How to get a good night’s sleep in eight hours - Part 4

Get a good night’s sleep to wake up rested, energized and ready to take on your day!

A good night’s sleep depends on what your body requires while it lays down for the recommended 7-8 hours every night.

Essentially, your body needs:

  • good support, for your back and spine to align, and
  • pressure relief, to avoid pain in hips and shoulders

Just as you need good posture when walking, you also need good “posture” when sleeping.

Did you know you need to sleep ‘straight’?

Some of our body parts are heavier than others, our lower body is typically heaviest so it will naturally sink into your mattress while your torso and head will remain at a higher level – this imbalance should be corrected by your mattress so your back is not arched leading to back pain.

Correct support for your back and limbs should make your whole body align in an invisible straight line. However, most mattresses start sagging in the first few years.

While your body is aligned in a straight line, your hips and shoulders, the most “protruding” parts of your body, should be gently supported without pressure points.

This way, your mattress should conform to the curves of your body by providing support while affording adequate cushioning

Woman sleeping in bed with comforter.This is the most common sleeping position.

Pay attention to the layers and densities in your mattress, there should be several options for you to choose from, so the mattress adapts to your body not the other way around.

According to the Better Sleep Council, good back support and pressure relief are the two most important factors for a good night’s sleep.

If you wake up in the morning congested and with itchy eyes, with a sore back and knee pain or just have a faint headache and feel fuzzy, then your mattress is causing you to toss and turn constantly due to pressure points; it is not letting your spine properly align and it’s not allowing you to relax.

Your mattress is paramount when it comes to getting a god night’s sleep. Adjust the level of comfort to your personal needs, between soft, medium, firm and extra-firm. The material should ideally also be breathable and resilient.

Pillows on a bed.If you are taking care of aging parents, make sure they are constantly changing position while in bed to prevent this condition.

Mattresses come in many shapes and sizes and all sorts of materials

Should you choose coil, memory foam, latex or an air mattress? How do you know which is the best for you?

Other important aspects are:

  • sleep temperature – your mattress should not be too hot nor too cold
  • motion transfer – if your partner moves you should not be awakened
  • durability – a great mattress will give you back support and pressure relief for the life of the mattress.

Another super critical aspect, less discussed in the industry, is toxicity

The materials in a mattress are important to your health, albeit acting silently and over a long period of time. However, many mattresses in the market are made cutting costs by way of using off-gas substances, petroleum-based products and anti-flammable chemicals.

Your mattress also absorbs dead skin, sweat and moisture creating a whole ecosystem: mold, bacteria and dust mites. These will affect your respiratory system and lead to allergies.

To minimize further increase of dust mites and bacteria in your mattress, do not make your bed as soon as you wake up. On the contrary, allow it to cool down and breathe a little, maybe even let the bed sheets hang by the end of the bed so the whole top surface with the fitted sheet gets ventilated.

All these things may cause you stuffiness, headaches and congestion!

Characteristics of a good mattress:

  • gives you good back support
  • helps you with pressure point relief
  • be made with no-toxic materials
  • be durable

Stress, an accelerator of aging and inflammation, is highly correlated to sleep. The more stressed you are the less likely you are to give in to good night's sleep.

Bed with an open book left on it.A cozy blanket, a good book and a twig of lavender for a good night's sleep!

The more relaxed you are (like on vacation) the easily to slumber down

Not getting a good night's sleep is obviously one of the main drivers of chronic inflammation, but it has a surprising culprit.

Recently, the effect of our hyper “connected” life is beginning to spark discussion and debate.

In the past century we’ve had an unprecedented increase in the number and sheer diversity of electromagnetic field sources that we are exposed to on a daily basis - and we don’t know the impact of such a situation.

In our homes we have all sorts of electronic devices like refrigerators, ovens, washing machines, TVs, DVDs, vacuum cleaners, cell phones, iRobots and most recently virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri.

And some are right in our bedrooms, could they be to blame for you not being able to get a good night's sleep?

We are constantly connected, literally electronically "jacked-up"

Some people have reported a variety of health problems that they think are related to their exposure to EMFs and, in this case, how it impacts a good night's sleep, or lack thereof.

This is a fascinating topic, albeit new and full of controversies and hype.

But it might prove useful so we better understand how some unusual things might be impacting our capacity to earn a good night's sleep.

Part 5 - The impact of electronics and radiation

Back to Sleep

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The Better Sleep Council, Mattress types,
Sleep Advisor, Toxic materials in memory foam,

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