Sleeping Like a Baby: Using Sleep Posture to Control Back Pain

Sleep is supposed to help not hurt

Sleep, and in particular deep REM sleep, is responsible for restoration. It is the time in which blood flow redirects its focus  to the muscles, which are provided with an increased surge of oxygen and nutrients necessary for repair and rebuilding. And while it can be difficult enough to find sufficient sleep in this age of over stimulation, the burden is increased when your sleep posture works against you as well. 

Few people think of their posture when sleeping 

The objective is simple: get into the most comfortable position possible. And while there is a lot to be said for comfort, momentary gratification can actually leave you in a compromised position when it comes to your spine. There are three main types of sleep posture: side, back and stomach. Each one has particular benefits and drawbacks, with stomach-sleeping the worst of the lot when it comes to back pain (this due to the pressure on your spine that results from sinking down on your stomach into the mattress). But here are some other considerations:

  • Neck pain: neutral posture is a primary consideration. If you sleep on your back, make sure that your pillow maintains the proper alignment of your neck in relation to the spine. On your side, avoid tucking your head in or forward, as people tend to do in the fetal position.
  • Shoulder pain: train yourself to stop rolling onto a painful shoulder. Side sleepers often trap the shoulder in an unfortunate angle in relation to the body. Sleep on the opposite shoulder and use a large pillow at chest level to rest your arm upon.
  • Back Pain: use extra pillows to your advantage. Back sleepers can put one under the knees to relieve tension from tissues in the lower back; side sleepers can put one between the knees to offer extra support at the base of the spine; stomach sleepers can place a pillow under their stomach to prevent excess pressure on the spine. 

Getting the sleep you need in Teaneck, NJ

At Associates in Chiropractic, we believe in sleep as a primary component of wellness. We have dedicated ourselves to helping people get the sleep they deserve using natural methods. Our hands-on modalities including adjustment, decompression and massage, help reduce pain while boosting circulation. The end result is: comfort, that intangible position that you are trying to achieve before sleep each night. If you are interested in improving the quality and quantity of sleep in your lifestyle, give our office in Teaneck, NJ 07666 a call to schedule an appointment today.