If the average person gets a full 8 hours of sleep per night, that equates to 1/3 of our day sleeping. This is why proper sleeping position in so important. This article will talk about the best and worst sleeping positions and how they impact your body.
The Worst Sleeping Position: The worst sleeping position you can put yourself in is on your belly. Although this might feel like the most comfortable for you, this could be a source of your neck and back pain when you wake up in the morning. Sleeping on your belly poses two main structural problems. First, to avoid suffocating yourself in the pillow, you have to turn your head to one side or the other. If you fall asleep with your neck torqued one way for 8 hours per night multiplied by every single night you've fallen asleep for your entire life, this chronic stress leads to pain, stiffness, and degeneration of the cervical spine. The second problem is for your low back, especially if sleeping on a soft, unsupportive mattress. The belly down sleeping position can cause hyperlordotic stresses on your lower back causing irritation of the joints and muscles.
The Okay Sleeping Position: This one is sleeping on either one of your sides. Your body is in a much more neutral position compared to sleeping on your belly since you are not torquing and twisting your spine the entire night. The only down fall lies in your hips/pelvis and your shoulder. Your shoulder can be affected because you are laying directly on it for 8 hours per night. This can lead to shoulder pain and discomfort upon waking up in the morning. The second is the alignment of your hips and pelvis as most people who lay on their sides like to spread their feet and legs out wide. One solution for your hips/pelvis is to sleep on your side with a pillow in between your knees. This puts our body in a more neutral position and causes less muscular tension in your body.
The Best Sleeping Position: The best sleeping position is on your back supported with a firm mattress. Our body is completely neutral in this position and decreases the chance of being put in a poor posture through the night. The biggest mistake when sleeping on your back is the support of your pillow. Are you the type to use 3 pillows stacked on top of each other and folded to support your head? When you do this you put your head in a forward flexed position, again putting undo pressure on the back of your neck. Pillows should be used to support your neck, instead of supporting your head. By using the pillow to support your neck you encourage a normal cervical curve and help to reduce muscle tension and spasming.