Want a good night’s sleep? Follow an expert chiropractor’s advice

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A good night’s sleep is worth the world to some people.

But for many, a back that is sore upon going to bed, while trying to sleep and then getting up out of bed, turns the sleep experience into a nightmare. When you want sweet dreams and a good night’s sleep, but can’t even get comfortable enough to fall asleep, it’s time to consult a Ft Lauderdale chiropractor. Just as we know how to heal your neck and back pain, we also know the right ways to sleep and the right way to get out of bed in the morning providing you with a good night’s sleep.

Webmd offers some good advice on how to sleep. For starters, advises the website, people should sleep with their back in a “neutral position – not arched a lot, but not flat either.” Taking pressure off the spine is important. If you sleep on your side, a pillow placed between your knees, keeping your top leg from falling over your bottom leg, is the best position, the site states. If you sleep on your back, you should place a pillow under your knees, or place small, rolled-up towel under the curve of your back, Webmd advises.

There are only three positions you can sleep in: back, side, and stomach. 

Do you sleep on your back?

If you tend to favor sleeping on your back, you have chosen a good sleep position, because this evenly distributes weight and pressure on the spine, neck and joints. This position also provides improved circulation and will give your body the best state of sleep. However, if you tend to sleep on your back, your neck should be supported, neither positioned too high on the pillow nor too low, but aligned evenly with the spine. Another caution: If you sleep on your back you may also be a snorer. The National Institute of Health has found in a study that back sleepers have higher incidents of sleep apnea.

Do you sleep on your side?

You’re in the majority. The side fetal position is the best sleep position. This reduces back stiffness or pain, but may also cause the sleeper to experience compression of the nerves that causes neck and back pain. A firm pillow, keeping the neck and head in an even position in relation to the rest of the body, and giving adequate support to the head, will help to reduce stress and pressure on the neck, and prevent stiffness. Try to alternate sides through the night, so as not to put pressure for too long on internal organs on one side.

Do you sleep on your stomach?

Bad news. This is the worst sleep position, with negative impacts on digestion and circulation. Stomach sleepers also place pressure on the back and neck. To breathe properly, people who sleep on their stomach requires the neck to be bent in one direction or the other; such twisting places strain and pressure on the neck, and also puts pressure on the lumbar spine.  Stomach sleeping is also bad for the internal organs, putting pressure on the heart and lungs, especially for those who are obese, and may also cause or aggravate sleep apnea. If sleeping on your stomach is your favorite position, move a pillow under your stomach to ease the pressure on the organs.

Chiropractors agree that the right pillows and mattresses are vital in providing a healthy and restful good night’s sleep position. Remember Goldilocks? She was very picky in her choice of the right bed and for good reason – not too hard, not too soft, but just right should be the key. Always choose mattresses that support the body’s natural curves, such as memory foam mattresses that contour to the body and reduce pressure points. Pillows should always cushion and support the head, and conform to the shape of the neck.

So having given yourself the best night’s sleep, in terms of sleep position, mattress and pillow, the last thing to concentrate on is the proper way to get out of bed. And this involves what generally is referred to as the log roll. This is achieved in the following steps:

  1. While lying on your back, bend your knees.
  2. Roll onto your side. Keep your shoulders and hips together as you roll.
  3. Place your bottom hand underneath your shoulder. Place your top hand in front of you at chest level. Slowly raise your body as you lower your legs toward the floor.

Using the log roll to get yourself out of bed lessens the pressure on the spine and can also decrease back pain. Plus, getting out of bed properly can reduce incidents of slipped discs, which often occur within a half hour of waking up. If you get out of bed too quickly, you risk hurting yourself. Take some moments to stretch out your back a little and give your body time to wake up after a good night’s sleep.

Still unsure? Visit a Ft. Lauderdale chiropractor to discuss ways in which you can prevent further back pain and stiffness through an individualized program that takes into consideration your unique lifestyle, your health issues and your needs.

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