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Introduction To Ergonomics 101 > Anti Stress and Comfort Solutions > Sleeping
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Sleeping

 

Zzzzzzzzzzz. There's nothing like a good night's rest. Night after night, you lay your head on your pillow, slip into a cozy slumber and awake eight restful hours later ready to run a marathon. Sounds like a dream, right?

 

Not everyone is so fortunate to have a consistent quality sleep pattern. Millions of people suffer every day from sleep deprivation resulting in higher stress, difficulty concentrating and increased mistakes. Stimulants, such as the intake of caffeine, can cause a night of tossing and turning, as does an uncomfortable mattress, poor exercise habits, smoking, alcohol intake and not giving yourself time to wind down in the evening before sleeping.

 

To get the sleep you need and deserve, develop a nighttime ritual and stick to it, whether it's taking a hot bath, drinking a warm glass of milk or reading before you go to bed. Do whatever relaxes you to help establish a routine. Make your bedroom a "sanctuary of sleep" free of noises and distractions. Before you fall asleep, spend five minutes concentrating on absolutely nothing, especially your job or tasks you need to do. If you can't get the "things to do" out of your mind, get up and write a priority list to stop your brain from spinning.

 

The quantity and quality of the sleep you get directly impacts your mental state and productivity levels. Take time to adjust your routine to ensure you're getting proper rest and soon you'll see how your overall quality of life improves!

 
  • Pillows
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    Some are soft, some are firm, some are big, some are small. While pillows come in all shapes and sizes, do you realize the important role they play when it comes to getting a good night's rest? Whether you sleep on your side or back, pillows have a gentle way of properly aligning your body as well as improving oxygen intake and sleep patterns.


     

    If you sleep on your side, slightly bend your knees and put one pillow between them to keep your knees even with your hips. To support your neck, angle your [head] pillow down into the shoulder. A body pillow is also perfect for side sleepers. Supporting your hips, legs and back, its cylindrical shape adjusts to your body's contour and easily bends and flexes to any position. If you are trying to retrain yourself to catch Z's on your back, then consider placing a knee roll under the knees to reduce stress to the neck and low-to-mid back area for this ideal sleeping position.

     

    If you're sleeping on your tummy, turn over! Resist sleeping on your stomach as it increases the normal curves in the neck and lower back resulting in nerve compression and added stress to the joints in the vertebrae. The ideal sleeping position keeps your earlobes over your shoulders, supports relaxed shoulders and level torso and legs (Is it time for a new mattress?).

     
  • Noise
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    Stillness. Serenity. Quiet. The sound of silence is so soothing, yet powerful enough to carry you off into dreamland. At the other end of the spectrum is noise -- loud, booming or simply just annoying noise that distracts and over stimulates making you an expert at counting sheep. If you can't get rid of noise, cover it up with soothing sounds with noise masking. The ticket to tranquility is to reduce the noise levels inside and outside (if feasible) your house so that you create a peaceful, relaxing environment conducive to sleeping. Simply put, turn down the noise so you can turn up the REMs

     
  • Pregnancy And Sleep
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    Expectant mothers know (especially those that already have one or more children) that you can't put a price on a good night's rest. The more your pregnancy progresses, the more difficult it becomes to sleep when your back aches, legs cramp and you feel restless. The key to good pregnant sleep is to support your body properly to get the rest you need during this special time. The first rule of thumb particularly as you "grow," is to sleep on your side ... ideally your left side (sorry moms, back sleeping is not recommended and tummy sleeping isn't possible as your belly expands). Cross your top leg over the bottom one with a pillow between your knees. Support your belly (and baby) with a wedge pillow and tuck one behind your back if it feels good. Be sure you have a good ergonomic pillow to support your head and neck. Tip: Aching legs? Place your legs against the wall while lying down or use a body roll or knee roll for elevating your legs and encouraging better circulation.

     

     
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