How to Sleep Correctly: Proper Sleep Positions That Can Benefit Your Health
On average, people spend one-third of their entire life sleeping. That means that when you reach the age of 75, you may have slept away almost 25 years! Since sleep is such a large part of your life, it is essential to make sure you are getting your best rest and sleeping “the right way.”
Achieving the proper sleep position can be good for your spine, joints, muscles, and overall body health. Dr. Dan, of Turack Chiropractic and Performance Health, shares some functional medicine tips on how to sleep correctly.
Dr. Dan’s Guide to Better Sleeping:
Sleeping Face Down Is the Worst 🙅♀️
Oftentimes, when you sleep on your stomach, you turn your head, rest on your arm, and raise your leg to get comfortable. This causes your back to contort into unnatural or potentially harmful poses. Sleeping face down causes your spine to twist and the muscles in your neck to tighten up. If you spend the six to eight hours sleeping like this each night, you could start to suffer from neck pain, headaches, and shoulder issues from creating tension or an imbalance in your body.
Side Sleeping is Okay… But You Can Make It Better 🤷♀️
When you lay on your side, you may settle into a fetal or ball-like position. But, this isn’t great for your neck or lower back as it can cause your muscles to tense up. One way to improve a side sleeping position is to lay on one side, stretch your shoulders back and down, and tilt the head up (looking up at your headboard). Then, cross your arms, one over the other (or over a pillow in front of you), and practice extending your spine.
Sleeping on Your Back is Best 🙆♀️
Falling asleep on your back allows the spine to stretch out. Most of the day, we’re sitting in an upright position at our desks or in our cars that compresses the spine. However, when you lay flat on your back, with a good support pillow, the pressure in your head, spine, and torso is released. This provides an opportunity for your spinal discs to reabsorb the water and nutrients they need in order to heal.
But How Do I Get Used to It?
Sleeping on your back can be difficult to get used to; however, it is possible to train yourself to feel like it’s comfortable position. Start by laying flat on your back and resting your hands folded on your chest. Then, close your eyes and focus on your breathing; take 50 to 100 deep breaths to relax. Try this every night for a week to two weeks. This will help you start to train yourself to rest in a proper sleep position.
Find a Partner in Functional Medicine
Sleeping correctly can benefit your neck, spine, and joints. It can also help you feel refreshed and energized the next day. Turack Chiropractic and Performance Health, located in the Pittsburgh area, offers functional medicine practices that may be able to help you with common sleep problems such as insomnia as well as other issues like fatigue, digestive upsets, hormone imbalances, and much more. We try to understand the origins of what might be ailing you and help you live your best life.
Call our Pittsburgh area office today at (724) 940-3499 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
More from Dr. Dan: Turack Tells All: The 101 on Food Allergies