There you are, on a particularly lazy Sunday (or Monday, whatever, we don’t judge!), nailing the whole Netflix and chill thing. Shifting in bed ever so slightly to reach for an….ahem...healthy snack, you hear an awful snap, crackle and pop emanate from your body. There it is, a lofty reminder you’ve been slouching in your bed for the last three hours. This common occurrence led us to wonder: When laying in bed slaying a whole season in a sitting, is anyone ever thinking about how they’re sitting?
Let’s talk about some bedroom practices that’ll truly help you level up on how comfortable you are when watching your favourite shows. Here, Polysleep presents its first piece in a series of blogs dedicated to all things sleep-oriented. Roughly every month, tune in to get the lowdown on what you can do to get the most out of your mattress and much more. After all, at Polysleep, we're here for you and your back.
The best bedtime routines
Now, we won’t extrapolate too much but we are aware that a mattress is used for much more than simply sleeping. For many, catching up on shows or emails is an integral part of the bedtime routine. The result? Ergonomically speaking, bad posture will ensue.
Naturally, people aren’t thinking of spinal alignment while gushing over a series character or raging against the latest passive-aggressive email from a coworker. Yet, sleep hygiene -- the rituals followed before bed -- are an integral part of getting a good night’s rest.
While there are numerous arguments against the place of electronics in bed, we aren’t here to take a stance on what you bring into the bedroom. Whether it’s TVs, tablets, smartphones, laptops, or other devices, truth is, they’ve become our bedfellows. So, now what?
Sleep better by watching your binge-watching
In a 2017 study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers found that binge-watching TV correlated with "poorer sleep quality, increased fatigue and more symptoms of insomnia." Countermeasures? Exercise moderation when viewing, ease into sleep, light incense, take melatonin, douse yourself in lavender, align your chakras...bla, bla, bla. You know the drill.
Whether Netflix before bed is a losing combination or not, we’re confident it’s here to stay as pre-bedtime entertainment. The danger we want to address is being engrossed to the point we’re sitting like hunchbacks. While slouching may feel good and restful, it is not good for you and your rest.
Best sleeping positions for sitting pretty
Kama-who? Let’s talk about some steamy and sizzling (ok, not quite) bedroom positions that can help you repay your sleep debt.
DISCLAIMER: not effective solutions to any other type of debts.
“What do we want?”
“ Fewer aches and pains!”
“ When do we want them?”
“ After sitting crookedly for hours!”
Sorry (#sorrynotsorry), Millenials and Gen Z, ain’t going to happen. Cause and effect.
Here are some solid tips, from Dominic Labelle, physiotherapist extraordinaire, for ensuring a better night’s sleep.
Pause and play
We get it. You’re invested in the series, but, how about taking some time to invest in yourself? Hit pause. Get up. Move around. Pull a House of Pain while watching House of Cards and Jump Around. Point is, breaking up the Breaking Bad binge with a sit-stand routine can help immensely.
The general recommendation is equivalent to that in desk work environments, i.e. roughly every 30 minutes. Make a point of getting up every so often. Stretch, fetch a snack and you’ll sit down feeling better. Go ahead... Do it for yourself, you’ll like it.
Assume the position!
Avoid bad posture like you would any bad habit. Or, that Tinder profile you accidentally swiped right on. Although we can’t help with that, here is how to ensure you are best positioned:
- Seat yourself so as to eliminate having to rotate your neck or back in order to see the screen, which hurts your joints. Ultimately, this will help avoid undue pressure and stress. As if there wasn’t enough of that in life already, right?
- Support your spine by pushing yourself back into pillows or a headboard as much as possible. Support your trunk. Pillows are your friends!
- Make sure your TV or laptop screen is positioned high enough that you don’t have to bend your head downward or u
Shake it off
What’s left to do if you categorically fail at ensuring you are sitting right? Make sure you’re changing the position you’re in every so often, to reduce and negate any negative effects. For example, even though you haven't been sitting correctly, you can minimize the damage by shifting and shaking it up next time you take that pause-and-play break.
Exercises for better sleep
Let’s get physical! It’s never too late to alleviate pain and adjust course. Here are some exercises to help exorcise your back and neck pain. “In essence, stretch out in the opposite direction of how you were sitting,” recommends
Back stretches, yoga poses (see founder the Body Fix Method tips), neck stretches and pelvic tilts are all highly recommended. These physical exercises are excellent for helping you check back in with your body while being checked out checking out a show for hours. (Try that tongue twister out!)
We hope that these few tips will save you during your next Netflix sessions ;) As it is the binge-watching, let us know your tips in the comments if you have some!
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