I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sleep is so important for your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Having a good sleep routine, getting enough ZZZ’s every night and sleeping on the best mattress for your sleep style makes a huge difference to your productivity and energy levels, plus how you feel and perform the next day.
As Home Editor for T3, I’ve been covering sleep and wellness for a while now. I’ve put good patterns and a fool-proof nighttime routine in place so I get the right amount and quality of sleep night after night. Having said that, I wanted to get a better idea on my sleeping patterns and posture after experiencing occasional back pain when I woke up in the morning.
To find out more, I spoke to Levitex founder and sleep expert, James Leinhardt who gave me a sleep consultation. Below, I’ll talk you through the entire consultation, what habits I needed to change and if they actually worked.
What is Levitex?
Levitex is a sleep company that designs and manufactures pillows, mattresses and toppers. The idea behind Levitex and its products is “optimising your sleep posture, which is the single biggest thing you can do to improve your sleep,” says Leinhardt. The surface you sleep on and the position that your body sleeps in at night is incredibly important, and once you learn to optimise it, Levitex says you’ll wake up feeling more rested and free from aches.
The spotlight product from Levitex is its Sleep Posture Pillow which is in the top five in our best pillow guide. Made of innovative Levitex foam technology, this pillow provides pressure relief for comfort and resistance for support. It comes in four depths (8cm, 10cm, 12cm and 14cm) with each depth catered towards different sleep positions. Find out more in our Levitex pillow review.
The Levitex sleep consultation
I had my sleep consultation with Leinhardt over a video call and found it to be very thorough and helpful. To start, I was asked a series of questions so Leinhardt could better understand my lifestyle and sleeping patterns. The questions included details about my age, weight and height, the type of pillow and mattress that I use (the Ostrichpillow Memory Foam pillow and the Simbatex Foam mattress if you’re interested), any injuries I might have and my work environment.
In depth questions followed, like how quickly I fall asleep, what time I go to sleep, if I wake up in the night, what position I sleep in and whether it changes throughout the night. After I answered these questions, I was shown some diagrams and was asked to describe what sleep position best fits me. The posture I favour (which you can see in our best and worst postures for sleep guide) is the Applauder.
After determining my sleep position, Leinhardt explained that the Applauder is pretty common for side sleepers but it’s one of the worst positions you can sleep in… oops! This is because of the twisted position where one knee falls over the other which causes the spine and shoulders to twist unnaturally. Not only does this knock the spine out of alignment but it causes the muscles to work when they should be resting.
After closer examination, I explained how I tend to sleep in the Applauder position most of the night but I swap from side to side and sometimes come to rest on my back. Leinhardt explained that this tossing and turning is probably a result of my body hitting its brink of feeling sore and uncomfortable.
From there, Leinhardt recommended (while using a fun spine toy made out of foam) sleeping with a pillow between my legs to better align my spine. Sleeping like this ensures your knees stay stacked atop of each other, which helps the spine stay neutrally aligned.
Did my sleep improve?
While any old pillow will do for this trick, Levitex very kindly sent me one of their pillows to try, which was the Levitex Sleep Posture pillow in the smallest size (8cm). While the pillow initially looked thin, it was super spongy, bouncy and surprisingly firm so I was excited to try it out.
At first, I did find it tricky to sleep with a pillow between my legs, as I’m used to just having my legs criss-crossed over each other, resting on the mattress or swaddled around my duvet. But once I got over that initial feeling, I fell asleep quickly and started to notice a difference.
The biggest thing I noticed when sleeping this way was a lack of back, neck and hip pain. As the Applauder position is very twisted, I often found myself waking up in the morning feeling a little sore and stiff. I didn’t experience any of this while using the pillow trick, and while I still tossed and turned a little, it was significantly less than before.
Overall, I’d say my sleep did improve after my Levitex sleep consultation and my body felt much happier and better rested for it.