Are you tired of waking up in the morning with tight lower back muscles or a headache? Today I want to discuss proper sleeping posture. When you sleep on your stomach, you typically need to turn your head to one side which strains the small muscles and ligaments in your neck. Stomach sleeping should be avoided if possible. When you sleep on your back, it’s impossible to maintain your lower back curve, that puts unwanted pressure on the muscles and ligaments in the lower back. If you are going to sleep on your back, try using a rolled up towel or pillow under your knees, that will help take the pressure off your lower back. Side sleeping is one of the best ways to maintain optimal alignment of your spine. While sleeping on your side remains the best ergonomic position for your spine, there are still 3 steps you should follow to get your spine into perfect alignment before you start counting your sheep!
- Head and Neck
Make sure you don’t tuck your chin down towards your chest, especially in the wintertime when your body is cold. This is the most natural time to want to get into the “fetal position.” Try to keep your chin level instead of tucked down. Tucking your chin can cause you to wake up with a headache at the base of your skull. Sleeping on a contoured pillow can also help keep your neck in the proper ergonomic position while you sleep which also helps you hold proper alignment in between adjustments and can result in waking up pain free. Also, it is important to note you shoulder only use 1 pillow while side sleeping so that your neck bent too far toward your ear.
When lying on your side, it’s normal to want to turn your top hip toward the mattress in front of you. This will rotate your hips OUT of alignment and lead you to waking up with tension and tightness in the low back. Be sure to keep your hips stacked directly one on top of each other with a pillow between your knees if you feel strain in either hip muscle. If you sleep with a partner or even furry friends it is important that they do not impede the alignment of your hips while you are side sleeping.
Make sure your bottom shoulder is underneath you, not out in front of you. Again, it is natural for us to want to push our shoulder out in front. That’s how you wake up with pain in your shoulder or in your upper back inside of your shoulder blade. Instead, don’t reach your arm too far out in front of your body, try keeping it DIRECTLY underneath your other shoulder.
I hope these tips are helpful for you. Feel free to share with friends or family members that might benefit from reading this blog post, and as always you can call the office at 515-278-9678 to schedule an appointment for a checkup.