Trouble sleeping? Join the club. Being over-caffeinated, over-stressed, and sleeping with your iPhone next to your pillow doesn’t tend to be a recipe for restful slumber. What you might not know is that your sleep posture may be having an even greater effect when it comes to impeding restful snoozing. Here’s everything you need to know to combat those frustrating sleep issues.
1. Proper sleep positions
Turns out not all sleep positions are created equal. “The neutral and ideal position is on your back,” says Christopher John Anselmi, DC, a chiropractor at Hospital for Special Surgery’s Integrative Care Center. “It places your spine in the best possible position from an ergonomic perspective. It opens the airway for breathing and allows your disc material to re-hydrate effectively.” Anselmi adds that in the event you have a neck or low back issue, increased support can be attained with a rolled up towel under the curvature of either your neck or low back.
Conversely, the position that offers the least support is on your stomach. “This position forces your lumbar spine into an extended arched position and also places the neck in an awkward torqued position,” explains Anselmi. “With a leg up or flexed also puts rotational forces into your low back.” He suggests putting a pillow in between your knees to allow the lumbo-pelvic spine to be neutral. “Sometimes a rolled up towel at the narrowest section of your waist can redistribute the load evenly throughout the shoulders hips and spine.”
Side sleeper? Anselmi says you can lie on your side as long as you’re in the neutral position with slight flexion in the legs and your neck is supported with a proper pillow.