It may sound hard to believe that the position you sleep in can have an impact on your overall health. But if you think about how much your posture affects your body’s overall systems, it makes perfect sense.
As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, your spine is the central hub of your nervous system, which is responsible for sending signals to your body’s organs and telling them how to function. When your spine is not properly aligned, those signals are weakened as a result of nerve compression. This results in weakened function of your body’s organs and systems overall.
How you sleep affects your immune system, not only by relieving stress as you achieve a more restful night’s sleep, but also by improving your posture, if you sleep in the correct position.
So, what is the correct position for sleeping?
The short answer is: on your back!
However, let’s face it: most people are not back-sleepers. Almost everyone we talk to has a bad habit of stomach sleeping. It’s too comfortable to curl up in child’s pose and hug your pillow, so we completely understand why. But sleeping on your back is much better for you, and it becomes more comfortable the more you do it. That’s why we advise our patients to assume a back-sleeping position for the sake of their health!
Also (if we haven’t scared you off yet), it’s best to sleep without a pillow.
(Yes, even if you have one of those crazy-expensive memory foam pillows!)
Pillows force your head into a more forward position, which causes a slight unnatural curvature. Instead of sleeping with your head on a pillow, we recommend putting a foam neck roller underneath your neck and another smaller roller under your lower back. This will, overtime, help to re-shape and realign your spine for proper posture. Imagine what would happen if your body assumed the right posture for 8+ hours every night! This, combined with regular chiropractic adjustments and other healthy lifestyle habits, is sure to put your immune system into overdrive! You’ll start to feel better almost immediately.
What about side sleeping?
Though better than stomach sleeping, it still comes with its own set of problems. Side sleepers tend to cross one leg over another, which can force your hips out of alignment. However, if you absolutely can’t sleep on your back all night, laying on your neck rollers for 20 minutes a day will result in a dramatic difference. And sleeping on your side is certainly better than sleeping on your stomach. Again, using a neck roller instead of a pillow is preferred, and a leg pillow also helps to keep your hips properly aligned.
Have you experienced pain from sleeping?
It could be a result of your sleeping position and posture. Charlotte chiropractor, Dr. Holly Clemens, has helped many patients to sleep better and feel better overall through a tailored care regimen designed to improve the shape of your spine over time with a series of chiropractic adjustments combined with other holistic wellness strategies.