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Sleeping Posture: How to Choose the Right Mattress

Sleeping Posture: How to Choose the Right Mattress

Waking up with aches and soreness in your neck and back? Don’t know if it’s time to change your mattress and not sure where to begin to look for in a suitable mattress?

As a physical therapist, I was taught that “pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.” So, let’s try to find out what may be causing you to wake up with soreness and aches.

Since I was a kid, people have always told me to stand, sit, walk with good posture, but no one ever mentioned anything about sleeping with good posture.

It makes sense. Our body, particularly our muscles and ligaments, need to recover after a busy day. So, if we don’t sleep with good posture, these muscles and ligaments continue to be stressed.  After days, months, and years, our bodies start to ache and waking up feels like you never shut your eyes for the night.

A few tips to help you to achieve a restful, refreshing, full night’s sleep!

1. How Often?

Replace your mattress about every 7-8 years: mattress material begins to lose its ability to provide the support our body needs for comfort

2. How Firm?

When in doubt, choose medium-firm: something soft enough to cradles the body’s natural curves while firm enough to support muscular and bony structures:

  1. Back sleepers: firm enough to support low back but soft enough to contour the body
  2. Stomach Sleepers: firm enough to keep stomach afloat
  3. Side Sleepers: slight softness to cushion shoulders and hips

2. How Comfortable is It?

Make comfort your primary goal: Firmness and softness is very subjective, so use comfort as your ultimate goal.

Be mindful of these tips next time you wake up feeling tired, fatigued, or sore. They will help you maintain optimal posture and comfort during the most important time of the day in preparation for taking on challenges in life!

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Libbie Chen, PT, DPT
Libbie enjoys spending time with family and friends, watching movies, exploring new places to eat, relaxing at the beach, and traveling. She likes to stay active by working out, playing sports, hiking, and rooting for the LA Lakers.