How well you sleep at night determines how well you are. And that, believe it or not, depends a whole load on the kind of bed/pillows you use at night.
“The spine is not a straight frame,” C.S. Dhillon, MIOT Centre for Spine Surgery, explains, setting the scientific basis for why orthopaedicians think that the choice of bed is important. There are certain normal curves, forward at the neck, backward at the upper back region, and forward again at the lower back. “The extent of curve varies from person to person and that determines what sort of bedding is required for that individual,” he goes on to explain.
How do you know if you have the right kind of bed? Simple. Do you wake up in the morning feeling aches and pains? If yes, then it is a clear case of bad bed. It probably is not fair to expect a layman to know the shape of his spine, but the easiest test is to see how he feels when he wakes up, Dr. Dhillon explains. “If you wake up fresh, what you have is the right bed for you,” he says.
There is no undervaluing the importance of waking up fresh, he goes on to say. “Waking up fresh in the morning gives you a whole new approach to life, more positive. Working and living with aches and pains has a definite impact on quality of life,” he adds. Waking up tired will erode a person's efficiency for sure, explains S.H.Jaheer Hussain, consultant, Trauma and Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital, Kilpauk. A minimum of seven hours of sleep is essential for that is when the body rests and regenerates itself. To allow the bed or pillow to get in the way of that would be quite foolish.
“We get a lot of people coming in with back and neck aches, and investigations usually reveal bad posture and bad bedding as the reasons behind the problem. Added to this is the factor that people are driving or riding for long distances, these days. So, people who come into the clinic usually ask us what type of bed they can use,” Dr. Dhillon says. Doctors make a recommendation based on the patient's anatomy, and usually the problems resolve themselves, once the proper mattresses and pillows are used.
Spending on a good bed, appropriate for your comfort is key, Dr. Hussain says. While a range of mattress materials are available in the market, including foam, coir, and cotton, and a huge variety of brands too, people are actually spoilt for choice. “Spending on a bed is important, but spending on the right type of bed/pillow is absolutely essential,” he adds.
Again, depending on the shape of your spine, some one with a flatter spine will be comfortable with a thin pillow and a bed that is not very soft. A thicker pillow and softer bed works for people with more curvature of the spine, Dr. Dhillon explains.
Also, within two years of regular use, the material used for the bedding tends to sink, and even if it started off being the right kind of bed, that sinking would cease to support the back properly, and would lead to back aches, Dr. Hussain added.