Your Favourite Position in Bed and Spinal Health
What’s your favourite position in bed? You might be surprised to hear some positions are healthier for you than others… We mean sleeping position, of course. Whether you’re a front, back, or side sleeper can have a big impact on your spinal health. Matching the right pillow and mattress to your sleeping posture will give you a better night’s sleep, improve mobility, and reduce spinal stress.
Positions, everyone has their favourite sleeping posture, but there is a right way and a wrong way when it comes to spinal health.
Why it’s good: Sleeping on your back is the best way to maintain the all-important curve in your lower back, and support your neck. This balance achieves the coveted neutral posture.
Look out for: Ensure you have enough pillows to stop your head and neck rotating forward or back. Back sleeping is great for your back health, but it can make snoring worse.
Why it’s good: This is the most common sleeping posture, and provided you have the right mattress it can be good for loosening your discs and ligaments. If you have the right pillow configuration under your head and curves, your back and midriff will be supported for a good night’s sleep.
Look out for: Lots of people bring their knees and thighs forward (think foetal position), causing the lower back to rotate out of alignment.
Why it’s good: On a firmer bed with a decent pillow, sleeping on your front can feel natural. We’ve all been there – it’s been a long day, so you get home and pass out face-forward on your bed and wake up several hours later in the same position.
Look out for: The human body likes to arch backwards when you sleep on your front, increasing the curve in your lower back, putting more strain on lower back muscles. Also, because your head and neck are out of alignment with your back, you might twist your head in the night causing ongoing joint strain.
Pillow and Mattress
Firm mattresses and ensembles are always better for your spine. If you’ve been sleeping on a softer surface it might take a while for your body to adjust but pretty soon you will notice the differences; less back ache during the day, better posture, and less tossing and turning in the night.
Shop around for a firm, supportive mattress. Remember to rotate it often and watch for signs of sag.
Pillows that support you
Choose a pillow that maintains the natural curve of your neck and supports the weight of your head. Too under-stuffed and you will feel the strain of your brain weighing on the pillow; too firm and you will have a neck ache almost immediately.
Rise and Shine
Let’s face it, nobody likes getting out of bed. Your body repairs itself while you sleep, including rehydrating discs in your back. This causes them to swell, making you vulnerable to fibre tears when you first wake up.
The safest way to get up is to roll on to your side, bend your knees, swing your legs over the side of the bed while pushing up with your hands. This will minimise back strain and avoid muscle tears.
There are few things better than a restful night’s sleep. Our South Perth physios want you to have a good night’s sleep with these helpful tips on sleeping posture and choosing the right sleep ensemble. If you need expert advice or remedial massage for tension caused by a dodgy bed, come and see Victoria Physiotherapy Group.