The Best and the Worst Sleeping Positions for Your Neck and Spine

Neck and Spine ProblemsSleep is necessary for your mind and body to recharge and refresh but sometimes you wake up and feel less than 100%. If you’re frequently waking up with aches and pains, it could be your sleeping position that’s to blame. This can be especially true if you already experience neck and spine issues. If this sounds familiar, keep reading for some recommended sleeping positions as well as sleeping positions that may cause pain.

Recommended Sleeping Positions

On Your Back

If avoiding additional pain, this position is probably the best. Sleeping on your back helps to keep your spine in alignment and also allows your body weight to be evenly distributed. When it comes to pillow placement, it’s best to use a small pillow below your head and neck but not on your shoulders. The only major downside to back sleeping is this position may cause some people to snore.

On Your Side with Stretched Legs

If sleeping on your back isn’t an option, give sleeping on your side with your legs stretched a try. This sleeping position is a good alternative to back sleeping if you’re prone to snoring. You may also consider using a thin pillow between your legs to help align the spine, hips, and pelvis.

Avoid These Positions

On Your Side with Legs Curled Up

While not the worst position, sleeping on your side with your legs curled up does not provide the spine alignment you’d get from the recommended positions above. Sleeping with your legs curled up also doesn’t evenly distribute your weight throughout your body, which can lead to pain.

On Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is possibly the worst position if you need to avoid neck pain. The nature of the position itself means you have to turn your head to the side, thus twisting your neck. Beyond that, your spine also isn’t in alignment putting pressure on your joints.

Clearly, this isn’t a comprehensive list of sleeping positions, but they are among the most popular. If you sleep in another position that isn’t on this list and are curious if it passes the test, simply ask yourself if your spine, neck, and head are in a neutral alignment. If they are, then you’re most likely in the clear.

If you have any other questions about this or any other neck or spine pain questions, call our office at (219) 795-3360.

Posted in: Spine

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