How You Sleep Can Affect Your Overall Health

How You Sleep Can Affect Your Overall Health


Do you have trouble sleeping and can’t pinpoint the reasons why? Your sleep troubles may be linked to your sleep posture. That’s right – your nightly body position may be affecting sleep quality, your spine and your overall health. Poor sleep posture could be causing back pain, neck pain, muscle cramps and problems with circulation.


There are some tips on how to ensure your spine is in proper alignment. A good rule of thumb is to keep your ears, shoulders, and hips in alignment, while you are sleeping and while you are turning. When you do turn, try not to twist or bend at your waist, but instead move your entire body and bend your knees up toward your chest when you roll. This posture puts the least amount of stress on your spine. If there are any major gaps between your body and the mattress, use pillows to fill those spaces. Regular pillows or even a body pillow will do.


Back Sleepers

Did you know that sleeping on your back is the best sleep position for your spine? However, fewer than 10 percent of all people are back sleepers. If you are one of them, try putting a small pillow behind your knees while you sleep. This will support the natural curve of your back and thereby reduce stress on your spine. Likewise, your head pillow should support your neck’s natural curve and your shoulders to reduce stress on your upper spine.


Sleeping on your back keeps your head, neck, and spine all aligned in a neutral position. Since there is no additional pressure on those areas, you will likely be pain-free and reduce any acid reflux you might have, too.


Stomach Sleepers

While stomach sleepers swear by this position to ease snoring, it’s not the greatest position for you back. When you sleep on your stomach, it is very difficult to keep your spine in a neutral position, and it puts pressure on your joints and muscles, which can all contribute to back pain, neck pain, and tingling or irritated nerves. It is best to sleep in a different position, but if you insist on sleeping on your stomach, make sure you sleep on a flat pillow or with no pillow at all. Placing another pillow under your stomach and pelvis can keep your spine better aligned.


Side Sleepers

Side sleepers should place a pillow between the knees to prevent hip and lower back stress. The pillow also prevents the upper leg from moving forward to move your spine out of alignment. When you sleep, position your knees slightly up toward the chest. You can also place a small roll pillow or towel under your waist to help support the spine. Also, make sure that your head is aligned to keep your spine straight. When you are in the right position, side sleeping elongates your spine, which can reduce neck and back pain. You’re less likely to snore and can also help reduce acid reflux.


Fetal Position

While there are many back, side and stomach sleepers, the fetal position is the sleep posture that about 40 percent of adults choose. It is the most popular of all sleeping positions and is great for preventing snoring. But it can be bad for your back if you curl up too tightly. It can restrict your breathing and leave your joints a bit sore when you wake up in the morning. If you do sleep in this position, try not to tuck your chin to your chest too tightly and try not to pull your knees up too high. Keep your spine as straight as you can. Placing a pillow between your knees will also ease the pressure on your hips and spine.


Posture Is Pivotal

We all know that good sitting and standing posture is important, but good sleep posture is pivotal to a good night’s sleep as well as your overall health. Our bodies heal while we sleep, so protect your back and let it heal while you catch some slumber.

If you’re wondering about your spine and whether your sleep position is causing issues, come see us at Apps Chiropractic. We will assess your current spine health and recommend chiropractic therapy. We can suggest many remedies to alleviate your back pain and minimize injury prevention. Looking to become a new patient of Apps Chiropractic? Schedule your initial consultation or treatment here: