The spine is a vital part of the body, which is why you have to take care of it. Problems in the spine can lead to disabilities and debilitating effects that can last permanently. When sleeping, some people are actually not mindful of the possible damage that they can deal to their spine. The type of furniture you’re sleeping in, the sleeping position, the pillows and clothes can improve or worsen spine health.
Maintaining Good Spine Alignment
The spine has a minor S shape that has to be properly maintained regardless of whether you’re sleeping, standing or walking. Misalignment can lead to pain, discomfort, irritation and injury. When sleeping, follow the rules below:
- Whether you are sleeping on your back or on your side, do not raise arms above shoulder level.
- When sleeping on your side, the hips and legs must be flexed and aligned. You may do this by placing a pillow between the knees and thighs to provide support.
- When sleeping in a supine position, put a rolled towel or elongated pillow under the lower back for support to maintain the proper curvature of the spine.
- When sleeping in a prone position, put a flat pillow under your abdomen to support and maintain the spine’s curve.
- Look for pillows that are firm, comfortable and provide ample support. Whether you are on your back or on your side, the head should be aligned with the spine to prevent pain and injury.
- The bed mattress should also be firm enough. Avoid very soft mattresses that distort your spine alignment as you sleep.
- Observe how you breathe before you sleep. Some people experience difficulty breathing because they do not assume the proper spine alignment at night.
- Learn how to relax through visual stimulation and imagery. Practice meditating 10 minutes before you sleep.
- You can also have a massage right at home or try therapies like acupuncture and acupressure to relieve pressure points and improve circulation throughout the back and spine.
- Do not eat or drink excessively 2 hours before bed. Let your digestive system wind down gradually to keep you from being awaken by an over active tummy.