Written by Dr Carmen Hawker

With family and work stress, everyday worries, and common aches and pains caused by uncomfortable beds and pillows, it’s no surprise that so many people suffer from occasional restless sleep or insomnia.

Research shows that poor sleep has direct negative effects on your hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. There is also an association between sleep and physical health, and it has become increasingly evident that sleep and the immune system are closely connected. Evidence indicates that both short and long-term sleep deprivation can make you sick.

Over the past few decades, both sleep quality and quantity has deteriorated. In fact, many people regularly get poor sleep.

Here are some things to consider to help you achieve a better night’s sleep through healthy sleeping habits, good mattress, pillow and sleep protection, and chiropractic care.

Get regular exercise
Morning exercise is best, but if you have to exercise in the evenings, make sure to finish up at least three hours before bedtime. Limit your intake of caffeinated drinks, especially in the later hours of the day. Limit screen time before bed, and keep your bedroom dark, cool and comfortable. Sticking to a routine is extremely helpful – go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Some simple stretches and relaxation methods given to you by your Chiropractor can also allow the muscles to release any tension for a better sleep.

Choose a mattress that supports your spine
When choosing a mattress, look for one that supports your body weight evenly and allows your spine to stay in its natural and neutral alignment. Every few months, turn your mattress clockwise or upside down; this will keep indentations to a minimum. Firmer mattresses are recommended for the best back support, as softer mattresses sag and don’t support the spine.

Mattresses are often items that we don’t like spending money on, when in fact it should be one of the most expensive items in your house. The reason for this is that we spend almost a third of life sleeping, so picking a good quality mattress is worth every penny! A good pillow is also a must. Instead of reaching for a nice fluffy pillow, firmer is once again a better choice. Try find a firm memory foam pillow that allows your head and neck to remain in proper placement while sleeping. This keeps the neck strain at bay.

Aim for a healthy sleeping position
More often than not, people are stomach sleepers. Stomach sleeping is one of the most injurious positions for your body, as it keeps your spine in a twisted state for many hours. This does nothing to help your body naturally adjust itself, and causes your back, joints and muscles to be more restless. It also causes strain on all parts of your body. A better choice would be to sleep on your back or side.

Keep your body flexible and functional
Maintaining function improves sleep. As always, having your body and nervous system functioning properly and optimally will help improve your ability to rest well. Routinely visiting your chiropractor for adjustments will allow your body to restore proper function. You may notice an increase in energy, as well as immunity, and improvement in your sleep among other benefits.

Protect yourself and your mattress from allergens and stains
Having a mattress protector can have many great benefits too, for both the sleeper and the bed. If you are predisposed to allergies, such as dust mites and other allergy-causing elements, having a protector can really make a difference in the quality of your sleep.

During the night, we lose around half a litre of sweat and other fluids. This goes straight into your mattress, providing a perfectly warm and damp place for bacteria, dust mites and bed bugs to breed. Allergens from outside clothes, open windows, pets and more can also filter into your mattress, leading you to wake up with a stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, wheezing and sneezing.

Protect-A-Bed mattress and pillow protectors are made with Miracle Membrane® technology, providing a 100% breathable yet 100% waterproof barrier between you and your mattress. This stops all outside allergens, bugs and bacteria from getting in, while protecting you from whatever may already be in your mattress.

Once you’ve invested in the perfect mattress for you, you’ll want to guard your investment too – and a Protect-A-Bed mattress protector will do just that. Most warranties are void if there are any spills or stains, and even if you don’t need to take it back, your protector will keep your mattress clean, hygienic and good-as-new.

Create the perfect sleeping environment with Protect-A-Bed’s high-quality mattress and pillow protectors today!