Spinal Care

Helping Hands

Do you wake up in the morning with a variety of aches and pains you cannot shake? If you do, you are not alone. In fact, many people wake up each morning with aches and pains which can take all day to loosen up.

The reason for these aches and pains can be a lot of different reasons, one such reason, however, could be the way you sleep at night.

Do you lay on your back?
Do you curl up into the foetal position?
Do you sleep with your arms above your head?
Do you fall face first in tot the sheets?

Most people tend to sleep in one of the below three categories of positions:

1. Back
2. Side
3. Stomach

Today Four Oaks Health are exploring these ways of sleeping and analysing what they are doing for your spine care. Hopefully after reading this sage advice those morning aches and pains will slowly become a thing of the past. If not, it may be time to consult a Doctor.

1. Back
Benefit:
Sleeping on your back allows for even distribution of weight across the skeletal system. This is great for allowing for a full night of uninterrupted sleep. If you struggle with low back pain, sleeping on your back can take pressure of it but only if you prop up your legs slightly with a pillow. When your legs are slight bent in this way, it allows for the lower back to no over extend and will feel more natural.

Detriment:
If you have sleep apnoea or snoring issues, sleeping on your back is not recommended. Laying on the back results in more pressure on the airway and respiratory system, which in turn makes it harder to breathe.

2. Side
Benefit:
By far the most popular sleeping choice, sleeping on your side also provides a neutral position for your entire spine. It is recommended, however, that if you choose to sleep on your side you put a pillow or rolled towel between your knees. This will reduce twisting which could lead to stress on the hip or lower back. Furthermore, sleeping on your left side can reduce the amount of effort the heart uses to pump blood around the body whilst you sleep. Sleeping on your side if pregnant is also recommended as it relieves the pressure from the mum’s abdomen.

Detriment:
If you have sleep apnoea or snoring issues, sleeping on your side is not recommended. Laying on the side, like the back, results in more pressure on the airway and respiratory system, which in turn makes it harder to breathe. Sleeping on your side could also result in you waking up with a numb arm. This is because the capillaries compress on the side you are sleeping on which can reduce blood flow. Finally, if you suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, sleeping on your side may affect you in an adverse way.

3. Stomach
Benefit:
For those suffering from sleep apnoea or snoring issues sleeping on your stomach may be more comfortable, equally is you suffer from heartburn and indigestion.

Detriment:
As far as spinal care goes, sleeping on your stomach is not recommended. In fact, it does no good at all for your musculoskeletal system. This is because sleeping on your stomach forces you to extend your head to one side for a long period during the night. Throughout the night you may also raise the leg of the side your head is turned to, which puts strain on the spine and hip. This can lead to neck, mid, and low back issues.