Our body, as a 2 legged walking homo sapien, is designed with a spine that sustains important curvature in the neck, upper back and lower back to absorb the impact of moving in this vertical position.
In order to maintain these very essential curves we need to have both strong and flexible stabilizing spinal muscles as well as correct spinal curvature and easy going movement mechanics.
Incorrect waking movement or the inefficient implementation of such a movement can easily compromise the health of our spine but sleeping on a surface that is too hard and thereby fails to support these curves is one of the most common reasons for neck and back pain.
When you lie down your spine naturally deflects downwards, in an attempt to find a surface that will push back and support it. If you lie on a flat and unsupportive layer your bony shoulders and hips will naturally bear the brunt of the weight of your entire body as these are the regions that make contact with the surface.
Ancient beds were made of leaves and organic material mashed up to create a soft layer but as we progressed into the 19th. century the metal coiled mattress was invented. While they provide great air flow, spiral coils do little to support your spine.
In 1995, in an effort to provide a comfortable and supportive surface for his wheel chair bound son to sit on, Willie Poppe developed a uniquely patented octagonal shaped, foam spring that blended the airiness of the coil with the comfort of foam. This revolutionary invention is named Octaspring and is currently being used in pillows and mattresses all over the world.
The result is an apparently flat foam surface that behaves like a zoned and contoured one. By adding denser springs for the curves of the body and softer ones in the bonier parts, the spine is uniquely supported and cradled.
When you look at a human body lying on a surface of this sort, using pressure mapping, what you see is a uniform green from the top to the bottom wherever the body comes into contact. On a less supportive surface you will see very red areas under the hips and shoulders suggesting that they are severely pressured, cutting off circulation and blood. Tossing, turning and a restless night is the result of sleeping on a surface like this.
Memory foam which has made a large impact on the sleep surface industry over the last few years purports to support your natural curves by squishing under the pressure of your weight and the heat of your body but any one who has actually slept on memory foam knows that the foam simply deflects under you like candy floss or sand thus eventually creating a very hard and unforgiving layer is hot and feels like concrete. The fact that it bounces back when you get off does little to satisfy me that it actually supports while you are on it!
It seems every one uses a pillow and most of us sleep on our side. When your pillow is too high you disturb the correct alignment of your neck and when on your side it is often difficult to fill the gap left by your shoulder, both creating shoulder and neck pain and the lack of circulation in these areas. The perfect pillow will simply fill the gaps no, matter how you lie. My faithful feather pillow is perfectly malleable, allowing me to pull and push the feathers to where I need them and now Octaspring ™ has developed an eco foam pillow that does the same thing.
Finally correct posture while you sleep is totally attainable again, with these new and innovative products.