Best Sleep Positions for Spine & Neck Pain
Sleep methods to improve spine & neck health
We all know someone who wakes up refreshed, confident and smiling every morning. Those are the lucky few whom the term “bright eyed and bushy tailed,” is named after. However, many of us wake up stiff and tired and feeling irritable throughout the day. This pain causes constant discomfort, and not much seems to help. So what gives? Well, those who wake up early and ready to steal your worm have a little secret. Sleeping position. The position in which you sleep directly impacts your spine health and comfort.
Just thrusting yourself into bed in any old position is causing you more harm than good. You must defend your spine while you sleep. As most of you know, while you are in REM sleep, your body is working hard to recover and regenerate itself from the day’s activities, but your spine needs some assistance from you. You must keep your body in a neutral position- this means that you must keep your spine and neck straight while you’re laying down to improve your overall spine health.
There are several sleep methods you may prefer. However, if you enjoy sleeping on your side with your knees pulled up to your chest or on your tummy with your head positioned to one side, chances are this is where your discomfort is originating. Thus, Ramos Center put together a list of the most common sleep methods, which is the best position for you, and which one is preventing you from becoming that morning person you long to be.
Below are the top four sleeping positions listed in order from best to worst.
- Sleeping on your back is the best position. Sure, it may cause excessive snoring, I know, I know…but it does protect your spine and helps you maintain a neutral place at night. It eliminates any curving of the back and takes pressure off of your hips and neck. It’s best to use a small pillow for support.
- I prefer to sleep on my side. This position can work for you if you use a thin cushion between the knees which will aid in keeping your spine, hips, and pelvis aligned. It also minimizes the snoring. Please make sure you are using the right pillow in this position as well. It shouldn’t be too thick as it can throw off your body’s alignment
- Resting on your side with your legs cuddled up close to your chest is not good. It throws your body’s alignment all out of whack due to uneven weight distribution causing you to wake up with neck and back pain. It may start out as a comfortable position, sure, but as you drift off to dreamland, it wreaks havoc on your body.
- The worst position you can sleep in is on your stomach. Not only because it forces you to lay with your face smashed into your pillow, which folks, can cause suffocation, it also adds a lot of extra pressure on your joints. You will end up repositioning yourself all night and wake up feeling like you were hit by a bus- in your dreams most assuredly.
I hate to rain on your sleeping parade, but if you prefer sleeping all curled up in a ball, chances are it is causing you chronic pain. The very best possible position for you is on your back as it keeps your body in that neutral position. So grab some snoring strips for your nose, a pillow that is just thick enough to support your dome, and give sleeping on your back a shot! If your pain persists, come by for an evaluation today!
Sweet Dreams from all of us at Ramos Center!