If you’re getting your recommended eight hours of sleep a night, that’s a third of your life that you’re spending in bed! And if you’re experiencing back pain, rethinking how you spend those eight hours in bed might make a difference. How does your sleep position affect your back, and what’s the best position for preventing back pain? Read on…
If you’re a stomach sleeper
11% of us are, or at least start the night out in this position. Stomach sleepers are the most likely to experience back and neck pain though, as this position puts stress on your joints and muscles, and makes it difficult to keep your neck or spine aligned.
It’s hard to train yourself to change your preferred sleep position; if you suspect stomach sleeping is causing you pain consider waring a t-shirt with a pocket to bed and keeping something uncomfortable in it, like a tennis ball.
If you sleep in the fetal position
This is a common sleep position, maybe because we spent so much time curled up like this before we were born! It’s not the very best option, though: bent knees and a rounded back affects deep breathing and can cause pain.
If you sleep on your back
Back sleeping is better for neutral posture, so it can help prevent back and neck pain. Try to sleep with your legs straight; some of us “flamingo” on our back and that twists the pelvis. If your back tends to arch while sleeping, a pillow under the knees can help discourage that.
17% of us sleep on our backs, but be aware that these are the sleepers most likely to snore. If you’re sharing a bed, a white noise machine or a gift of ear plugs can help ensure your partner gets a good night’s rest too!
The best position for back pain
Good news! More than half of us (57%) sleep on our sides, which— if you’re doing it right— is the best option for preventing or alleviating back pain. Side sleepers can also have better circulation than other sleepers and are less likely to snore.
Keep your back straight, not rounded, and sleep with a pillow between your legs to elongate and align the spine. We love full body pillows, like the Snoozer Body Pillow from Relax The Back. They provide comfort and ergonomic support from your neck to your lower back to your feet, and are reported to help with headaches, insomnia and fibromyalgia. They’re also completely machine washable and 100% hypoallergenic!
Keep in mind that no matter what your sleep position may be, a quality mattress and good pillows are key to helping you fall asleep and stay asleep. Invest in your sleep just as you do your diet and exercise.
Relax The Back is the place to go for products that relieve daily discomfort: their employees are trained to understand the issues involved with posture and pain. Visit your local store to get recommendations and a personal pillow fitting— or some great sleep accessories as holiday gifts! Everybody appreciates better sleep.
Relax The Back is offering one FitFluential reader a Snoozer Body Pillow to help them achieve deep, restful sleep. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below!