When it comes to dealing with back pain, many peoples’ issues can be drawn back to the way that they sleep. If you spend eight hours a day in the same position and that position puts your back out of line, it is easy to see how it can quickly lead to pain and discomfort. However, before you can start remedying your sleep position, it is important to know what the best and worst sleeping positions are for your spinal health.
The Best Sleeping Positions
There are so many different ways that people tend to sleep, but the following sleeping positions are shown to be best on people’s spines.
- Flat on Your Back
Sleeping flat on your back helps keep the spine in line. Make sure that your legs are straight and that you aren’t sleeping on a pile of pillows that puts your neck at a stressed angle.
- On Your Side
Sleeping on your side is another way to put the spine in its optimal position during sleep. However, make sure that your knees are aligned when you do this. Try putting a pillow between the knees, this will help keep your pelvis in line as you rest.
There are many people today that deal with chronic back pain simply because of the way that they sleep at night. The following positions are the worst for your back.
- Face Down
Sleeping on your stomach causes all types of issues. It causes your lower back to be compressed all night long and it puts the neck in an extreme twisted position during the night.
- One Leg Higher Than the Other
If you sleep with one leg straight and one leg bent, you are twisting your lower back and your pelvis and putting unnecessary strain on the spine. This position can also lead to tighter muscles.
- Legs Spread
Many people sleep with their legs flopped on the bed and spread wide open. However, this can cause serious issues with your hip joints.
- Fetal Position
Sleeping in the fetal position can put your back and neck in a curved position while you sleep. It also causes muscles to tense up during sleeping.
Tips for How to Care For Your Back While Sleeping
Unfortunately, changing the way that we sleep can be very difficult. Certain positions are simply more comfortable than others, and many people may not be able to fall asleep in a new position. Some individuals may try a new position while sleeping, only to wake up and find that they have rolled back into their default position.
If you do sleep in a position that could be harmful for your back, here are some ways to remedy the issue and put yourself on track for a healthier night’s sleep.
- If you sleep on your stomach, try wearing a t-shirt with a front pocket in it to bed. Place a tennis ball in that t-shirt and when you roll over to sleep on your stomach — this will force you to turn over.
- To keep the legs even during sleep, try tying your legs together with a towel. Eventually, you’ll get used to sleeping with your legs together and can ditch the towel.
- Position yourself in the way you want to fall asleep when you head to bed. Even when you get tempted to toss and turn to get comfortable, force yourself to stay on your side or on your back. Putting yourself in the right position can only help during the night.
- Sleep with a pillow between your legs when sleeping on your side or one under your knees when sleeping on your back to put yourself in the right position.
- Try sleeping on just one pillow, or no pillow at all. It can help put your spine in line while you sleep and prevent you from straining your neck.
Keep these tips in mind and you will start seeing improvements when you wake up in the morning and in your back pain during the night.