I'm not here to judge or pass comment on co - sleeping, but I am here to offer a little light relief to the often unspoken downside... the back ache!
Relentless rib ache, back ache and stiffness are often a huge reason that people stop co- sleeping, and thats not even mentioning the bruises, scratches and slobber!
How can the addition of one little person cause so much discomfort? Because little people gravitate to the warm, cosy, loving centre of their universe...YOU! This leaves you constantly having to readjust your position to accomodate them, often ending up perched on the side of the bed, not able to roll futher, trying to give baba enough space too. As a results we spend the night with our bodies tense and on edge, rather than in a state of complete relaxation.
So here are my 5 tips to protecting your back, if you do co-sleep...
1) Switch places with your partner every night. This sounds tedious, but repetative strain injury applies to poor sleeping posture as well as in the work place. Swapping sides will ensure you reduce the cumulative impact on joints and ligaments.
2) Well placed supports. You have to be so careful with the use of additional pillows when co-sleeping. Small wedges or rolled hand towels often being more preferable that pillows. A well placed support under your low back or supporting your ribs allows muscles to switch off, reducing the spasm and tightness.
3) Stretch! Ensure the first thing that you do in the morning is stretch our your neck, back and pelvis. Spinal twists, pelvic tilts and rotations, as well as slow neck stretches will set your day off to a very different start.
4) Invest in a good mattress. Sleep underpins almost every element in your life - your physiological and mental wellbeing are directly related to the quality of your sleep. Choose the firmest, best quality mattress (and pillow!) that you can afford.
5) Massage. Never underestimate the restorative capability of a good massage. Reconnect with your partner and ask them to ease the tensions in your back and neck muscles. And if that just isn't hitting the spot, invest in a deep tissue massage to undo all those bad nights!
Always ensure your co-sleeping is safe and stick to the recommended guidelines www.safebedsharing.org