go and buy a new mattress based on this information. It serves only to highlight general trends. If you do have concerns about your mattress or pillow, please book in for an osteopathic consultation and I can help you work out what is actually causing you pain. The main take home message is that you should not be waking up sore.
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Camberwell Osteopath, Melbourne
All Osteopaths at Camberwell Osteopathic Clinic are members of the Australian Osteopathic Association and registered with the Australian Osteopathic Board of Australia and APRAH.