How Understanding your Spine can improve your Sleep & Health
The back is one of the most important elements of the body; in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you must look after your back.
Since back pain affects 8 out of 10 people in a lifetime, it is important that one takes measures to relieve some of the symptoms and improve their health. People tend to forget the spine is part of the central nervous system, along with the brain, and relies on the peripheral nervous system: the millions of nerves that send messages to the brain that control the body’s functions. An unhealthy spine interferes with this entire system, causing a host of unwelcome health issues such as pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs, impaired breathing and digestion and impaired control of the bowel and bladder.
Here are a few tips to help you take better care of your spine and back:
1. Pay attention to how and how long you sleep:
Studies suggest that insufficient sleep is associated with increased neck and back problems. It is important to get a sufficient amount (between six and eight hours) and of course, to sleep in a position that enables the spine to relax. The ideal position is on your side, as that puts the least amount of pressure on the spine.
You should also create a proper sanctuary for sleep, choosing a suitable mattress and pillow for comfort, eliminating all outdoor light and providing fresh cool air. Avoid interacting with any electronic devices at bedtime.
2. Good Posture is Essential:
Remember your mother saying “Stop slouching”? You would think it goes without saying, but too many of us simply don’t maintain good posture, which is critical for a healthy spine. Your smartphone is a pain in the neck: Good posture is defined as ears aligned with the shoulders and the “angel wings,” or the shoulder blades, retracted. In proper alignment, spinal stress is diminished. It is the most efficient position to achieve the best posture possible.
3. Deep belly breathing can improve your posture:
Place your hands on your abdominal area and feel your belly move as you inhale and exhale. Do this as many times a day as possible to improve your posture and overall spinal health. Deep belly breathing enables the spinal nerves to move within the spinal channels, diminishing pain and providing a sense of well-being.
4. Targeted simple exercises can strengthen your core and joints:
Exercise is therapeutic. Just 10 minutes per day is all you need to perform some simple spine-strengthening exercises. Neck stretches, including bending and extension range-of-motion exercises, are just a series of simple side-to-side, up-and-down and ear-to-shoulder stretches that can dramatically improve the health of the cervical spine.
5. A Quality Mattress:
A quality mattress is among the most important pieces of furniture in your home (if not the most important), but buying a mattress can be tough. A good mattress is good for your spine. Instead of reducing the back problems, an uncomfortable mattress can elevate it, or even make it chronic by nature. A good mattress acts as a rescue to all these problems, hence it’s advised to invest in the best one for your health.