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What's the Best Sleep Position?

Is sleeping on your back the best sleeping position?

Is sleeping on your back the best sleeping position?

Sleeping used to be simple. You climbed into bed, pulled up the covers and closed your eyes. Today, it takes a consulting firm to figure out all the choices – conventional mattress or air, ergonomic pillow or Scandinavian goose down?!

And what about sleeping positions? It turns out they have names, and they can even reveal aspects of your personality, in addition to contributing to such conditions as headaches and neck pain.

The most popular is the “fetal” position, indicating a shy and sensitive personality. Those who sleep straight on their backs, in the “soldier” position, tend to be quiet and reserved. Many people sleep on their side—the so-called “log” position. This popular position shows a small degree of insecurity and stress.

“People have been conditioned to sleep a certain way since birth,” says Dunkell, who is director of Insomnia Medical Services in New York. “And even when they want to change their sleep position it’s difficult to ensure compliance when the subject is unconscious. It takes tremendous will power to alter sleep behavior.”

Don’t we all know how true this is?

So what is considered the all-round healthiest sleep position?

Many doctors say it’s lying on one’s back, with the head slightly elevated, about 10 – 30 percent. This is postulated to give the brain optimal blood circulation rather than congestion and also allows for more un-obstructed breathing, says Dr. Steven Park, a head and neck surgeon and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. You see many native cultures sleeping this way, via hammock and other devices, rather than on flat services as in the West.

The legs should be slightly elevated, too, and the person should try to stay on his or her back as much as possible. The ideal position is one you would be in is as if leaning back in a recliner chair.

Doctors and sleep specialists also say if you can, try and not sleep on your stomach as it compresses your internal organs as well as your spine and neck. Many life-long stomach sleepers have neck and lower-back pain as a result.

If your sleep position is leaving you in pain and it’s been a while since your last adjustment, contact our practice for a visit.

 

Dr. Vera Baziuk

Your Chiropractic Lifestyle Doctor

 

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