Seattle Chiropractor Recommends Best Sleeping Positions
A good night’s sleep is key to wellness. If you have been dealing with chronic back pain, particularly in the morning, or if you are struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, your sleeping position may be to blame. Adopting a new sleeping position can be difficult at first. However, if you are diligent about falling asleep in an optimal position, and readjust yourself when you wake up in the middle of the night, your body will naturally start to get used to the change.
The Best Sleeping Positions to Prevent Back Pain – The best sleeping positions support the natural curve of your neck and spine and keeps your spine in proper alignment as you sleep.
Lying Flat On Your Back. Sleeping flat on your back will help keep your spine aligned and allow your spine to follow its natural curve so you aren’t putting unnecessary pressure on your back. To help keep your spinal curve in the most natural position possible, place a small pillow underneath your neck and another one under your knees.
Sleeping On Your Side. Sleeping on your side is another way to help keep your spine aligned, alleviate unnecessary pressure on your back, and help your body recover from the day’s stress in a natural position. The best way to sleep on your side is with a firm pillow between your knees to help keep your hips in line and another pillow of equal thickness under your head and neck to keep your hips and pelvis in line with your neck and back. Keep your body in a straight line and your arms in front of you, instead of under your pillow, to reduce stress on your neck and shoulders. You’re less likely to snore while sleeping on your side, as it keeps your airways open, making this the best position for people with sleep problems such as sleep apnea.
The Worst Sleeping Positions For Back Pain – The worst sleeping positions put unnecessary stress on your hips, back and neck.
Sleeping On Your Stomach – Never sleep on your stomach. When you sleep on your stomach, you turn your head to be able to breathe, putting a 90-degree kink in your neck. Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to arch your low back. Stomach sleeping puts undue pressure on your cervical spine and can cause your neck and back to go out of alignment. Spinal misalignments may lead to headaches, tingling, numbness or pain in the neck and low back pain.
Awkward Leg Positions – Sleeping with one leg higher than the other, or flopped over, so your spine is twisted, can cause your hip or pelvis to get out of alignment, muscle strain and trigger existing injuries.
Dr. James Devine at Devine Chiropractic and Rehab Center recommends a firm or medium firm mattress with little to no pillow top. Too soft of a mattress can cause your spine to fall out of alignment while you sleep. A firmer mattress will support your back. A foam pillow will contour to your head better than a synthetic or feather pillow will, and will not change shape throughout the night, ensuring optimal neck and shoulder position.