As many as 65 million Americans report a recent bout of back pain, per Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute. And when you’re feeling discomfort, a good night’s sleep is often only a dream. The National Sleep Foundation reports folks with chronic pain get 42 minutes fewer sleep than they need to feel rested, and only 37 percent enjoy good sleep quality. Ready for the good news? Some simple changes to your sleep position can help ease your backache and soon have you sleeping like a baby.
One of the best solutions is to sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees, according to the National Pain Report. Not only does it stretch out your spine, “it also corrects misalignment and prevents further instances of muscle strains.” Plus, the pillow helps eliminate pain-causing pressure points by elevating one leg. Also important: Make sure the pillow is medium-firmness. You want some give for comfort, but not so squishy that it provides zero support.
More back-friendly sleep positions
If you’re not a side sleeper, no worries, you can stick with your favorite position as long as you make a few adjustments, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. The secret is ensuring your spine stays in its natural position. So, if you prefer to sleep on your back, just place a small pillow beneath your knees to “reduce stress on your spine and support the natural curve in your lower back.” Doze on your tummy? “Placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help keep the spine in better alignment.”
You also want to have the right pillow beneath your head, per the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. The secret is having one that maintains your neck’s alignment with your spine. If it’s too high, “it will create hyperflexion, straining the neck.”
Now that you’ve got the expert scoop, try one of these back-friendly sleep positions tonight and enjoy a better, pain-free night’s rest!
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