Optimal health consists of many components, including maintaining proper head and neck alignment. As spinal health has become a more mainstream concern, many people do what they can to maintain good alignment during the day….but what about at night? Did you know that there are things you can do to promote good spinal and neck alignment while you sleep?

Sleeping in the correct position can have a huge effect on how you feel. Dealing with neck or back pain due to poor sleep position is a drain on your energy and mood. Every night that you continue to sleep in a misalignment-promoting position, you’re adding to the pain and loss of function. Not to mention the effect it has on the quality of your sleep!

To prevent these alignment issues during sleep, it’s important to always sleep on your back or side. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of each sleeping position and why stomach sleeping is not a great idea.

BEST: Back (Supine)

Back sleeping is the ideal position for both neck and spinal alignment. Sleeping on the back distributes the person’s weight more evenly along the spine, resulting in fewer points of pressure and a lower possibility of misalignment.

Even when sleeping on your back, it’s important to support yourself properly. Use a firm pillow in a cylindrical shape just under the neck to maintain neck alignment in a back-sleeping position. A larger rolled pillow under the knees also reduces tension on the lower back.

GOOD: Side (Lateral)

If respiratory issues prevent you from lying on your back, a side-sleeping position may be best for you. Side sleeping can still promote neck and spinal alignment if proper support is used. A rolled pillow under the neck along with a flatter pillow between the knees should keep most people comfortable and aligned.

Some injuries, such as a herniated disc, can make side sleeping the only comfortable position. Side sleeping allows stretching of the back without putting pressure on the affected vertebrae. We suggest that side sleepers alternate the side they sleep on if possible to prevent negative effects from excessive pressure on one side.

AVOID: Stomach (Prone)

Stomach sleeping flattens the natural curvature of your spine and puts a lot of undue pressure on the spine and joints. People with back pain will find sleeping on their stomachs to be almost unbearable. Stomach sleeping adds even more tension to the neck since it must be turned to one side in this position.

Stay Aligned in Wesley Chapel

Living with neck or back pain in Wesley Chapel? If changing up your sleeping position doesn’t help, give Florida Injury & Wellness Center a call at 813-566-0259 or contact us online. Our spinal alignment experts can develop a treatment plan that keeps your neck and spine aligned to promote great overall health.