The clock strikes 6:00 am and my phone starts vibrating and playing tranquil chime sounds. Time to get up. I tap the screen to silence the alarm and roll out of bed.
I know I only have 5 minutes before I need to hop in the shower and get going with my regular shower-shave-dress-breakfast routine, so I grab a few of my Yoga Tune Up® balls and bring them down to my bedroom floor…
‘Why?’ you may be wondering? Well, because other than days when I’m forced to sit for hours on end, sleeping is the longest held position I find myself in day-to-day.
Assuming someone sleeps for 8 hours a night, that’s a third of the day in what can be a less-than-optimal position in terms of soft tissue health. That, plus the shallow breathing that tends to come at night, allows various problems to creep up on us, often unknowingly.
Connective Tissues & Sleep-Issues
Even if you sleep in an ergonomic position, you can still compress many of your soft tissues while you lie on your back, side, or stomach each night.
The compression caused by these long-held positions can create adhesions between the sliding surfaces of your body, which can lead to pain, discomfort, limited range of motion, and lessened proprioception (kinesthetic awareness), among other consequences.
For example, there are parts of my body (right side of my neck, left shoulder, mid right-side ribcage, lower back) that consistently ache through my day after certain nights of sleep, if I don’t give them a little TLC when I get up.
To better understand the anatomy of sliding surfaces and what an adhesion is, check out Gil Hedley’s fabulous ‘Fuzz Speech.’
Another observation I’ve made is that my breathing tends to become shallow during sleep. My diaphragm (a muscle vital to proper breathing) seems to become accustomed to not using its full range of motion because my body doesn’t need it to during sleep.
So how do you reset these sleep-induced changes to prevent muscle pain from sleeping?
Check back on Friday for my next installment with recommendations on some Yoga Tune Up® quick-fixes to add into your morning routine to improve your overall sleep experience! If you can make time to brush your teeth, you can surely fit in a quick fix.