Proper Sleep Positions for a Healthier Spine

Sleeping Person - Optimal Chiropractic

Sleep is important for the body. This resting period allows our bodies to recover from the day. It allows our minds to rest and our body to take a break and recoup our energy. Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important to our overall health.

Over 40% of Americans are sleep-deprived. Consistently not getting enough sleep can be caused by a lot of factors, but primarily boil down to two primary causes:

  • Lifestyle choices that take away dedicated time for sleeping
  • The struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep for an adequate period of time

We’re going to focus on the latter. Falling asleep and staying asleep can be challenging for a lot of people. One of the primary factors is getting comfortable and allowing your body to relax so it’s able to shut down. If you can’t get comfortable, you’ll likely struggle to fall asleep in the first place.

How you position your body when you sleep has a massive impact on the quality of your sleep as well as the long-term health of your spine. Since your spine is the central highway for all your body’s nerves, it’s important to maintain spinal health and keep stress off your spinal columns. Your spine’s health is extremely important in maintaining your overall optimal health.

If you’re struggling with your sleeping positions, check out this guide below to learn about the common options and how it’s having an effect on your body.

The Best Sleep Position For Your Back & Spine

There are three primary sleep positions. Usually, people will pick a position that they find comfortable and allows them to fall asleep the quickest. Once they find a position they like, they stick with it and it becomes habitual. When you have a favorite sleep position, it can be hard to change. We’ll go through the pros and cons of each of these positions and what you can do to help better support your spine.

Sleeping On Your Back

Back is best. Sleeping on your back is the recommended position for spinal support. There are two natural curves in your spine. One in your lower back and one near your neck. When you sleep on your back, your mattress naturally helps support that curve in the lower part of your spine. Then a properly sized pillow then supports the spinal curve near your neck.

This position causes the least amount of stress on your spine and the natural curves. Not everyone finds this position comfortable and can sometimes lead to things like snoring.

Sleeping On Your Side

When sleeping on your side, it’s important to utilize pillows correctly to keep your spine in a straight line. First, use the proper size pillow for your head and neck area. A pillow that is too large, or using multiple pillows, could raise your head too high and put a strain on your neck. And vice versa, a pillow that is too small will also be problematic in bending your neck downwards too much.

Secondly, the size of your hips can play a role in how the lower part of your back is supported as you sleep on your side. To help keep things in line, it’s helpful to put a pillow in between your legs. This helps keep your hips and legs straight so your spine does not get additional strain on it as you sleep.

Sleeping On Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended. When you lay on your stomach, you first have to twist your head one way or the other in order to breathe. This twist in the neck adds stress to the top of your spine and is not recommended for long periods of time. Secondly, the natural curve in your lower back is flattened out which puts pressure on the spine.

You might temporarily be comfortable enough to fall asleep, but laying on your stomach usually results in poor sleep and then discomfort throughout your day as your spine tries to recover from the extra stress.

Chiropractic Care in West Fargo To Help With Sleep

If you work on using proper sleep positions and are still struggling to get a better night’s rest, you would likely benefit from seeing our Chiropractic team. Chiropractors specialize in spinal health. We can help make small non-invasive adjustments to your spinal alignment which will alleviate tension in your spine.

As you go through everyday life activities, like sleeping, small misalignments can occur in your spinal column. These misalignments slowly build into major problems down the road. Our goal is to get your spine back into proper alignment and keep it there so your body can stay feeling great.

Spine adjustments are non-invasive, do not require surgery or medications, and usually have a massive impact on your overall health. This includes helping you get better sleep at night because you are more comfortable and your spine is stronger.

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