While your pillow and mattress are important, in order to get the rest you need and minimize pain and discomfort, it is the position you sleep in that is the most important. One of the first questions I ask a new patient is, “What position do you sleep in?” Many say, “I don’t know.” Or, “All over the place.” I understand your body can assume some strange positions when you are asleep. I also understand for many it may be hard to change the way you sleep, but it can be done. If you toss and turn, wake up with neck or back discomfort or get frequent headaches (very common in “stomach sleepers”), I encourage you to evaluate your sleep position and modify, if necessary.
To give you the best chance to sleep easier, wake up feeling rested and pain free, the best position (at least to start) is to lie on your back with a pillow under your neck, giving it support and another pillow under your knees so they are slightly, comfortably bent. In this position, your body is under the least stress and the natural curves in your spine are being properly supported. If you are unable to stay in this position for an entire night, the next best position is on your side. In this position, a pillow needs to be under your neck keeping it level with the rest of your spine. Place another pillow between your knees, keeping your legs even, hip-width apart taking stress off your lower back muscles. The worst position is sleeping on your stomach. This puts the neck into extreme rotation, straining the neck muscles and putting stress on the spine, as it does not honor the natural curves. Since you spend about one-third of your life sleeping, doesn’t it make sense to evaluate the position you’re in? Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite
If you have any questions about sleep position/pillows/mattresses or lower back pain upon waking give me a call (215) 627-1610