Sound advice on sleeping position from Consumer Reports
A common question asked by patients of our office is how they should sleep; side, back, stomach? From the chiropractic perspective, side and back sleeping is the best biomechanically with side sleepers having two pillows and back sleepers having one. Stomach sleeping is bad for your neck and spine because it creates torsion in the neck while in that position, and the problem is magnified if you have back and neck problems.
Consumer reports recently offered some advice that goes well beyond our typical advice. Read about it here
Is it better to sleep on your back, belly, or side?
That depends on whether you snore, or have heartburn, back, hip, knee, neck, or shoulder problems
Think a firm mattress is better for back pain? Not necessarily. All that really matters is that you find one that’s comfortable and fully supports your body without creating pressure points, says Arya Nick Shamie, M.D., chief of orthopedic spine surgery at the University of California Los Angeles in Santa Monica. (See our new mattress Ratings to find a mattress that’s right for you.) But sleep posture can make a difference for back pain, and for several other common ailments, including snoring and heartburn.
Back pain: Sleep on your back or side
That’s generally recommended for people who have back pain, according to a recent article in Applied Ergonomics. When on your back, keep your spine aligned by placing a small pillow under your head and a pillow or a firm foam wedge under your knees to maintain the natural curve of your lower back. If on your side, draw your knees up and lay a pillow lengthwise between your legs to prevent the inner side of the knees from hitting each other, which can be uncomfortable.
Neck pain: Sleep on your back or side
When on your back, support the natural curve of your neck with a rounded neck pillow, and place a flat pillow beneath your head, according to research at Harvard Medical School. When on your side, keep your spine straight by using a pillow that’s higher under your neck than your head.