The ingredients for a good night’s sleep might include: a good mattress or futon, no undue stress or anxiety, not eating late, having some fresh air and movement in your day, avoiding the stimulation of TV, tablets and computer screens last thing at night, and so on.
Sometimes we can do everything right, but even a good mattress and orthopaedic pillow are not enough to prevent our sleep from being disturbed by aches and pains.
Some people find that their back, neck or shoulder pain tends to be worse at night. This can be because by day our mind is distracted from the pain by our activities, but also because at night the body lets go of some of its protective ‘holding on’ as the muscles try to relax. Sleep can also be disturbed by pins and needles or cramp. Another common pattern is to sleep pretty comfortably, but to wake with a stiff or niggling lower back, which may gradually ease as the day progresses.
A postural approach can dramatically improve the situation for anyone recognising these symptoms. Steps you can take include:
- Finding out how to use your body better in daily life to avoid creating the tension, inflammation and compression which causes pain.
- Identifying and avoiding sleeping positions which exacerbate any tension, compression and poor circulation.
- Learning techniques and sleeping positions which are truly therapeutic, providing hours of better breathing and circulation, and taking the pressure off nerves, discs and joints.
Good posture is about so much more than just having an upright appearance! It’s about living in a body that feels happy, enjoys healthy movement, and sleeps comfortably. Exactly how we can return to this natural state is brilliantly set out in Esther Gokhale’s book, ‘8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back’.
To find out more about pain-free posture, sign up for the Free Workshop with Gokhale Method teacher Clare Chapman at www.gokhalemethod.com or call 07982 231317.