When talking about sleeping positions, I want to start off by saying that it is VERY hard to change a sleeping habit. However, with that said we can modify your current positioning so that it promotes a more positive night's sleep. Sleep is absolutely essential and not only is the quantity of hours important but so is the quality of sleep. Your body isn’t going to receive the necessary REM cycle hours if you’re tossing and turning a result of pain.
To start, what is the best position? I typically recommend people sleep on their back or side, but to keep their neck and spine in a relatively neutral position. This means that when you’re on your back, placing 1-2 pillows under your knees will put your spine in a more relaxed position. When sleeping on your side, we want you to place a pillow under your knee to provide pelvis support that will give you good spinal alignment.
So where does sleeping on your stomach come into play? NEVER would be an answer that I would like to say however, I understand that this isn’t always realistic. When someone sleeps on their stomach, it places the spine in extension that has been known to cause pain. So what’s a modification that can be done to change this? Sleeping with a weighted blanket can actually recreate the pressure stomach sleepers are seeking with a more positive sleeping posture.
Changing sleeping patterns and habits is hard however, it is important that you are receiving enough quality sleep at night so that your immune system remains strong and healthy! If you have any other questions about sleep contact Bull City Physical Therapy today for more information!
-Dr. Colten Sullivan
Bull City Physical Therapy