Imagine this headline splashed across the cover of a tabloid newspaper: “Your Mattress is trying to Kill You!” This sounds silly, and of course, it is! Mattresses are harmless things, and they won’t cause you any harm. Or will they?
Did you know that you can actually injure yourself while sleeping? Ever noticed how you feel achy and painful after a night sleeping on a mattress you thought was great? If so, you’ve become a victim of sleep injuries.
Hyperbole aside, you actually can injure yourself as you sleep – even on the best memory foam mattresses in the world! No matter what kind of mattress you sleep on, the way you sleep can lead you to injure yourself.
This is, of course, referring to injuries that come from sleeping in the wrong position. You’ve heard them called “cricks” in your neck or back, but they can actually be a lot more serious than you might think. If you don’t take care, you can injure yourself and wear out your body prematurely.
Common Sleep Injuries
Here are a few of the more common sleep injuries:
- Shoulder Pains: Do you place your arm underneath your head as a pillow when you sleep? This could actually wear down the cartilage of your joint and can lock your shoulder muscles in place – making them very painful when you try to straighten your arm in the morning.
- Elbow Injuries: Does your arm hang over the edge of your bed as you sleep? When you sleep on your back, do you extend your arms straight out to the side? If so, you may be placing extra strain on your elbows. You may actually cause the same kind of injury you can get by working out incorrectly, as placing all of the weights on your elbow joint can hyperextend the joint – causing potentially serious damage.
- Back Pains: If you sleep incorrectly – on your back – you may strain your back. You may have already worn a you-shaped groove into the mattress, and the depression in the mattress will pull on your back muscles. This can actually cause your spine to slip out of alignment if you don’t change your mattress or your sleeping position.
- Hip Pains: Those that sleep on their side may be used to it, but those trying to change their position from stomach or back-sleeping to side-sleeping may feel pains in their hips. Sleeping on your side without the right support can actually wear down your hip joints – which are why most men tend to sleep on their backs.
- Neck Pains: If you sleep on your stomach, your neck has to twist at a weird angle. If you sleep on your back, a pillow that is too thick can strain the curvature of your spine and your neck muscles. If your pillow is too thin, side-sleeping can strain the muscles on the side of your neck.
So, your mattress may not be trying to kill you, but the way you sleep can actually cause you to injure yourself. Look at how you sleep, as well as how you feel when you wake up in the morning. If you feel aches and pains, it may be time to change your sleeping habits!