A Guide to Sleeping on Your Side
By Sara Butler
Side sleeping is a must. That's because it's a great way to help sustain the ideal alignment of your spine as you slumber -- at least, that's what the chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic think.
You may be a back or, heaven forbid, a stomach sleeper. Neither of these positions is optimal for the health of your spine simply because they don't help to support your spine's natural curves. That's why sleeping on your side is what you should aim to do, but it can be a difficult habit to instill in yourself. Here are some tips from the chiropractors at The Joint to help you learn to sleep on your side.
Start With the Hips
When you're lying on your said, it's almost a natural reaction to want to turn your hips toward the bed. Try to resist this urge because that will only rotate your hips out of position and cause tightness in the muscles of your lower back. Your hips need to stay stacked on top of one another. You can help stay in this position and ease some of the pressure on your lower back by putting a pillow between your knees -- but a blanket will work too.
Check Your Shoulder Position
Your bottom shoulder should be underneath you, not in front or slightly behind you. You also should try not to reach your arm too far out in front of you. This is how you wake up with pain in your shoulder blades, upper back, or shoulder. If you need help staying in the right position, try hugging a body pillow to take off some of the pressure.
Think About Your Head
Your chin shouldn't be tucked down toward your chest as you sleep. While sometimes when you go to bed you may just want to curl up in the fetal position and forget the troubles of your day, it's not a good position for your spine. Instead, keep your chin level. This helps prevent waking up with headaches stemming from the base of your skull.
Learning to sleep in a new position can be difficult, but the chiropractors at The Joint are here to help. Talk with your chiropractor about the position you sleep in and how to improve it for the health of your spine and the rest of your body too!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Los Angeles, Calif.