July 30, 2012

Health Tip of the Week: Best Way To Sleep

Let’s be honest, we’ve probably all been told that we really should sleep on our backs, that that’s the best way for your spin, and it’s true, it is, but how many of us are really going to do that? So instead of telling you just to do that here is a write up done by Dr. Dan DeReuter on some adjustments you can make on the way you sleep now.

Back Sleepers
Yes, this is actually the preferred position to sleep because it places the least amount of stress to your spine-IF you:

Place a cervical roll or rolled-up towel under your neck. Make sure that your head is in a neutral position (that you are neither looking up or down). If you find that you cannot be “in neutral” then you need a smaller roll.

Place a pillow under your knees-This takes stress off of your lower back. You could buy a special pillow for this, but a regular pillow works just fine.

Side Sleepers
If you sleep on your side, then follow these tips to minimize the amount of stress to your spine.

Use a cervical pillow-Ideally, the pillow should take into account how wide your shoulders are (the wider your shoulders, the taller the pillow should be). This is because you want to keep your neck in a neutral position.
Place a pillow between your knees. Not only will this feel more comfortable, if you have hip joint pain this definitely helps. Try not to sleep on your side with your arm up over your head-this causes stress on the nerves that come out of the neck and into the arms and cause tingling or numbness down the arms.

Sleep on your Belly
This position places the most stress on your neck. In this position you have your head turned to one side or the other for hours at a time. This is quite stressful to your neck muscles and joints.

Your body will try to shift your position to compensate. This is why people who toss and turn the most are belly sleepers.

Place a pillow under your waist, and do not use a pillow for your head.

Sweet Dreams!

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