You should sleep about 8 hours in each 24 hour day. This equates to 1/3 of your life, so if not done properly, it will have a profound effect on your spine. There are two proper sleeping positions for spinal health, which include sleeping on your back and sleeping on your side:
1.) When you sleep on your back, place at least one pillow under your knees so that your legs are bent. Place one pillow under your head and neck. Cervical pillows are contoured with a specific design to support the neck in the proper position while you sleep. Most cervical pillows have two sizes within the same pillow to allow for small and larger necks. These pillows can be rotated 180° to use the other size. Ideally, your head should be in line with the rest of your spine, just as it would be if you were standing with your chin level with the ground. Sleeping with multiple pillows under your head is generally not recommended. When you sleep on your back, your head should NOT be cocked forward with your chin toward your chest.
2.) When you sleep on your side, bend your knees and pull them up toward your chest. Place a pillow between your knees so that your knees are hip distance apart. This will prevent your hips and pelvis from rotating. Place one pillow under your head and neck. Again, cervical pillows are contoured with a specific design to support the neck in the proper position while you sleep. When sleeping on your side, your neck should be in line with the rest of your spine; it should not be cocked toward the bed or bent toward the ceiling.
STAY OFF YOUR STOMACH! Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position to sleep in, as it can be very harmful to your spine because it forces you to rotate your head to the side, causing neck problems. It also causes back problems due to the normal curves (kyphotic and lordotic) in your spine not being properly supported.
DON'T SLEEP WITH YOUR WRISTS BENT OR WITH YOUR ARM UNDER YOUR HEAD!
If you haven't been sleeping properly and now have pain, stiffness or reduced mobility, give our office a call at 330-758-4446 and find out how Dr. Carradine can help you! She provides gentle chiropractic care, numerous therapies, spinal decompression, acupuncture, and several other forms of treatment at our Boardman, Ohio office.