Did you know that the position you sleep in can dramatically affect not just your quality of sleep, but also your overall spinal health? That's right, and it's a topic we often discuss with patients at our office.
So today we're going to discuss sleep because it’s extremely important.
Notably, sleep accounts for approximately one-third of your life. So, you want to make sure that you’re doing it in a way that improves the quality of your life.
Of course, the goal of our office is to get you back into proper spinal alignment with as few adjustments as possible and then maintain that alignment so you can fully heal.
The longer your spine remains in a good alignment, the better it is for your health.
And the position you sleep in can have a dramatic effect on your ability to hold your adjustment longer.
So here are some tips to sleep better and hold your adjustment longer:
- AVOID STOMACH SLEEPING AT ALL TIMES: This position places strain on your neck and spine, leading to potential long-term damage. Having your head turned to one side and the weight of your body pressing against the joints of your neck and the rest of your spine all night can be extremely destructive to the joints, discs, nerves etc. We know it can be difficult to change sleeping habits, but if you're a stomach sleeper this is worth focusing on.
- IF YOU SLEEP ON YOUR SIDE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A PILLOW THAT SUPPORTS YOUR NECK: Most side sleepers make the mistake of using a thin pillow, causing their head to tilt down and stress the neck muscles. Using the measurement from the side of your neck to the bump at the top of your shoulder (A-C joint) is a good starting point for the approximate width of your pillow. As everyone's bed firmness is different, a softer or harder bed could change that measurement. Another consideration when sleeping on your side is to make sure that your shoulder is slightly forward so you’re not sleeping directly on the point of your shoulder. You may also want to sleep with a pillow pinched between your knees as this can relieve stress from the spine, especially in the lower back.
- THE BEST POSITION TO SLEEP IN IS ON YOUR BACK: Sleeping on your back with a good single pillow that keeps your head in a neutral position with your neck (lined up) is the best possible scenario when sleeping. You may also want to have a pillow underneath your knees to take pressure off your lower back. Try to make sure when you are sleeping on your back that your pillow is not too thick. If your chin feels like it's crowding your neck, not only will it be uncomfortable when you sleep on your back, but it closes down your airway, and you may snore. Some people with malocclusion issues or sleep apnea may have difficulty sleeping on their back so look back at the side recommendations.
For more insights, check out this informative video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IA_y0DvNxaI
Take the Next Step!
If you keep waking up stiff and sore and you feel your sleeping ergonomics are great, according to what we mentioned above, you may have an imbalance in your spine or tight musculature. Feel free to call and schedule an appointment with our team. We have excellent chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists to help you with your needs.
If you're looking to save money on massage and acupuncture, we have packages that we offer that reduce the overall costs of treatment!
Look forward to hearing from you have a wonderful September!