A good night’s rest – it’s supposed to make you feel relaxed and invigorated. Then why do so many people awaken with a stiff neck, strained back or even agitation to existing problems, like a collapsed disc? The fact is, we often don’t choose the best sleeping positions for lower back pain and other aches. Do you know which is the best sleeping position for neck pain? If you don’t, you’re not alone!
When we’re sleeping, we all contort our bodies. But the wrong position can place added strain on a collapsed disc, so it’s vital that we pay attention to how we feel in the morning. Fortunately, there are small modifications – from changing the angle at which you lay, to creative pillow use – that can help you get on the road to back pain-free mornings. Let’s examine a few.
Best Sleeping Position: Back Sleeper
This is a notoriously bad position to sleep in if you are prone to a stiff neck. Your mattress and your pillow aren’t level, which puts your head and neck at an awkward angle. Maintain that position for eight hours, and you’re sure to wake up with a stiff neck. If you don’t want to give up this position, try the following:
- Place a pillow beneath your head and knees
- Make sure your pillow does not push the neck forward because it can lead to neck pain and headaches
- Check to make sure your pillow doesn’t let your head tilt back. That can cause neck pain as well
- Choose a pillow that can maintain the most level head position
Best Sleeping Position: Side Sleeper
This is the best position to sleep. It naturally takes all the stress out of the spinal curves and contributes to a sense of feeling cozy and rested. Still, there are a few steps to take to ensure this position doesn’t lead to back pain or neck strain:
- Place a pillow beneath your head and in between the legs. This will prevent hips from twisting
- Make sure your pillow doesn’t allow your head to tilt up or down because it can cause neck pain
- Try a side sleeper pillow if you experience any lower back pain
Best Sleeping Position: Stomach Sleeper
There are a few sleeping positions that almost always guarantee back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. Sleeping on your stomach is one of them. Because it forces you to keep your head turned for six or more hours, sleeping on your stomach frequently leads to a stiff neck. If this is your favorite sleep position, try investing in pillows for stomach sleepers and follow these tips:
- Lying on your stomach increases the curve in your low back which can jam facet joints. Consider placing a pillow below your belly to reduce curvature
- You can also place a pillow beneath your hips to elevate them and reduce the stress on the low back
Sleeping should be restful and relaxing. Follow these tips for the best sleep positions for back pain and you’ll be getting up on the right side of the bed in no time!
Photos courtesy of Hello Beautiful