Healthy sleep hygiene is essential to maintain your health. The quality of sleep we get affects our health, mental clarity, mood, and body. It is recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that adults get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night; however, this does not happen for all of us. Sleep eludes people for a variety of reasons, from sleep disorders to simply not getting to bed on time. Many people find themselves tossing and turning at night, and then waking up groggy and in pain. This could be due to the sleep position you choose.
Everyone has a preferred sleep position for whatever reason, but not all sleep positions are created equal when it comes to your health. The way you sleep can particularly have an effect on how much back, neck, and shoulder pain you experience on a daily basis. If you regularly wake up in pain, Barfield Chiropractic recommends that you try out a different sleep position. Here are the pros and cons of different sleep positions:
On Your Back
- Pros: Sleeping on your back is an optimal position for your spine and neck. This because your spine is in a neutral position and is not contorted in anyway, and you take best advantage of the spine support your mattress is designed to provide.
- Cons: Be sure not to use too many pillows, as this will make breathing more difficult, and puts your neck at an awkward angle. Additionally, if your low back is too arched during sleep, it may put too much pressure on your spine; if this is the case, put a pillow under your knees so they are slightly bent.
On Your Side
- Pros: When you sleep on your side, you can align your spine very nicely, provided that you do not curl up too much, keep a neutral spine, and put a pillow between your knees to keep the spine and pelvis lined up. Sleeping on your left side in particular can improve circulation and ease heartburn.
- Cons: Sleeping on your side can restrict the blood flow to your arm and lead to numbness of your limbs. Resting your arm behind your head while you sleep may also have a detrimental effect on the nerves and muscles in your arms. This position also puts a lot of your weight on your shoulder, which is problematic for anyone with shoulder pain.
On Your Stomach
- Pros: Sleeping on your stomach may ease the symptoms of sleep apnea and reduce snoring.
- Cons: Sleeping on your stomach can lead to back pain due to the curve of the spine. Additionally, sleeping with your head turned to one side all night can strain your neck. Stomach sleeping is generally not recommended for these reasons.
At Barfield Chiropractic, we care about how your sleep affects your health. When you wake up with back pain, come into our chiropractic office, and we can help determine the source of your problem and relieve your pain. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.