Dr. Dan Wilson from Inspire Chiropractic and Wellness in Charlotte was kind enough to provide his expertise for this article.
Is There An Ultimate Sleeping Position?
“New year, new me!” This phrase has been heard a lot lately from your friends, coworkers and basically anyone you pass walking down the street. Everyone wants to try to improve his or her life. Perhaps, a way one could tackle this resolution is by his or her sleeping position. Sounds silly, right? However, the way one sleeps provides the correct energy for the upcoming day.
This energy can be fulfilled by the correct way to sleep. Yes, there are right and wrong ways to sleep! And, most of us do sleep the wrong way, on our stomachs. “This position causes excessive strain on the muscles of the neck and also the lower back because you are forced to turn your head to one side,” says Dr. Dan Wilson, the chiropractor behind Inspire Chiropractic and Wellness. “The lower back has a natural curve that is pushed in the wrong direction when in this position.”
A better sleeping posture is on one’s side. This posture relieves any lower back or hip discomfort that could be caused by daily activities. Dr. Dan Wilson suggests placing a pillow in between the knees while sleeping to subside such pain. Also, another great position is on the back, in which discomfort is alleviated by using a cervical pillow, so the natural curve of the spine is induced.
It takes 21 days to break habit to become that “new you.” A way to break a habit of sleeping incorrectly is to slowly transition into a new, better position. For stomach sleepers, it is best to sleep on one’s back and if one awakes in the middle of the night, go back to the original sleeping position. By slowly sleeping longer durations in the new position, a person will find he or she will begin to sleep just fine in the newer position. Being consistent is the best way to fully change sleeping positions for the better.
Some consistent change is best when trying to switch to a better position even when some popular sleeping positions might be causing discomfort. The starfish position is when a person is lying on their back with both arms up and around the pillow. This can cause strain on the shoulders. And, perhaps, the log position may cause lower back issues when forcing both arms to be at one’s side with a straight spine.
No matter the incorrect sleeping posture, change can be made! “I was a stomach sleeper for about 20 years before I started to do research into the area,” says Dr. Dan Wilson. Just making a slight change, and being persistent in such change, will allow that habit to be broken. The “new you” will sure to be on its way!