Proper Sleeping Positions

Getting an adequate amount of sleep can be challenging. If your sleeping positions cause strain on your back and neck—it’s time to adapt and find the correct posture that works best for your health needs.

Fortunately, you can eliminate bad sleeping positions with practice and bedding that provides better support. With Daylight Savings time right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to revisit your sleeping habits and posture. Choose the best sleeping position that eliminates neck and back pain, and allows for better mental health, productivity, and energy.

We’ve highlighted the best sleeping positions (and positions to avoid) for a full night’s sleep.

Sleeping on the Side

Sleeping on the side is great for gut health and other health conditions. If you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s better to sleep on your side or stomach, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The side sleeping position helps keep your airways open while reducing snoring because airways are not blocked by the tongue. Sleeping on your side offers numerous other benefits, like aiding digestion, and healthy bowel movements.

For the most part, a majority of people sleep on their sides.

“While you sleep on your left side at night, gravity can help take waste on a trip through the ascending colon, then into the transverse colon, and finally dump it into the descending colon — encouraging a trip to the bathroom in the morning,” writes Healthline.

If you suffer from chronic or occasional heartburn, sleeping on your left side can reduce waste, and GERD, according to Healthline. Of course, sleeping on the side might not be for everyone. For instance, some individuals may experience chronic shoulder pain or jaw pain due to the pressure of sleeping in a side position for a prolonged period of time.

Sleeping on your Back

Are you a back sleeper? According to Sleep.org, some studies show that sleeping positions on your back could actually worsen snoring, sleep apnea, or other conditions. However, for some people, back sleeping may provide overall balance and better spinal alignment and pressure relief, according to Sleep.org. Keep in mind, that back sleeping isn’t recommended for those who have chronic heartburn or GERD symptoms.

Overall, sleeping on your back is great because it places the least amount of pressure on your lumbar spine, according to a physical therapist. According to Leesa, only 10% of people are back sleepers. 

This neutral sleeping position is ideal for sustained and restful sleep. If you’re not comfortable with sleeping flat on your back, you can add pillows for warmth and added comfort. You can stack pillows either on the side of your arms or under your knees to remove the pressure on your spine, according to Leesa. 

Sleeping on the Stomach

Avoid this sleeping position. If you want to decompress the nerves in the arms, lower back, and neck, you should avoid sleeping on the stomach. Sleeping positions on the back can place strain on the back and cause pain in the neck when you wake up. If you’re a chronic stomach sleeper that has difficulty reprograming yourself to switch sleep positions, you can try to make small adjustments. Put a pillow under your pelvis to alleviate some of the pressure from your spine.

Mattress and Pillow Recommendations

Posture plays a big role in getting a good night’s sleep. However, it’s important to also consider changing your mattress or pillow for better comfort and support. We recommend the Coyuchi and Naturepedic brands for better, sustained sleep.

Coyuchi

The Turiya™ Organic Latex Pillow by Coyuchi is made out of 100% organic cotton. It provides comfortable and soft support when you need a good night’s sleep. This pillow helps you achieve proper spinal alignment and alleviates pressure that’s placed on your head and neck. If you toss and turn during the night, this pillow helps realign your body for better sleep.

Naturepedic

If you’re looking for the right mattress to support your new sleeping position, shop for Naturepedic mattresses. These organic mattresses feature organic cotton batting and a microcoil comfort layer. The mattresses also contain healthier materials like organic cotton fabric and organic wool batting. Naturepedic mattresses are designed to help keep you safe since it’s flame retardant and has real fibers for sustained and comfortable sleep.

It may take a couple of tries, but it’s best to experiment with different sleeping positions. See which one is right for your body. Investing in the right supportive pillows and mattresses can help you feel energized and ready to tackle the day.

Need an alignment? Book a consultation at Flintridge Family Chiropractic and call 818-952-0172