Why Are Sleep Positions So Important?

By Sara Butler

People spend roughly a third of their lives sleeping, so how you do it has a pretty large impact on your health! One factor of sleep that has a direct impact on your spine health is the position you sleep in. If your spine isn’t aligned properly during sleep, it can put a lot of strain and stress on your spine, as well as your neck, shoulders, hips and even your jaw. So, if you wake up in the morning and feel as if someone has snuck into your room in the middle of the night and beat you up, you might want to take a look at your sleep position.

Sleeping on Your Back

Back sleeping is the best position for you. It helps to prevent back pain and can even reduce acid reflux and facial wrinkles! When you sleep on your back it can help to keep your head, neck and spine aligned and in a neutral position. Utilizing pillows properly is also a must to keep your spine healthy. When sleeping on your back, make sure you use a pillow that properly supports your neck without lifting your head up. It’s also beneficial to place a pillow under your knees to take stress off the lower back.

The only downside to back sleeping is it’s not a great position for those of you who have problems snoring.

Side Sleeping

This is the next best position, according to your chiropractor. It can help to keep your spine in a neutral position and is the best position for pregnant women. Again, you will want to utilize pillows to keep your spine neutral. A pillow is needed to help support your neck and a pillow placed between the knees will help keep your hips in line.

This is also a great position for those of you who may suffer from acid reflux.

Stomach Sleeping

The worst position for spinal health has to be sleeping on your stomach. This is because it forces you to twist your neck to the side so you can breathe. It puts pressure on your muscles and joints and that can irritate your spinal nerves, leading to pain and discomfort when you wake up.

The only thing stomach sleeping can benefit is snoring, since it keeps your airway open more easily. But you should really discuss this sleeping position with your chiropractor to properly weigh any possible benefits from it.

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