Most of us spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping! So, sleeping in the proper positions is critical for spinal health. Of course having a quality mattress and pillow are important for your sleep too, but let’s start by reviewing the different sleeping positions.
- Side Sleeping
The side sleeping position is the most popular by far. Although this is a great sleeping posture, avoid having your arms straight above your head to avoid potential shoulder problems.
Where do I put my arms when sleeping on my side?
First make sure that your arms are down by your side. Sleeping with your arms overhead, or wrapped around your pillow, can pinch your lower shoulder. Make sure that your arms are down, by your side. Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs.
If you are a side sleeper, you should consider sleeping on the left side. It alleviates acid reflux and heartburn, boosts digestion, stimulates the drainage of toxins from your lymph nodes, improves circulation, and helps your brain filter our waste. It’s also important to sleep on your left side in a non-fetal position. Sleeping on your left side while pregnant, improves circulation to your body and baby, preventing your uterus from pressing against liver, which is located on the left side.
- Back Sleeping
Back sleeping is an excellent sleeping position as long as you have proper head support. It is by far, the healthiest option for most people as it allows your head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. For the curve in the neck to be supported, it is important to not sleep on a flat pillow or stack of pillows. The best pillow is one that supports your neck in a neutral position. Sleeping with too many pillows forces the chin toward the chest, and also puts unnecessary stress on the neck.
When it comes to picking a pillow, choose the one that supports your neck in a neutral position; not too flat and not too puffy.
If you feel that sleeping on your back bothers your low back, use a small pillow under the knees for extra support.
- Stomach Sleeping
Never sleep on your stomach! Although it might prevent snoring, it is bad for everything else, including the neck and spine. Sleeping on your stomach forces to turn your head to be able to breathe. This puts a 90 degree turn in your neck for hours, and puts force on the low back.
Set yourself up for success by following these tips. Invest in a great mattress, pillow and chiropractic care, so you can benefit from restful sleep too. Many chiropractors can fit you for the correct size pillow. Call Gibson Chiropractic today!