What are the best sleeping positions ?

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If you are finding that back and neck pain is keeping you awake at night, the way you sleep might be contributing to it. Here are some helpful tips to encourage a better night’s sleep…

The best: Sleeping on your back

Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux.

Sleeping on your back makes it easy for your head, neck, and spine to maintain a neutral position. You’re not forcing any extra curves into your back, and is ideal for fighting acid reflux. If the head is elevated, your stomach will be below your esophagus so acid or food can’t come back up.

Next best: Sleeping on your side

Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy

Side-sleeping is great for overall health—it reduces snoring and keeps your spine elongated. If you suffer from acid reflux, this is the next best thing to sleeping on your back.

If you’re suffering from uncomfortable back or neck pain, you could be sleeping in a position which is detrimental to your spine and overall health. The following positions are to be avoided.

Not ideal: Sleeping in the fetal position

Bad for: Avoiding neck and back pain

When you snooze with your knees pulled up high and chin tucked into your chest, you may feel it in the morning, especially if you have an arthritic back or joints. This curved position also restricts diaphragmatic breathing.

The worst: Sleeping on your stomach

Bad for: Avoiding neck and back pain

Sleeping on your stomach makes it difficult to maintain a neutral position with your spine. It puts pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. Think about the soreness you’d feel if you kept your neck turned to one side for 15 minutes during the day. In this position you have your head to one side for hours at a time. You won’t necessarily feel it the next day, but you may soon start to ache.

Swear you don’t move at all at night?
Think again. While you generally spend the most time in the position you fall asleep in, even those who barely have to make their beds in the morning move 2 to 4 times an hour, which may add up to 20 or more tosses and turns a night!

Here are some helpful tips to get a better night’s sleep and help your spine.

  • If you’re a back sleeper: Place a pillow under your knees to allow your spine to maintain its natural curve.
  • If you’re a stomach sleeper: Place a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to ease back strain.
  • If you’re a side sleeper: Lift your legs up slightly toward your chest and sleep with a pillow between your knees.

If you’re struggling with aches and pains, don’t hesitate to book yourself in for an appointment at our clinic and get it sorted out.