Are You Sleeping in the Right Position?

Healthy Living Steward Health Care

Did you know you can actually improve your health while you sleep? It’s true.

A good night’s sleep is essential to achieving overall physical and emotional health.  Millions of Americans suffer from some form of a sleeping disorder that can negatively impact their life so finding the right sleep position is important.

Consider the following when it comes to finding the right sleep position for you.

Wake up on the right side of the bed

While there’s no “right” way to sleep, sleeping on your stomach generally isn’t recommended because of the position’s effects on your neck and back. If you find it hard to sleep in another position, though, place a pillow under your pelvis to help reduce strain. Avoid putting your neck at an awkward angle by using a very soft pillow under your head or sleeping without the pillow.

Restore, don’t snore

If you snore or have obstructive sleep apnea, back sleeping may worsen the problem, so opt for your side instead. In fact, experts from the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Sleep Medicine say about 10 percent of sleep apnea sufferers may be cured simply by changing sleep positions. If you’re not able to change position, using a wedge pillow to elevate your head may help. Need more motivation to side sleep? Doing so can also help relieve acid reflux (heartburn), insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation.

Avoiding back, shoulder and neck pain

Pillows can help lessen back pain in most positions. If you sleep on your back, a pillow under the knees or a rolled towel under the small of your back helps maintain the body’s natural curve. If you’re a side sleeper, pillow between your knees can provide extra support while helping hip and knee issues, too. If you have spinal stenosis (pinched nerves in the lower back), bending your knees may also help ease discomfort.

For side sleepers with shoulder pain, avoid sleeping on the affected side. Instead, sleep on the opposite side and hug a pillow. Or, sleep on your back with a small pillow beneath the injured shoulder. For neck pain, use a pillow that fills the space between your neck and shoulders, positioned above the shoulders.

To find a doctor or schedule an appointment visit Steward DoctorFinder™ or call 1-800-488-5959.