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Sleep Ergonomics, Universal Wellness Source

Sleep Ergonomics

Wake Up Pain-Free and Energized

Getting a good night’s sleep is something many of us struggle with. Sometimes, it is difficult to relax or our sleep gets disrupted. Getting enough sleep is important for more than just functioning throughout the day; it also has a major impact on our health. Sleep plays an essential biological role in recovery and energy conservation. It has also been shown that sleep is important for neural development, learning, memory, emotional regulation, cardiovascular and metabolic function, and cellular toxin removal.

Adults require on average 7–8 hours of sleep each night. However, there are some work-related factors that can have a negative impact on one’s length and quality of sleep, such as long or late shifts, travel, and daily responsibilities. Not getting enough sleep can cause excessive drowsiness, which has been associated with an increased risk of work-related injuries.

Your sleeping posture is also just as important as how you sit or stand, and it can have a great impact on your quality of sleep. This is referred to as “sleep ergonomics.” It is important to ensure that, as we rest, we are in a comfortable and safe position in order to prevent any additional strain to the body. Your body position, mattress, and pillow all contribute to sleep ergonomics.

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to sleep ergonomics:

Sleeping Positions to Reduce Back Pain:

How you sleep the majority of the time can have an impact on the quality of your sleep. However, there are a few tricks that can help improve your sleep without significantly disrupting your sleep habits. For example, if you sleep on your side, draw your legs up slightly towards your chest and put a pillow between your legs. You can also use a full-body length pillow for support.

If possible, try not to put weight on your arms; this can cause problems with circulation and place pressure on your nerves, which may cause a pins and needles sensation. If you sleep on your back, try placing a pillow under your knees to help maintain a neutral lower-back curvature. In general, sleeping on your stomach is discouraged; it can create unnecessary strain on your neck which may lead to compression of nerves and muscle tightness or pain. If sleeping on your front is still your preference, try placing a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen to reduce the strain.

Mattresses:

Sleeping on a good mattress and pillow is important to support the body and keep it in a neutral position, allowing it to rest and recover from the day’s work and activities. The mattress can help support the spine’s natural curves. It has been found that a sagging mattress can negatively affect sleep quality.

Choosing The Right Pillow:

Staying in one position for too long may create tension in the neck and low back. This makes your choice of pillow all the more important. An ergonomic pillow is designed to accommodate your preferred sleep position and minimize any tension that may result from prolonged time spent in one position. They can be made of foam to help retain your form and offer greater support. They also come in different sizes. The wrong-sized pillow can aggravate any neck or shoulder problems. Your ideally-fitted pillow should support the head, neck, and shoulders, and should adapt to the different contours of these areas—this will optimize your sleeping position throughout the night.

Being more aware of sleep ergonomics can help improve your sleep, reduce pain caused by poor sleeping positions, and allow you to wake up with more energy the following day. Re-evaluate your sleep ergonomics and see if it makes a difference in your life.

 

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To prevent developing various MSK conditions from working or studying, we’ve shared helpful tips below to maintain a healthy spine and MSK system.

Keeping a Healthy Spine at School and Work

During the summer, it is normally much easier to stay active with weekend getaways and weekly summer outdoor activities. As we shift into a busier fall season, people may neglect their health for the sake of productivity – whether it’s sitting at your desk at school or at work, or even transporting books and laptops. It’s important for people to keep active while working to minimize the risk of developing musculoskeletal (MSK) injuries or conditions.

Did you know? The countless hours of sitting you do will eventually add up and takes a toll on your body and posture. If you slouch over your desk while typing or reading, you decrease function of your lungs and put pressure on other internal organs, which can affect ability to breathe and function properly. Also, your circulation, especially in legs, could be compromised. To prevent developing various MSK conditions from working or studying, we’ve shared helpful tips below to maintain a healthy spine and MSK system.

1. Set Up Your Office Space Ergonomically

Lower your computer monitor so that it is at eye level to prevent you from slouching downwards or tilting your head up. Raise your chair and adjust the keyboard and mouse to maintain your arms in a relaxed position and an “open” angle of the elbows. If possible, try to turn your body instead of only your head to speak to a colleague or look away from your screen.

2. Carry Right, Carry Light

If you carry your laptop to and from work every day, or your books to school – be mindful of how the weight is distributed in your bag. Laptop bags are usually swung over one shoulder, which can take a toll on your spine, increasing your risk of injury. A properly fitted backpack can help prevent additional strain on your body for both children and adults.

3.  Take a 15 Minute Break

Taking frequent breaks throughout the day to walk around the office will help relieve the strain of sitting on your body. Aside from short breaks, try to take a few 15 minutes breaks, and make at least one of those breaks more active. Walking, stretching or a program like Fit-in-15 is perfect for those people who want to stay active even at work or at school. The program allows you to build your own 15 minute workout from a menu of simple activities at no cost to you, making it simple to commit to exercise at work.

4. Stretch It Out

Perform simple stretches frequently throughout the day to release the tension in your shoulders and back. Even if you need to perform the stretches while sitting, it’s enough to relieve some stress and strain from your back and promote blood flow to the area. The Straighten Up Canada app is great for this, but even simple neck and arm stretches can help.

It’s really easy to forget about time when focusing on what you’re doing at work or school. Yet, your body may benefit from movement throughout the day. Take a few moments during your day to do some stretches or light physical activity. Once you introduce activity into your routine, you will likely be more energized and ultimately, productive.

For more tips that can help you at work and school, contact our chiropractors or stop by a clinic.

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4 Tips for Improving Posture

Four Tips for Improving Posture

Good posture is more important than many people realize.

Many a mother has followed her child around, reminding him or her to “stand up straight!” Not everyone knows all the reasons that this is important, but they should. Good posture is essential to good spinal health as well as good overall health.

People with good posture sleep better, feel better, and have fewer aches and pains in the joints, back, neck, and head. It helps you have better digestion, improves your organ function, and helps to make your chiropractic treatments even more effective. These top posture tips will help you stand straight and tall while enjoying better health.

Be aware

Being aware of poor posture is the first step in being able to correct it. When you feel your spine starts to curve, your shoulders hunch, or your back sway, stop and take a moment to pull your body back into proper alignment. Pretend that there is a string that goes through your entire body from the top of your head.

In your mind, pull that string up, raising your chin slightly so that it is parallel to the floor. Pull your shoulders back and allow your arms to hang naturally at your side. Bend your knees slightly (soft knees) with your feet about shoulder width apart. Tuck in your stomach and roll your pelvis forward so your back is not swayed. Keep your weight mostly on the balls of your feet. Think tall. Take deep breaths and allow yourself to get an idea of what this, good posture, feels like.

Use the wall

Using the wall or floor can help you get a feel for how to shift your pelvis. If you have a habit of tilting your pelvis back so that you have a sway back, you need to learn how to roll it forward to get it straight.

A person can develop a sway back out of habit, due to injury, or if they carry a lot of abdominal fat. It can cause a great deal of pain and just making the adjustment to straighten your spine will make a tremendous difference.

To get the feel for straightening your back, stand flat against a wall. Keep your feet directly under you. Now try to press the small of your back into the wall. Feel how your body shifts as your pelvis rolls forward. Pay attention to that sensation so you can duplicate it without using the wall. You can also do this while lying on your back with your knees slightly bent. Practice arching your back and then pressing it against the floor to get a feel for that motion.

Stay active

Regular exercise and stretching are very important for good posture. What many people don’t realize, though, is that good posture is absolutely vital while you are exercising. This is called “form.” You need to practice good form while you are doing weight bearing exercises, cardio, and stretching. If you don’t it can lead to injury or pain.

Your chiropractor can advise you on various exercises and the proper form for them. If you work out at a gym or at home, learn about good form for the exercises that you do. Fitness professionals can help you with this and are well worth the investment.

Get Regular Chiropractic Adjustments

Chiropractic Adjustments can help correct poor posture, but even if you are working on it yourself it is important to get regular chiropractic care. There are several reasons for this. First, your chiropractor can make adjustments to your spine, providing you with a much wider range of motion and better mobility. Your chiropractor can also recommend exercises for you and show you how to do them properly. If you have weight issues he or she can provide you with advice on diet and lifestyle changes. Taking advantage of the whole body wellness that chiropractic offers will not only improve your posture, it will improve your life.

I hope you found this article helpful and gained some new knowledge from it. Please, leave a comment or feel free to ask questions. Also, Let your Friends and Family know about the article by sharing it on Facebook.

In Health,
Dr Ashlin Gasiorowski

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