Have you ever woken up in the morning with the feeling that you slept in an uncomfortable position throughout the entire night? Most individuals will wake up at some point in their lives with their sleeping position as the culprit of their pain. Having a proper night of sleep is an essential component to the overall healing process.
The best sleeping positions should support the natural curvature of the spine. Keeping the spine in a neutral position minimizes the stress applied to certain pressure points along the spine. Here are three common sleeping positions and how to modify them for optimal spine health.
SLEEPING ON YOUR BACK:
The overall best position is sleeping on your back. This allows for your weight to evenly distribute throughout the body and avoids unnatural curves in the spine. It is recommended to use a small pillow underneath your head and knees to support a natural alignment. Keeping the knees elevated minimizes the pressure placed on the spinal discs and nerve roots.
SLEEPING ON YOUR SIDE:
Sleeping on your side with your legs stretched is a great alternative to sleeping on your back. It is recommended to place a small pillow in between both legs to support the alignment of your spine with your hips. It is not recommended to sleep with your legs curled up towards the chest as this position does not evenly distribute weight throughout the body and may exacerbate back pain.
SLEEPING ON YOUR STOMACH:
It is recommended to avoid sleeping on your stomach as this position may increase pressure on your joints. This position often requires you to sleep with your head turned to one side, which may exacerbate neck pain. If this is the only comfortable position to sleep in, a small pillow should be placed underneath the lower abdomen to support spinal alignment.
It may take a few days of adjusting your sleep position until you find relief. We recommend experimenting with different sleep positions until you find one that allows you to sleep comfortably throughout the night.