FEELING GREAT: How to enjoy your holiday sleep

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If you’re heading on holiday anytime soon – or making plans to do so – one of the things to consider is the effect that sleeping in an entirely different bed will have upon your low back and neck area.

Let me explain:

See, an increase in neck or shoulder pain is a common problem that many people experience as a direct result of going on holiday and resting for eight hours on an unfamiliar mattress or pillow.

Why?

Simple.

You’re body gets used to being in a certain position when you go to bed – in your own bed – night after night.

It likes to be there knowing that all of your joints and muscles are in a position that feels familiar – meaning, they’re not going to be stretched or pressured in a way that it doesn’t like enough to give you those next day aches and pains which come as regular as clock work the result of a lumpy, hard bed!

Think about pitching up in a tent for the weekend, sleeping on the floor

Or, sometimes, just as bad… booking one of those hotels in Spain without checking the reviews which ALL speak about how great the hotel is… expect for the comfort of the bed.

Your body is going to feel a lot of discomfort if you do either.

And not just for the seven days that you’re there.

No, it’s often the case that the real problems begin when you come back.

And what starts out as an ache or a tightness in your neck and or shoulder area, results in what seems like a never ending, daily, annoying constant nag occurring from a muscle that started to get tight as a result of a slightly thicker than you’re used to at home, pillow from Spain.

True story: It happened to a patient of ours this week.

Arrived at my clinic telling us that he’s hurt his neck because of an increase in activity at the gym – his diagnosis, not ours – and yet a closer inspection, and one or two more questions led us to the logical conclusion that the root cause of the pain was the different hotel beds he sleeps in, while working away.

The solution?

Take your own pillow with you.

I’m serious too. I’ve been recommending it to my patients every summer for years… and I practice what I preach, too.

There’s not a plane ride I’ve been on anytime in the last 10 years that I haven’t been clutching my passport in one hand, my favourite, freshly cleaned pillow in the other.

It works too.

Even if the bed is not quite as comfy as my own, I’m much better able to get a good nights sleep if my neck rests down in its normal position.

Why don’t you give it a try??

Maybe I’ll see you and your family at the airport this summer holding your favourite pillows?

If I do, I’ll know you’ve been reading this column .

If you need more tips to ease your neck or shoulder pain, you can download my new free report here: www.paulgoughphysio.com/neck-shoulder-pain

It shows you how to ease pain naturally, without needing painkillers.