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Sleeping the Right Way

Sleep is important, anyone will tell you that, but how to sleep is another story. Before we discuss the how, lets talk a bit about why sleep is important.

What Makes Sleep Important?

Sleeping is a necessary part of life as it allows our brain and body to rest and relax from the constant bombardment of stimuli i.e. lights, sounds, textures, thoughts, ideas, emotions, stress and strain. Some days you need more sleep, but on average you require a recommended 6-8 hours of good sleep.

The benefits of sleep are plenty, one of the most important is the fact that sleep helps improve learning both cognitively and physically whether that be learning how to solve a math equation, throw a football, or speak a new language. Learning never stops, as Albert Einstein once said “learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it.”

The Different Sleeping Positions

The Best: If not doing so already, learn to sleep on you back! Its been shown to have the most benefits and least strain on the body. Sleeping on your back allows your spine to remain in a neutral position. The key is to use 3 small pillows: one behind the neck to support its natural C-curve, another pillow beneath the low back maintaining its curve and a pillow behind the knees to to reduce stress on the low back. This position also aids in reducing acid reflux.

The Compromise: Sleeping on your sides is the next best option, but again not recommended for everyone. For pregnant ladies it’s the best option and most comfortable in supporting the weight of their belly. If you are a side sleeper, at the very least you to should use some pillows to support the spine and fill the gaps between your body and the bed. One medium pillow elevating the head to keep your spine neutral and one between the knees to reduce the load on the outside of the leg. Avoid sleeping in the fetal position (chin tucked with knees up closer to the chest) as it reverses the curves in your low back and neck while limiting normal breathing.

The Worst: By far, sleeping on your stomach is the worst for your body. It limits the blood flow of the cardiovascular system and alters the proper breathing patterns by restricting abdominal breathing. Sleeping face down results in turning our heads to one side for an extremely long period of time. The neck in this position can put pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. Can you imagine shoulder checking for 8 hours?!

If your not getting the most from your sleep, we can help. We also sell pillows in office, that after the appropriate sizing and demonstration, ensure immediate relief. Be sure to talk to us about your sleeping pattern on your next visit.

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