#LivingTo100: Sleep for a Better Back

#LivingTo100: Sleep for a Better Back

If you sleep in the wrong position, you risk forcing your spine out of alignment and compressing tight muscles or nerves. The ideal sleeping position is on your back with no pillow. Sleeping in this position allows your spine to rest with its natural curves in place.

Sleeping on your side
If you sleep on your side, look for a pillow that fills the space between your ear and the outer edge of your shoulder while you are lying on your side. You should be able to keep both sides of your neck equally long. This position promotes easier breathing and prevents you from over-stretching one side of your neck.

Sleeping on your stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your spine. When you sleep on your stomach, the natural curve of your spine in the lower back is flattened. Sleeping on your stomach also keeps your head turned to one side which distorts the alignment of your spine and neck. Sleeping on your stomach also causes your body weight to compress your lungs which impedes your ability to breathe deeply.

Sleeping on your back (with a thick pillow)
Sleeping on a thick pillow pushes your head forward, exactly opposite the natural curve of the spine in the neck. This can lead to neck pain and headaches. Exchange your big pillow for the thinnest pillow you can stand. If you wake up frequently with neck aches, try swapping the pillow for a neck roll. You can make a neck roll by tightly rolling a hand town.

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