How Do your Sleep Patterns Affect your Spine?

Pain Management Physician

Many of us don’t realize how much our sleeping habits affect our posture and spines. Although the bones of the spine are durable, they can also be susceptible to pain caused by poor sleeping habits. Here are some of the ways your slumber may affect your spine:

  • Sleeping position

Prone (on your stomach) sleeping is the worst position for your spine health. Sleeping in this position flattens the curvature of the spine, leading to added strain. The head must also be turned frequently and the arm elevated to support the pillow, creating a twist through the spine.

Side lying is better than lying on the stomach, but assuming a supine (on your back) position is the best for spine health. This position can be difficult to maintain for most people since many of us move around at night. Sleeping with a small pillow under your knees can help you adjust more easily to sleeping on your back. Also, try telling yourself before you go to bed that you will wake up on your back should you fall asleep on your side or stomach.

  • Head Support

Choosing the right pillow is another crucial aspect of spine health. Your head should not be raised more than an inch off the bed. If you have proper spine curvature, sleeping without a pillow is also possible.

Many of us sleep with too many pillows, which causes anterior head carriage. Anterior head carriage can lead to bad posture, a hunched back, and other problems. Trying to back sleep with our heads propped up to high will tighten the paraspinal muscles, leading to discomfort and more movement.

  • Your Mattress

A supportive mattress is another important part of spinal health. An unsupportive mattress is likely to cause discomfort, which will lead to more tossing and turning. Try out the mattress in the store before you buy it. If you have persistent back problems, it may be helpful to find a mattress that can be adjusted for support.

  • Aggravating Already Strained Muscles

The natural healing process that occurs while you’re asleep can help reduce these problems, but if you’re sleeping in contorted positions then it will only contribute to the aches and pains you feel in the morning. Remember, stomach sleeping is a major contributing factor to back pain.

Having good sleeping habits will help prevent and correct posture and back problems. However, to correct damage you’ve already done you may need to see a chiropractor. Seek spine pain treatment in Jacksonville area today to reduce back problems caused by sleeping.