Proper Sleep Positions

Hello everyone, after my last blog post I had a few requests on my take on what positions are the best for sleeping and what to do if you have some pain while sleeping. Believe me, this is a major issue and I constantly am discussing it with my Monroeville Chiropractor patients.

The short answer is that it’s a simply complex situation, but it can be worked around. So do you have all of that? Good!

So the scoop is this, when it comes to sleeping, lying on your back is the optimal position, lying on your side is kind of so-so, and lying on your stomach is the absolute worst.

When I always clarify that to my Penn Hills Chiropractor patients, I say simply that when you lay on your stomach, the normal angle between your knees and hips gets thrown off and it puts a strain on your low back muscles. Think about it, have you ever gotten a massage? When you lay on your stomach, they put a bolster under your ankles to restore that normal angle, thus relaxing your low back muscles. Also of note, when you lay on your stomach, the only way to breathe is to have your head turned to a side and if you do that for too long you can easily strain your neck. Hence why lying on your stomach is the absolute worst.

Here though is the challenge, all of us, when we’re sleeping, don’t really know what we’re doing and it’s really impossible to control what position you do in fact sleep in. You may fall asleep on your back, great, but then tossing and turning end up sleeping on your stomach for a period of time and hurt yourself. Basically, your body just does what it wants to regarding sleeping and you have no conscious control over it.

One thing I tell the patients in my Pittsburgh Chiropractor office is to at least lie on your back for as long as you can before you fall asleep. I think that at that point you are somewhat “training” your body to lay more in that position when you are actually sleeping and will end up sleeping like that more and more.

One more thing you can do to help is to stretch for a few minutes both before you go to bed and when you wake up. No, I’m not talking about some long stretching routine, but just a few minutes of stretching that bookends the time you’re in bed can help. Simple and basic stretches like this here and here are good ones to do in this time.

Well, that’s the long version of the short answer. I hope that helps!

–    Dr. Brent Shealer – Monroeville, Penn Hills, Pittsburgh Chiropractor

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