When you think about your sleep, you typically think about a period of restoration and rejuvenation. Your sleep is supposed to be the time your mind and body have an opportunity to rest and repair for the next day.
What most people don’t know is that you could be sleeping incorrectly and making your pain worse instead of better.
How you could be sleeping incorrectly
You may not realize there’s a specific technique to the way you sleep. Besides, you’ve been sleeping all of your life. How could you possibly be doing it wrong?
One of the most important factors to your sleep, especially when you’re dealing with aches and pains, is your sleeping posture. Most sleepers sleep on their sides, and this can cause a lot of complications. For one thing, half of your body is crushed under the weight of the other half of your body. This can specifically target your pain points, so you’ll wake up with soreness in your shoulders, hips, and knees.
It’s not only sleeping on your side that can amplify your pain. Stomach sleepers are in an even worse position, putting undue stress on their lower backs all throughout the night, especially with thicker pillows that raise your neck up even higher.
You probably knew your sitting posture was important for your neck and back pain, but keeping proper posture while unconscious is a little more challenging to account for. Here’s how you can work on it.
What you can do to correct your sleep
If you’re a stomach sleeper, you should probably work on trying to get comfortable in other positions. It takes some time to adjust to sleeping in a new position, but it is possible to make a change. If possible, try to adjust to becoming a back sleeper. This is the best position for maintaining spinal alignment and decreasing your chances of waking up in pain.
If you’re absolutely committed to stomach or side sleeping, there are ways you can fix your technique. As a stomach sleeper, sleep with less, or no, pillows to eliminate the arching up that causes lower back pain. As a side sleeper, try to keep your body elongated rather than curled into the fetal position. This can help reduce morning pains (and snoring, too).
Author’s bio: Laurie Larson is a writer based in NC who writes on health topics.