The Best Sleeping Positions for Your Spine

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We know we could all definitely get more sleep in our lives. Sleeping is important for our bodies to heal, rest and be ready for the day ahead. But did you know that your sleeping positions could be doing more harm than good? 

According to the National Centre on Sleep, humans spend 33% of their lives sleeping, that’s one-third of your life in bed! Therefore, the positions we sleep in at night can either help or hinder the work we’ve been putting in to ensure our spines are the healthiest they can be. 

What Contributes to Poor Sleep?

The first thing to look at when correcting poor sleeping is the mattress. Old mattresses can be contributing to already existing back pain or incite pain to present itself, so supporting yourself with an up-to-date mattress as your body moves through the stages of sleep helps support your back and get those crucial hours of sleep. 

I recommend finding a mattress that is fairly firm so your spine will be supported throughout the night. Updating your mattress around every 10 years is recommended, as older mattress coils lose their elasticity making them uncomfortable to sleep on.

Your Sleeping Position Affects Your Spinal Health

The main position we sleep in at night can also affect our spinal health. We tend to naturally gravitate towards a certain sleeping position, either on our back, side or stomach – but some sleeping positions can be more beneficial than others. 

Here are the most common sleeping positions and how to adjust them for better spinal health: 

  • Stomach sleeping: Bad news for stomach sleepers, this is considered to be the worst sleeping position and is not recommended. It puts unnecessary pressure on your neck due to twisting your head, and it strains your lower back. It can also cause pressure on your chest. 
  • Side sleeping: This is generally considered a better sleeping position for a healthy spine. Try lying with your lower leg fairly straight and bend your upper leg or try placing a pillow between your knees and bending both your knees and hips slightly to position your pillow. This will reduce pressure placed on the spine and provide alignment.
  • Back sleeping: Sleeping on your back can also help maintain a healthy spine. For extra support, place a pillow under your knees to keep to the natural curve of your spine and reduce strain on your lower back. It is also important to ensure your head pillow is the correct height to reduce strain on the curves of your neck.

These are some simple tips you can implement yourself if you are struggling to get a comfortable sleep. For more information on the best sleeping positions for your spine, or if you have a spinal complaint that you would like to have looked at, feel free to get in touch with my chiropractic clinic. I would love to help you!

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