During the night our body recovers. From the moment we fall asleep, until the alarm wakes us up in the morning, we go through various sleep phases that allow us to regenerate and process the daily events. During the more active dream phase, the eyes in particular are in motion (REM, rapid eye movement), sometimes also the body as a whole. In the deep sleep phase, however, we usually lie still for several hours.
During this phase, there is a risk of developing tension and pain symptoms due to suboptimal sleeping positions or a bed that is not ergonomically adjusted. This situation affects the quality of sleep and the general well-being of the body throughout the day.
This month we met Pascal Infanger – certified sleep therapist – from Infanger Gesunder Schlaf GmbH (Baar / Sihlbrugg) and had an exciting conversation about sleep.
What happens to our muscles while we sleep?
The idea, of course, would be to relax the muscles. However, if the muscles are regularly stressed during sleep or also during the day, an overreaction takes place and results in pain or tension. Such complaints intensify during sleep, because the regular relaxation movements that would be performed automatically during the day are missing during the deep sleep phases.
What could be the reason for waking up at night with back pain?
The bed and pillow do not fit the body shape and force the body into a suboptimal compensation position, e.g. on the stomach or in a twisted lying position.
Do you have any advice for chronic belly sleepers?
If the basic conditions are right, the side position is the most natural form of lying and the most ideal for the relaxation of the muscles. If this position in your bed is uncomfortable, try to turn or even remove the shoulder crossbars of the slatted frame. This allows a better sinking of the shoulder and promotes a healthy positioning of the spine. For persistent abdominal sleepers we recommend using a thin, or no pillow at all. If there is too much pressure in the shoulder area, the bed is not optimally adapted to the needs of the body. With a consultation and the analysis of the existing sleeping system, comfortable positioning on the side can be achieved.
What should be watched out for when buying a pillow?
A cushion should always be purchased with the possibility of return. I also recommend a test pillow, which should be tried out in your own bed for at least one week. Ideally, the height of the cushion is adjustable.
How do you find the right mattress for your body?
It is important that the mattress can be tested during five to six weeks with the possibility of return or exchange, so that you as the buyer do not take any risks. Buying a bed from the age of 35 to 40 is usually no longer quite as easy, because the body (or muscles) responds faster to poor posture and an inappropriate bed. For any known physical complaints, I recommend a consultation with an ig-rls.ch expert. These are certified specialists who deal with lying and sleeping problems on a daily basis.
What can you recommend for pregnant women regarding the choice of mattress?
In general, the bed should support the additional weight in the middle of the body during this phase. If your own bed does not guarantee this, a folded towel in the lower back area under the mattress may provide support and stability. Customisable beds, which are appropriately adjustable in the lower back area, would be an ideal solution.
Is there a general rule for children’s beds?
Since children are much lighter in weight, they can sleep on a soft mattress up to the age of 12-13 years without any concerns. For a holistic sleep consultation for children we also like to fall back on one of our valuable contacts and recommend it to customers.
What is a Lying consultation?
If you would like to solve your lying or sleeping problem, we offer you a personal consultation to get to know your health history and the current situation. We will explain to you how a suitable bed should feel regardless of the products that we have in offer, and how your complaints may have occurred. If necessary, you will be measured and our beds individually adjusted to you.
In order to achieve a healthy sleep many different aspects have to be considered. In addition to the individually adapted bed, there are other influences that can promote a restful sleep. Mr. Infanger gave us some valuable tips during our meeting:
- Avoid sports in the evening – it keeps you awake
- If you have difficulty falling asleep, move your bed time to a half an hour earlier or later
- If you have problems with waking up, set the alarm thirty minutes later or earlier. This way you can find the best time for you to get up in the morning
- People are creatures of habit. Always have dinner at the same time and stick to your bed time rituals, this way you signal your body that it is time for sleep soon
- Don’t look at your smartphone and tablets once in bed. The blue light of the screen and the intensive source of information keeps you awake
If we were able to spark your interest with this blog and you would like to adapt your sleeping system, you will find all the important information and details for a consultation without obligation on www.gesunderschlaf.ch!
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