Much of what we do in our sleep affects our daily lives. If you roll around in your sleep, you may be tired and fatigued the next day. The same goes if you sleep in a strange position. Not only will sleeping in a strange position make you feel exhausted the next day – it will also weaken your spine and the surrounding muscles. The effects of having a poor sleeping position can be negatively impactful in many different ways. This is exactly why you want to improve your sleeping posture – for the sake of spine health and your overall health. Here are some sleep posture basics for better spine health.
- Sleeping on your back could increase discomfort. One of the worst positions to sleep in is on your back. Back sleepers have an increased incidence of lower back pain and disordered breathing. This is usually because your bed can’t meet the contours of the natural curvature of your spine, so all of your weight is pressed down on your back.
- The fetal position is the most comfortable and supportive position. Based on fossil records of early humans, one of the most natural and reoccurring sleep positions is the fetal position. You don’t need to curl up in a ball, but sleeping on your side will usually take the pressure off your back and allow for better comfort and support. If sleeping on your side is uncomfortable, you may want to use a pillow to give yourself even more comfort and support.
- Practice various stretching exercises before you go to sleep. If you toss around in your sleep, you may want to do some stretching exercises right before you go to bed. Stretching will allow your back to prepare itself for all the positions that you will put your spine in throughout the night. When it comes down to it, stretching will also help you relax and fall asleep easier. The truth is that falling into a deeper sleep state is imperative for your spinal health. If you are having trouble stretching, you may want to visit Select Spine & Sports Medicine to have your back looked at and readjusted by a spinal health professional.
- Train yourself to sleep in a different position. If you are a back or stomach sleeper, it may be time to train yourself to sleep on your side or in a more supportive position. If you are experiencing spinal pain and other back problems, it is especially important to train yourself to sleep in a new position. It will be difficult to stay sleeping in a new position, but if you make an effort night after night, it will soon become easier and easier.
- Get a mattress topper. If you do sleep on a particularly firm mattress, it may be difficult to sleep on your side – the bed won’t match up with the natural curvature of your body. This is why you may want to purchase a mattress topper. It will allow you the opportunity to improve your sleeping posture and your spine will feel stronger and healthier the next day.