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Bad Sleeping Positions - Do They Really Affect Your Spine Health?

Dr. Ashwani Maichand 87% (48 ratings)
Fellowship in Joint Replacement , M.Ch , MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedist, Delhi  •  26 years experience
Bad Sleeping Positions - Do They Really Affect Your Spine Health?

Sleep is a natural part of the daily biological functions and we spend some time of the 24 hours sleeping.

Sleep cycles are different for different persons and while 5 to 6 hours of sleep may be enough for some people, others may need up to 8 hours of sleep to feel refreshed. How you sleep is as important as the duration. This is one area which is often neglected by people.

Why sleeping positions are important?

Sleeping positions are very important as you stay in a single position for hours at a time every day, and if these habits are bad, they can contribute to spinal problems. Thus, many of the spinal problems can also be alleviated by sleeping correctly.

Some of the bad sleeping positions that may adversely affect your spine are as follows.

  • On your stomach - This position is in overall a bad position as it curls up the spine, especially where the neck meets the spine and can cause spinal deformities over a long period of time. Certain adjustments to this position can lessen the effects, but it is important to try to change habits and sleep in a better position.
  • The fetal position - Although this is one of the more natural positions and most babies are crouched up in this form in the mother's womb; as a sleeping position, it has its disadvantages as well. The lower spine is especially put under a lot of stress when someone curls up in this position.
  • On your side - Although this is safer compared to the other two, sleeping on your sides straight would cause blood circulation issues and also put a lot of stress on the relevant organs, depending on the side you were sleeping on.

In all of the cases, slight adjustments to these positions will lessen the stress on the spine and also help you sleep better.

Some of the adjustments that you can make are:

1. Sleep with a pillow between your knees to align your hips and cause less strains on the spine.
2. If you don't have sleep apnea, put a pillow under your knees to raise them while lying on you back.
3. If you sleep on your back, try to consciously change your position to sleep on the side.
4. Try and actively change your posture throughout the day to ensure good sleeping position at night.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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