By: Kennedy Shelley
Do you wake up in pain? It could be you are sleeping in the wrong position for your back, or neck.
I wish I could say there is one best way to sleep, but as far as the experts’ opinions, they are mixed.
This is one area that you do have to listen to your own body, but if you are waking up in pain, then that is a signal that it’s time to try something different.
Sleep positions affect not only your back pain, but also how well you breathe at night. Many people find that when they sleep on their back they snore much more and may have a sore throat.
So, let’s talk about the basic principles of getting the sleep you need so you can wake up feeling great.
GET A GOOD FOUNDATION
You really need to invest in a quality mattress. Think about it, you are going to spend nearly 1/3 of your life in your bed, so find a quality mattress that will support you.
I know it’s a big purchase, but you even need to consider changing it if you gain or lose significant amounts of weight. This can affect the pressure points on your body which can cause pain.
Take some time in the store and try to get into a position that you like sleeping in.
There is really no study that shows that memory foam is better than an adjustable mattress, it just feels right to you and your budget.
If you have GERD or wake up because of heartburn, consider putting inch-high blocks of wood at the head of the bed. Just a slight elevation can help keep the stomach acids where they belong.
A firmer mattress might be helpful if you are waking up with back pain.
Many people with lower back pain and snoring issues find that sleeping on their sides gives them the most relief.
The secret to making this work is to place a pillow between your knees to help keep your hips in a neutral position.
Bringing your knees up to a comfortable position to relieve pressure on your back can also help.
MAKING IT WORK ON YOUR BACK
Sleeping on your back is the most popular way to sleep.
If you have some joint and back pain, try putting a pillow under your legs to relieve some pressure on your back, pelvis and hips.
WHERE DOES IT HURT?
If your shoulder is killing you in the morning, try sleeping on the shoulder that doesn’t hurt while hugging a pillow.
If your knee hurts, then side sleeping with a pillow between your knees may take the pressure off the joint.
Oh, your aching back! This is the biggest complaint in America, again look at a firmer mattress and side sleeping with your knees up and a pillow between your legs. Try to get it in a position where there is no stress in your back, pelvis and hips.
The idea is to keep your spine in line. You don’t want your head too high or low. You also might be one of those people who want their arm underneath your pillow, so try to build that in.
Don’t try to raise your head with your pillow to fight heartburn, that won’t do anything for the stomach acid, but instead give you a crick in the neck.
GET THE TEMP RIGHT
Try to sleep cool, 60-70 degrees seems to be the comfort sweet spot. There is research to suggest the cooler the better. It seems to help with healing and reducing stress.
HOW NOT TO SLEEP
Sleep experts seem to agree on one thing, stomach sleeping is the worst. While there are some people who can get away with it for a while, back pain seems to be the inevitable result.
Hopefully these tips will help you wake up feeling better, more rested and without any pain. Sleep well!