Does sleep position matter?

We spend on average six to eight hours in bed every night. In this time, the position of our body can affect how we feel throughout the day. Just as we need to maintain good posture during the day when sitting and standing, we need to use good posture when sleeping.

There are three main sleeping postures with variations of each — side sleeping, on your back, and on your stomach.

The best sleeping posture is lying on your back with a slight bend in the knees (supported by a pillow ). Studies have found this position to put the least amount of pressure on the discs of your spine. This position is also best for breathing and circulation. However, this may increase snoring.

The next best choice for sleeping is on the side, with a pillow between the knees to keep the pelvis level. Lying on your left side has been shown to decrease reflux. Sleeping with the bottom arm in front at a 90 degree angle can help reduce arm pain felt by nerve compression.

Sleeping on your stomach is not advised. Having your head to one side puts a strain on the neck and shoulders, which can lead to stiffness, pain, and even cause joint restriction more commonly known as a “crick” in the neck. Stomach sleeping also makes it more difficult to breathe, puts pressure on your organs, and increases pressure on the lumbar spine discs.

If you experience discomfort and would like to avail of a complimentary consultation with a qualified and registered chiropractor at City Chiropractic, call 091 567055 to make an appointment.

Dr Jennifer Peterson DC, chiropractor

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