Sleep Issues
Not-So Sleeping Beauty
Jan 14, 2014 - 4:13:01 PM

( - According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the average human will spend many years of his or her life sleeping. We each generally require 8 hours of sleep per night; this is one third of our total time alive. If you lived to be 90 years old, approximately 30 years of your life will be spent sleeping in bed.  And just like how Goldilocks found out, beds can be too hard, too soft or just right...for your back.

"Approximately 80% of all Americans will have lower back pain at least once in their lives; and most people have experienced back pain after sleeping," says Dr. Michael A. Gleiber, a South Florida Board-Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and Affiliate Assistant Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences at The Charles E. Schmidt Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine for Spine Surgery.  Dr. Gleiber has offices in Boca Raton and Jupiter practicing Concierge Spine Surgery and Spinal Medicine.  He is also on staff at The University of Miami Hospital.  " If you have back pain only after sleeping that is relieved after you get out of bed, you may have problems with your bed or your sleeping posture."

According to Dr. Gleiber, a mattress should give you uniform support, so there shouldn't be air between your body and the mattress when you lie down.  If you wake up with symptoms such as a headache; dizziness; tingling in the arms, hands or fingers or other feelings of numbness, these could be signs that your posture could be problematic while sleeping.   "A mattress that is extremely firm can put pressure on a persons back, while a mattress that is soft is unable to support an individuals spine in the natural position, preventing the muscles in the back to relax during the night.  I recommend going with a mattress that has medium firmness to avoid back pain symptoms."

However, Dr. Gleiber stresses that probably the most important factor is the age of your mattress. Over time, mattresses break down and become less supportive and comfortable.  They often develop lumps and broken springs that put stress on your body.  "If you're sinking in when you lie down, it's probably time to get a new one to help keep back pain away.  Replace a mattress that is more than ten years old," advises Dr. Gleiber.

Michael A. Gleiber, M.D., F.A.A.O.S., PA

Michael A. Gleiber, M.D. is a Board Certified, Fellowship Trained orthopedic spine surgeon and the Affiliate Assistant Professor of Clinical Biomedical Sciences at The Charles E. Schmidt Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine for Spine Surgery.  Dr. Gleiber focuses his practice exclusively to injuries and diseases of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine.  He treats all spinal disorders including herniated discs, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, myelopathy, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, spinal trauma, and tumors and infections of the spine.

A native of South Florida, Dr. Gleiber attended The University of Miami where he received his Bachelors of Science degree.  He earned his medical degree from The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.   Dr. Gleiber was the recipient of several awards including the Julius Nevaiser Award for the most promising future as an orthopedic surgeon, the Alec Horwitz Scholar Award for the most honors grades during the first year of medical school and graduated with Alpha Omega Alpha Honors.

Dr. Gleiber completed his internship in general surgery and residency at Columbia University, an Ivy League research university in New York City.  Dr. Gleiber was recognized by the faculty at Columbia University in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Columbia University.  He received the Harold M. Dick Award for excellence in orthopedic surgery, the Harrison McLaughlin Award for demonstrating excellence in orthopedic trauma surgery and the Leonard Marmor Surgical Arthritis Foundation Award. Dr. Gleiber was selected to serve as Administrative Chief Resident in his final year at Columbia University. After residency, he attended The Kenton D. Leatherman Spine Surgery Fellowship where he received neurosurgical and orthopaedic training in all areas of the spine.  While in fellowship, a significant portion of his time was devoted to treating spinal trauma and spinal cord injuries.

Dr. Gleiber is a frequently invited guest lecturer at research institutions and hospitals where he is asked to share his knowledge on the surgical and non-surgical treatment of various spinal conditions.

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