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The Best and Worst Sleep Positions For Your Back

Sleep is an incredibly important component to overall health and well-being. The average person spends ⅓ of their life asleep! It affects our mood, mind, and health, making it vital that we sleep well.

Most of us have heard that we need 8 hours of sleep per night, but we all know that is far easier said than done. Too much caffeine, anxiety, or aches and pains keep us awake when we should be sound asleep. Sometimes, sleep positions are even the source of our pain! In order to discover the best sleep position for your body and the ones you may want to avoid, we’ve assembled a list so you can stay healthy and get some much needed rest.

Young woman sleeping with arm up over her head and lying on back on white sheets. Photo taken from above.

Do Sleep: On Your Back

When you sleep on your back, it makes it easier for your head, neck, and spine to align and stay in a neutral position. Sleeping on your back can also combat acid reflux! When you sleep on your back, your head is elevated and your stomach sits below the esophagus, preventing digested substances from coming back up. Another added bonus of sleeping on your back? Fewer face wrinkles!

Do Sleep: On Your Side

Side sleeping is helpful for pregnant women and people suffering from sleep apnea, snoring, and neck & back pain. Sleeping on your side can take strain off your back by elongating the spine. There’s even credible science about which side you should sleep on. Doctors encourage sleeping on the left side during pregnancy because it boosts circulation to the heart while easing lower back pressure. For those who aren’t pregnant, sleeping on the left side has also been proven to ease heartburn and acid reflux!

Don’t Sleep: On Your Stomach

Sleeping in your stomach does not support the natural curve of your spine and causes overarching in your back. This creates unnecessary pressure on joints and muscles, resulting in pain and even nerve damage. It also forces your neck to be rotated, which can lead to poor breathing and circulation. If you just can’t sleep any other way, reduce the strain on your back by placing a pillow underneath your pelvis for catching some shut-eye.

Don’t Sleep: Fetal Position

Sleeping in the fetal position can cause strains in your back and joints and wrinkles! Ideally your shoulder and neck are aligned when sleeping, and by tucking your knees and chin into your chest in the fetal position, this cannot happen.

So what’s the takeaway here? Sleep on your back for optimal spine health. However, since sleep is clearly an unconscious event, people tend to wake up in the position that their bodies find the most comfortable. At Pure Chiropractic, we will be here to help in any way we can to insure you sleep like a baby.