Tom Willemann Health Tips

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Tips on Sleeping Better- Hard or Soft Mattress?

SleepingA routine question that comes up in our clinic centers around which is the best mattress for a comfortable night’s sleep. In 2009, a study was published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, entitled “Changes in back pain, sleep quality ,and perceived stress,” by lead author Bert H Jacobson, EdD. The researchers found that medium to firm bedding systems improved sleep, reduced back discomfort and reduced stress symptoms. This seem to corroborate past studies. Here are a few tips to improve the quality of your sleeping:

  • Avoid stressful activities just prior to sleeping.
  • Set up consistent bed time and wake up time
  • Switch mattress after signs of wear and/or 10 years if mattress is used consistently
  • Pick company that allows for a return of mattress in 30-60days
  • Avoid very ” hard” or very “soft” mattresses. These type of mattresses cause an increase in pain and disrupted sleep
  • Don’t exercise closer than two hours prior to going to sleep- the elevated core temperature that comes from exercise can disrupt sleep
  • Get a minimum of 7 hours a night
  • Sleep on your side with pillow between knees and arms for optimal positioning
  • Declutter your bedroom Sleeping in a clean calm room is good for your mind
  • Avoid caffeine after 6pm and food after 8pm
  • Avoid Naps in the afternoon
  • Try light reading vs TV before you turn out the lights

We have to be careful in a one size fits all approach to improved sleep or comfort. As cyclist and triathlete, I sought the most comfortable and perfect bike seat. I once asked a friend who was a seasoned biker which was the best bike seat, and his response was, “the one that fits your butt!” That being said, different seats fit different body types, which is the same for mattresses. A small framed woman that weighs 105lbs will have a different experience on the same bed as a 280lb man. This is why I suggest trying out the mattress (or bike seat!) and not simply relying on the research. Many things influence sleep, so if there is an issue preventing someone from getting enough, I encourage my patients to get a sleep study to help rule out possible medically induced causes of fatigue and poor sleep.
Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Wyckoff, NJ provides orthopedic and sports physical therapy services for the greater Ridgewood, Wyckoff, and Bergen County region. This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used for diagnostic or prescriptive purposes. The views expressed here are the author’s views and should be taken as suggestions. Always consult your doctor or healthcare practitioner before engaging in a physical therapy or rehabilitative program.

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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