August 16

How Do You Sleep?

The average person spends one third of their lives sleeping. What kind of sleeper are you? Do lay on your stomach, side or back? There are advantages and disadvantages to all three positions that we must all know about. Pillow placement goes hand in hand with positioning. Our musculoskeletal health will benefit from proper sleep support.

Back sleepers benefit from having the best circulation and less pressure on the spine and joints. The cons to this position can be snoring and aggravated sleep apnea. The neck must be properly supported when in this position. Pillow placement: One pillow under the shoulders and head ensuring the lordosis or forward curvature of the cervical/ neck spine. Another pillow should be placed under the small of your lower back to support the forward curvature on your lumbar spine region. Last pillow should be placed under the back of your knees.

Stomach sleepers typically enjoy deeper sleep cycles due to the body’s restricted movements. The downsides to stomach sleeping are pressure on the organs and lower back. The neck is also stressed due to turning the head to the left or right. Pillow placement: One pillow should be placed under your head to prevent any forward stress. The second pillow should be placed under your pelvis so that your lower back curvature.

Side sleepers are most common. People who sleep on their side are less prone to snoring and sleep apnea aggravation. If you sleep on the left side you can reduce acid reflux due to the stomach positioned below the esophagus. Note that some of your organs will experience more pressure when on your left side. Sleeping on your side can also cause nerve compression. Pillow placement: one pillow should be under your head and firm enough to have your neck in a neutral position. Another thin pillow should be placed under your abdominal area. Lastly, one pillow should be in between your knees as they lay flexed in a fetal position. This allows your pelvis and your lumbar spine to stay aligned.

As you can see there is somewhat of a science to sleep positioning. These are just basic tips to better support. When your body is better supported you are less likely to toss and turn, this will help you to maintain a deeper state of sleep. Quality of rest has a huge impact on our overall health. Come see us at The Institute for Functional Health for more information. Waking up with more range of motion and less pain is the best way to start off the day.


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