Have you ever woken up feeling achy, stiff, and sore? Do you have a hard time falling asleep at night? Are you suffering from inexplicable lower back pain? Your sleeping position could be to blame.
Although many people simply assume the position that feels most comfortable and don’t spend much time thinking about it, your sleeping position can affect everything from the quality of your sleep to the lifelong health of your spine. In an ideal world, we spend around 33% of our lives sleeping — 8 hours every night. If you’re sleeping in a position that does not properly support your back, your spine is out of alignment for 33% of your life, and you are more likely to need chiropractic care to treat back pain and spine problems.
So what is the best sleeping position for your back? Unfortunately, what feels most comfortable to you may not be the healthiest for your spine. Read on to learn more about how to properly support your back overnight, and if you’re seeking treatment for back pain in Woburn, MA, then contact our chiropractic experts at Moramarco Chiropractic. We can provide back pain relief and expert guidance on maintaining a healthy spine for many years to come!
Sleep experts estimate that around 7% of adults prefer to fall asleep on their stomachs, but unfortunately, the only thing that this position is good for is easing sleep apnea and snoring. While stomach sleeping keeps your airways more open, it does so at the cost of collapsing your spine and loading pressure on your muscles, joints, and organs.
When you’re on your stomach, your core sinks down to the mattress while your limbs and head stay higher up, exaggerating the arch at the base of your spine. Not only does this put you at a higher risk for neck and back pain, but it also forces you to shift more often in your sleep as your body fights to stay comfortable, leading to lower-quality sleep every night.
If you’re a stomach sleeper and you can’t fall asleep in any other position, try putting a pillow beneath your lower stomach to bring your spine up into a more neutral alignment. Additionally, use a very thin pillow for your head so that your neck is not wrenched up at an angle, or get a special massage-table-style pillow that allows you space to breathe while sleeping face-down.
Most people prefer to fall asleep on their side, either in the fetal position (with legs and arms comfortably bent in front), the log position (with legs and arms straight), or the yearner position (with legs straight and arms stretched out in front).
Generally speaking, side sleeping keeps your airways open and your head and neck in alignment with your spine. However, if you’re a fetal position sleeper and tuck your chin or curl your limbs up too tight, you can restrict your diaphragm and create joint and back pain, so make sure to stretch out a little. Additionally, if your shoulders and hips rest higher than your core, you may experience discomfort from collapsing your spine sideways or rotating your pelvis.
If you’re a side sleeper, make sure to use a thick pillow for your head to fill the space above your shoulder and keep your spine aligned. Additionally, use a soft mattress that allows your shoulders and hips to sink down, or place a thin pillow beneath your waist to prevent your spine from collapsing sideways.
By far, the best sleeping position for spinal alignment is on your back! Although only an estimated 8% of adults prefer to fall asleep on their backs, it’s the easiest way to keep your head, neck, and spine in alignment throughout the night. The only downside to back sleeping is that it can aggravate sleep apnea and snoring, and it can cause lower back pain if you are placing too much pressure on the sciatic nerve.
If you’re a back sleeper, make sure to use a head pillow that doesn’t tilt your chin too far down toward your chest, and place a pillow beneath your knees to reduce pressure on the sciatic nerve in your lower back. Your spine will stay elongated and comfortable all night long!
Contact Moramarco Chiropractic for Back Pain Treatment Today
No matter how you’ve been sleeping, you shouldn’t have to suffer through unnecessary back pain. If you’re seeking lower back pain treatment or help with pain management, then contact our wellness center in Woburn, MA today. Our expert chiropractors can provide non-surgical treatment and chiropractic care to relieve pain and support overall wellness. Contact us today to get relief now.