Most Americans experience work-related stress, and that emotional stress we feel at work often ends up manifesting itself into physical pain. Unfortunately, how we physically behave and respond to stress can impact how we feel at the end of the day. A good night’s sleep is key to restoring our bodies, but poor sleep habits or worn-out mattresses and pillows can keep us from waking up refreshed. Nine out of 10 survey participants in a study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation said that having comfortable mattresses and pillows were important for getting proper sleep, but many of us are so used to our current habits that we may not even realize their effects.
You should feel refreshed after getting at least eight hours of sleep, but if you wake up in pain, you could definitely benefit from some of our products (such as our heated neck pillows or microwaveable neck heat wraps). How we act during the day can add to our physical strain, too. Take a close look at these three common habits that often lead to shoulder and neck pain.
- En Route to Work: Carrying a Heavy Load
We often carry our lives around in bags. But that weight can add up fast, and if you carry these bags just on one side, you’ll probably experience an imbalance that causes pain in your neck and shoulders. Even your spine will go all out of whack when you do this on a daily basis. Reduce what’s in your bag to only the necessities, and make sure the bag itself is as light as possible. You should either alternate the side you carry your bag each day or try to use something like a backpack, which distributes weight more evenly with its two shoulder straps. One thing you’ll definitely want to include in your bag? A microwaveable neck heat wrap to keep stress low during the day!
- At the Office: Poor Desk Habits
If most of your day is spent sitting behind a desk, you’re already at a disadvantage. When you sit all day, your spine will automatically be put under more pressure than if you spent most of the day on your feet. Leaning back and taking regular stretch breaks can help, and make sure your chair supports your lower back. If you find yourself leaning forward a lot, you may need to make changes to your desk space to reduce this (or you may even want to inquire about getting a standing desk). Put your computer screen at eye-level to ensure your head isn’t lurching forward as you type, and if you spend time on the phone, invest in a headset, rather than dealing with a receiver all day. Experience pain during the day? A microwaveable neck heat wrap can help your muscles relax while you’re on the job. Alternatively, a lavender scented heat wrap can help relieve muscle strain and will help bring down emotional stress, which could be causing you to tense up without realizing it.
- In Bed: Sleeping Position, Old Mattresses and Pillows
Not only will worn-out pillows and mattresses cause you to wake up in pain, but even the way you sleep can be a literal pain in the neck! If you sleep on your stomach, you’re much more likely to wake up with pain in your neck, shoulders, and back. That’s because you’re forced to rotate your neck to one side of your pillow in order to breathe, and that constant rotation will put a lot of strain on your body. In addition, sleeping with your arms over your head will also lead to pain. Try to retrain yourself to sleep on your back whenever possible. Be sure to replace your mattress if it’s sagging or old, and invest in comfortable pillows that will address neck pain. For instance, an aromatherapy neck pillow will help you fall asleep faster and will allow you to wake up pain-free.
Whether you want to alleviate emotional stress or reduce physical pain, there’s a Sunshine Pillows product that can help. To find out more about our microwaveable neck heat wraps, shoulder heat wraps, and other products, contact us today.