To Your Health
March, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 03)
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AVOID CONFRONTING DIFFICULT ISSUES The end of the day is not always the best time to discuss or address difficult issues. Beginning a discussion that may lead to an argument will likely leave you frustrated and unable to sleep.

Whenever possible, wait until the morning or weekend, when you can face the dilemma with a fresh perspective and plenty of energy. This will ensure that you have adequate time and energy to reach a solution, rather than just an exhausted rehashing of the issues.

The Right Stuff

Even given all of the above, many people still fail to get the sleep they need. If you're one of these people, you know how hard it can be. Waking up sore, stiff and still feeling tired can be caused by what you're sleeping on - the wrong pillow and/or the wrong mattress.

Do You Have the Right Pillow?

Your pillow is probably the most important component of restful sleep, as it cradles your head and neck for many hours. Your pillow is also the least expensive, most immediate solution to a poor night's sleep and has the potential to address the most common ailments: headaches and neck pain.

  • Does your pillow do a good job of supporting your neck and head? If you find your head in an uncomfortable position or feel the need to fold your pillow, you need a new one.
  • Is there a better choice available? There is a seemingly endless selection of pillows on the market. Determining which type is best for you is the challenge. There are more conventional pillows, filled with down feathers or foam. There are also pillows specifically designed to support your neck and head in a more anatomically correct position. Again, your chiropractor will be the best source to determine what you need, particularly if you are suffering from neck pain or headaches.

Young woman sleeping. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Do You Have the Right Mattress?

Your mattress should be chosen carefully, considering that approximately one-third of your life will be spent on it. You will want to consider a specialized mattress that will give your spine the support you need. This is particularly true as you get older.

  • How long has it been since you bought a new mattress? Mattress makers will tell you that even the best mattresses will only last eight to 10 years. If it's been more than eight years, or if your original mattress wasn't that great to begin with, it's probably time to buy a new mattress.
  • Will a conventional coil mattress give you the support you need for your spine? This is a very important question and can only be answered by a doctor of chiropractic or other health care provider who specializes in spinal health. Many people find the usual coil mattresses just don't provide what they need. Ask your doctor if they think you need a mattress specifically designed to ease the pressure on your spine.
  • What will this special mattress cost? Coil mattresses have several available options, including latex and "memory foam" models. The cost varies, depending on the quality of the model. However, generally speaking, specialized mattresses are no more expensive than their conventional counterparts.

So, there you have it: the keys to getting the great night's sleep you deserve - every night. Talk to your doctor when considering which mattress and pillow are best for you, and remember the do's and don'ts of preparing for restful sleep. Your body and mind will thank you for it.