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How to Sleep for Better Spinal Health

One of the most common questions I get about spinal health is, "How should I sleep?"

Sleep is precious—a time to get cozy and shut off from the world. We all have ingrained habits and preferred sleep positions, but these could be causing unnecessary issues. While I'll suggest the best sleeping positions, understand that change won't happen overnight (pun intended). It takes time to retrain your body.

Why is Sleep Crucial for Spinal Health?

The amount of time we spend sleeping is significant. Hours in one or two prolonged positions can put considerable stress on our bodies, especially if the position is awkward.

Another issue is that our spinal discs—the cushions between the bones in your spine—swell overnight. This swelling can cause them to press on nearby nerves, often resulting in worse pain in the morning. If you wake up with increased pain, this is likely why.

The Best Sleeping Positions for Your Back

To support your spine, I recommend only two positions:

  1. On your back

  2. On your side

Avoid sleeping on your front, as this puts extraordinary stress on your neck.

When sleeping on your back, use a thinner pillow to keep your neck aligned with your spine. When on your side, choose a pillow that matches the width of your shoulder to maintain good spinal alignment.

Additionally, consider using a pillow behind your knees when on your back or between your knees when on your side. This supports lower back and pelvic alignment.

As you head to bed tonight, remember these simple tips: lie on your back or side and place a pillow behind or between your knees.

Super simple and very effective.

The content of this blog is for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.

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