Can’t Sleep? It may not be your bed’s fault.

Approximately 14% of Canadians suffer from insomnia. It’s safe to assume that a significant number of these individuals are having trouble sleeping because of chronic pain. Just because you hurt after laying in your bed all night, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to trade in your mattress. It’s important to look at all of the different variables in your life before jumping to any conclusions.Consider this: If you’ve been sleeping on the same mattress for over a year and your pain developed suddenly, there is a good chance your bed hasn’t changed all that much and that some other factor is causing your discomfort. Did you load any boxes, luggage or groceries from you car recently? Do you perform duties at work that may bring on a repetitive stress injury? Have you been in a car accident? Have you changed your diet or do you still have that extra holiday weight? Maybe you overdid it at the gym or went a little further on your daily walk? There are countless sources of injury and it is very common for the pain to manifest in the morning after a period of inactivity (laying in your bed all night in this case).Poor sleeping posture can often magnify pre-existing spine conditions. Some of the best positions for sleeping are laying flat on your back and laying on your side with a pillow between your legs to keep your hips and spine in line. Pillows are also very important when it comes to sleep. Make sure your pillow isn’t too high, but does provide ample support for the curve in your neck. If you need advice on how to improve your sleeping posture, your family chiropractor’s office is a great place to start.In some cases, your bed may be responsible for your pain. The ideal sleeping surface is one that is firm with some give in the top to support the natural curvature of the spine. If your mattress has lost its shape, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to consider an upgrade. Many mattress retailers even provide a trial period for you to test your new bed.The moral of the story? It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of your pain and it is extremely frustrating when it interferes with your sleep. Don’t wait another night in pain. Talk to your family chiropractor and together you can answer the question of whether or not to a new mattress is in your future.

Give Your Back a Holiday

Vacations can be a great opportunity to relax and recharge. Whether you’re flying to a tropical destination or simply heading up to the cabin, holidays are always a welcome event. Despite the time away, I often see patients after their recent vacation or a long weekend. Why? Because they didn’t consider their back during their vacation. Here are a couple things that are far too often overlooked that will help you remain injury free during your next holiday:1) Pack it Light – It doesn’t just apply to your child’s backpack. Be considerate of what you pack in your suitcase as it follows you around for the duration of your holiday. A heavy suitcase can wreak havoc on your spine.2) Watch those lifts – One of the most common causes of back and spine injury is lifting. This includes picking up those bags and placing them in and out of the trunk of your car. Lifts over the head put you at an increased risk of injury so be extra careful when lifting your luggage in and out of the overhead storage containers on airplanes.3) Vacations usually involve long commutes. If you are travelling by car, take advantage of some rest stops along the way to allow yourself and your passengers to stretch. When taking a trip by plane, get up every so often to stretch and walk the aisles [once the captain switches off the seatbelt sign of course!].4) Keep well hydrated. Our bodies are at least 60% water so it makes sense that we need to drink plenty of water. Bring bottles of water or fluids along with you for especially long commutes.5) Stay calm and try to relax. Travelling can be stressful. Keep your eye on the prize… your destination ahead or if you’re heading home, think of all of the wonderful new memories that you made.