A headrest covered by a recliner headcover is like an oversized rocker and a reclining chair, and for many, it’s the first place you think of when you think about office comfort.
But what you might not know is that there are other ways you can relax in a reclined chair, too.
It’s not just the recliners that work for us, it is our body and the way we sleep that we need to be able to relax, according to a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
It found that the more people were able to comfortably rest their head, the more efficient they were at sleeping.
It also showed that when people could relax their muscles, they were less likely to be stressed, and were more likely to get back to work.
“We have found that when we are able to sleep in a relaxed way, the body gets more of a chance to heal, and this leads to better health outcomes,” said lead author Dr Sarah Wilson, from the School of Nursing at the University of Wollongong.
It is not only the recliner that work to relax us.
Other ways include sitting in a chair, sitting in an armchair, sitting on the floor or in a corner of a room, and sitting with a friend or family member, said lead study author Dr Jessica Smith, from Melbourne University.
“It’s a lot like sitting with friends, sitting with family, or being in a movie,” she said.
There are different types of recliners for different purposes, but the study looked at all recliner types, from headrests to reclining chairs.
The researchers found that people who reclined their head and had comfortable, deep sleep did better than those who recline their head but don’t have any sleep problems, or who reclining their head for too long.
The findings show that if you are able your head to be relaxed for a short time, you may find that you can sleep better and feel more rested.
This also makes it a good idea to always have a pillow under your head, or in your lap if you have a recliners headcover.
There’s a growing awareness of the need for better sleep, as many of us are increasingly trying to fall asleep while still awake, said Dr Smith.
“Our body is still working to repair itself after the fact.
We need to get better sleep to stay healthy and fit, but not to sleep too much,” she added.
The study looked to the US, but Dr Smith said the findings may apply to other countries.
The Australian National Sleep Foundation (ANSF) also recommends people get plenty of sleep, but says it’s not necessary to get it to be more effective.
“Sleep quality can improve if people get enough sleep,” it said.
“If we get enough of it we can avoid sleeping for too much, or sleep too little, which can lead to more damage to our body.”
What to wear to bed to make sure you’re comfortable and relaxed?
What to do if you need to stretch, lift or use a handrail?
If you have any questions about the study or your sleep, you can contact the ANSF’s sleep expert, Dr Karen Todner.
More on the study: The research involved more than 700 people from around Australia, including more than 1,500 women and more than 600 men.
Researchers looked at the effects of different types and styles of recliner and headrest covers.
They also analysed data from a large Australian survey.
Dr Smith hopes the study will help people find more comfort in their beds, which is vital for people suffering from a variety of conditions, including sleep apnea and anxiety.
If you’re looking for a good way to relax at the workplace, Dr Smith recommends you try a simple massage.
She also recommends a recline chair.
“The recliner is the perfect bed for relaxation,” she says.
“You can get really relaxed in a comfortable chair, but it’s a great way to get the benefits of sleep.”
She also suggests a simple stretching or lifting exercise.
The ANSF says that if your office has a reclinable chair, or if you use a reclination chair for longer than 12 hours a day, you should check to see whether you are sleeping well.
If your sleep quality is not good, you might need to take action.
Dr Wilson recommends wearing a mask, which could help prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
It may also help if you’re using a reclinet, or have a regular office job.
“Having an air-conditioning unit, for example, can help to keep you cool and keep you from getting cold,” she adds.
“These things can be a great safety net.”
If you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apotemn, or has been affected by it, contact the Sleep Health Network on 1800 656