Ever have one of those nights of sleep where you can’t get comfortable, and the next day, you feel like you’ve been run over by a Mac truck? It turns out that too many poor nights of sleep are naughty for your general health, as well as your spine. What’s more, your sleeping position may be exacerbating your back pain or even a significant cause of it.

Finding the correct sleeping position is an essential step to getting a good night’s sleep and protecting your back from long-term injury. Here are the best sleeping places to help you get a restful night and maintain a healthy spine.

On Your Back

This is the best sleeping position because it evenly distributes your weight throughout your body, keeping your spine completely neutral. The trick is finding an excellent way to support your neck so that your neck stays slightly angled down toward your chest (but not too far down). To accomplish this, place either a small or cylindrical pillow under your neck. Alternatively, roll up a towel and put it in your pillowcase. This will help keep your head in an aligned, neutral position. Additionally, you may find it more comfortable to place a pillow under your knees, which will provide additional support and keep your spine neutral.

On Your Side

If you snore, lying on your back is probably not the best option. Instead, it’s better to lie on your side. The trick here is to find a side position where your spine is straight, as it’s tempting to curl up the body in this position. The best way to ensure this is to rest your shoulder on the mattress, place a pillow between your legs, and bend slightly at the hips and knees, almost fetal. The pillow under your head should keep it aligned with your spine (again, keeping it neutral). Otherwise, you’ll likely wake up with a crick in your neck.

Avoid Sleeping On Your Stomach

If neither of these positions is comfortable for you, you may be tempted to sleep on your stomach. Generally speaking, this is not a good position, especially if you experience lower back pain. This position usually pushes the neck back, keeping the spine fully engaged. If this is the only way you can fall asleep, try at least putting a pillow under your hips and not using any pad under your head. This will keep your spine in the optimal position.

Adjusting your sleeping position may make a difference if you’re experiencing back pain and having trouble sleeping. Remember, getting more high-quality sleep can help brain and body function!

Schedule a consultation with our spine specialists, and we’ll help you find the best option. Please call Pain and Spine Specialists in Maryland at 301-703-8767, in Pennsylvania at 724-603-3560, or in Virginia at 540-433-1905 to make an appointment, or use the form on our site to send us a message.

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