The Benefits of Sleeping On Your Back: Should You Change Sleeping Positions?

The benefits of sleeping on your back depend on comfort and spinal alignment.

It’s no secret that a good night’s sleep positively impacts your mood and gives you more energy to help you perform at your best. However, how exactly do you get a good night’s sleep? Does your mattress, pillow, or sleep position matter? In a way, yes, they do. Many believe that there are benefits to sleeping on your back, on a firm mattress, and with a soft pillow. However, if you are experiencing a lot of stress and discomfort, or if your spine is out of alignment, your sleeping position or what you sleep is less impactful than you may think.

Factors That Influence Comfort While You Sleep

If you are experiencing back or neck pain, your sleep will undoubtedly be interrupted. When learning how to sleep with pain, the type of pain may dictate your sleeping position. Many factors influence how well you sleep at night, including:

  • Mattress: The right mattress really depends on personal preference. However, any mattress that helps you sleep without pain and stiffness is the best for those with back pain. A good mattress, typically a medium to firm one, provides the most support for the natural curves and alignment of the spine.
  • Pillow: The pillow you choose should support your sleeping position. No pillow (or a very thin one) is best if you sleep on your stomach. A pillow the width of your shoulders is best (when it’s compressed) if you sleep on your side. Sleeping on your back with a pillow that provides neck support can lead to a reduced chance of acid reflux and relief of sinus buildup.
  • Stress level: Stress directly impacts your quality of sleep and how long you can stay asleep. Stress and a lack of sleep can severely affect your physical health and can contribute to ailments such as obesity and arthritis, which both impact your body’s core foundation.
  • Pain and discomfort level: If you are sensitive to pressure buildup in your back, sleeping on your back or stomach could cause more discomfort. When choosing your mattress and pillow, look for ones that cushion pressure points and support the natural curvature of your spine. This will help alleviate or minimize pain.
  • Underlying spinal misalignment: If you are feeling pain in the morning, this is generally caused by arthritis or joint inflammation that forms pools overnight in response to irritation caused by what you did during the day.

There are benefits to sleeping on your back, and there are benefits to sleeping on your side or stomach. Paying attention to your comfort level and how and when you sleep will provide you with long-term health benefits.

How You Sleep Impacts Your Spine and Vice Versa

If you wake up with pain that you don’t feel during the day, then the health of your spine and not your sleep position is likely to blame. On the other hand, your spine is directly impacted by how you sleep, and you will likely experience more discomfort when your sleep posture pushes you into your already misaligned postures.

Typically, when we think of poor posture and lower back or neck pain, we think of how we stand or sit. However, your sleep posture also affects your spine and overall health. It is actually healthy and normal to toss and turn to take pressure off of the spine while you sleep. But, because we typically sleep for several hours at a time, if your body’s core foundation is crooked, twisted, or out of position, it stays that way for longer than when you’re awake.

Because your spine and other joints don’t bear much weight while you are asleep, you should not experience pain, especially if you have the three major factors for proper spinal alignment while sleeping in place: the right mattress, pillow, and sleeping position. If you have back pain when you sleep (most commonly, lower back pain), chances are it’s caused by something other than your sleep posture. You may have an underlying issue like osteoarthritis of the spine, a slipped or herniated disc, sciatica, or misalignment of the spine.

While there are benefits of sleeping on your back for certain people, if your spine is out of alignment, you may not reap those benefits. Your back pain does not miraculously go away at night. Your daily activities can contribute to your back pain, so be sure to pay attention to the following:

Your sleeping environment and rituals can contribute to a good night’s sleep. However, making sure your spine is healthy and in alignment before determining which mattress, pillow, and sleeping position is best for you is also important. Ideally, you should be able to sleep almost anywhere and be comfortable. When your spine is out of alignment, pain can persist and, if left untreated, it will be difficult to get a full and pain-free night of rest.

Reap the Benefits of Sleeping on Your Back With Chiropractic BioPhysics®

Getting regular chiropractic adjustments can go a long way in relieving pain and reducing inflammation in the short term. However, chiropractic care from providers specializing in Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) can help get to the root of the problem and help get you back to an uninterrupted, full night’s sleep. The specialized team at PostureWorks uses CBP to help address improper spinal alignment and teaches you how to improve your sleeping habits to support your spinal health so you can wake up each day pain-free.

There are benefits of sleeping on your back, side, and stomach. It comes down to your comfort level. But with a good, healthy spine, you can ensure comfort while you’re sleeping and when you’re awake.Chiropractic BioPhysics®, or CBP, is a deeply researched and results-oriented corrective care technique. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health and optimal function while eliminating the source of pain and circulatory and nervous dysfunction. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is conservative, painless, and non-invasive. Contact us today to schedule your appointment or to learn more about the benefits of sleeping on your back and the importance of a properly aligned spine.

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