Feeling lousy? Maybe it’s the way you sleep! According to CBS News, certain sleep positions can directly effect how you feel during the day – because they’re more likely to lead to aches and pains. For example:
- Let’s start with the worst position to sleep in: On your stomach! It flattens the natural curve in your lower back and keeps your head turned to one side all night which can leave your neck in a lot of pain when you wake up. Stomach sleeping distorts the alignment of your spine and neck, and because all your body weight pushes down on your lungs, you’re not able to breathe as deeply while you sleep.
- Another bad position to sleep in is on your side. Why? Resting your 10 pound head on your arm for hours stresses the body, pressing on the nerves that run through the top of your shoulder and down your arm. It can wake you up when your fingers or your whole arm go numb. Side sleeping also compresses the muscles in your shoulder and neck.
So what’s the best position to sleep in? On your back with no pillow. That allows your spine to rest with its natural curves in place. Using a pillow – especially if it’s thick and fluffy – will push your head and neck forward and make it hard to breathe. If your neck is pushed forward, that goes against its natural curve. If you can’t sleep without a pillow, choose the thinnest one you can stand. A down pillow will compress the most. When you wake up and do a neck release. Sit up, drop your right ear toward your right shoulder and hold for 15 seconds. Bring your head back up, and then turn it as far as you can to the right and hold for 15 seconds. Come back to center and then do the same steps on your left side. This will stretch your neck muscles and let your back realign.