Is Your Sleep Position Causing Pain?

If you wake up in the morning feeling stiff or sore in your neck or back, your sleep position could be the culprit. Understanding how your sleep affects your spine and learning ways to support your spine while sleeping can decrease morning discomfort and improve your overall sleep. 

How sleep positions affect your spine

Most people understand how your posture while sitting or standing can lead to pain in the neck or back. If you hunch over, it creates an unnatural spine curve, leading to pain and stiffness. The same idea applies while you’re sleeping. You want to ensure that your sleep position allows your spine to keep its natural curve and alignment. 

Back: Laying on your back is the ideal way to sleep because it allows the spine to keep its natural alignment.  

Side: With the right pillow, side sleeping is okay if your neck stays aligned with the rest of the body.

Stomach: Sleeping on your stomach is one of the worse ways to sleep because it forces your neck to tilt to one side and puts an inward curve on the lower back. 

Ways to support your spine while you sleep

Sleep-related pain is typically about finding ways to support your spine while sleeping. A few things you can try are changing your sleep position, changing your pillow, and ensuring you have a quality mattress. 

Try a different sleep position

Changing up how you sleep is easier said than done, but if you’re not already a back sleeper, try to find a comfortable way to sleep on your back to better support your spine while you sleep. That may mean creating a more peaceful bedroom environment or finding the right sleep accessories to help you fall and stay asleep. 

Find the right pillow

When shopping for pillows, you want something that keeps the neck in a neutral alignment. Not sleeping in a neutral alignment, where the pillow supports the natural cervical curvature, can lead to neck pain, soreness, and stiffness. If a pillow is too firm or thick, it can lose the natural cervical curvature of the neck and spine. If a pillow is too light or flat, it can exaggerate the curve of your neck. 

The Tempur-Neck pillow is one of the best pillows the experts at Mocek Spine found to support the neutral position while sleeping. This memory foam pillow is especially helpful for side sleepers and comes in three sizes. 

Sleep on a supportive mattress 

Mattresses, like pillows, should help your spine keep its natural alignment. Mattresses wear down over time, creating dips and grooves that can affect how you sleep. Most mattresses should last eight to ten years, so if you’ve had yours for that long, you may consider an upgrade. 

Are you still experiencing back and neck pain?

If you’ve changed your sleep position, pillow, and mattress and are still suffering from back and neck pain, there may be an underlying issue that you need to address. And the team at Mocek Spine Clinic is happy to help you discover a pain-free life thanks to our advanced spine care solutions. 

To learn more about how Mocek Spine Clinic can help, schedule an appointment online or call 501.224.4001.