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Updated March 17, 2022
Day 4: The Best and Worst Sleep Positions for Your Body
Welcome to Day 4 of the 7-Day Sleep Course!
Yesterday, we talked about how getting outdoors first thing in the morning helps restore your natural circadian rhythm so that you can have more energy and better sleep.
Today, you’ll learn…
- Which sleeping positions are keeping you in pain.
- The importance of a neutral spine, and how to achieve it.
- The pillow I sleep with every night that eliminates my aches and pains.
Press play on the video below to get the full scoop…
The reason I care so much about proper sleeping positions is because I witnessed—first hand—what it did to people who WEREN’T in the right sleeping position…
I used to work in an outpatient clinic, treating people with back, knee, shoulder, and hip pain, and one of the common things I found was that people were in pain—and continued to stay in pain—because of the way they were sleeping.
Think about it…
You sleep anywhere from 7 to 8 hours a night—every night. So if your sleeping position isn’t in alignment with what it should be, you’re setting yourself up for pain throughout the day (and pain that keeps you from having good sleep at night).
The Importance of Having a Neutral Spine
A neutral spine is a spine that isn’t extended. It’s not side-bent. It’s not where your neck is sideways…
You want your entire spine to be straight.
Your spine has a natural S-shaped curve that you want to maintain as best as you can.
Some of the most common sleeping mistakes include:
- Sleeping on your stomach. This forces you to choose a side for your neck (it’s going to be rotated either left or right). People with sleep apnea can have problems in this position as well.
- Sleeping on your side, and rotating so that your lower back is rotated in a more forward direction than the upper back. This puts a lot of strain on your lower back.
- Sleeping on your back…this isn’t a bad position for everyone, but for those who have sleep apnea, they start snoring—which can be an unpleasant experience for whoever else is sleeping in the bed with you.
So, how should you sleep?
The best sleeping position that I use (and that I recommend to my clients) is to sleep on your side with a support pillow.
The pillow that I like to use is a body pillow, which supports my body and prevents my lower back from rolling forward.
Simply place your knee on the pillow at about a 90-degree angle, keeping your body in a neutral position. Then, put your bottom arm (with your palm facing up) either underneath the pillow that your head is lying on, or extended out.
Why You Need the Right Pillow
To prevent your neck from being angled at a crooked position, ensure that your pillow isn’t too high or too low.
You’re in a perfectly neutral position when your neck is in line with your body. An example of a misaligned neck is if you were to stack another pillow on top of the pillow you already have.
Congrats! You just completed Day 4 of The NativePath Sleep Course: The Sleepless Person’s Guide to Getting Better Sleep (in just 7 days).
Tomorrow, on Day 5, I’m going to share my FAVORITE sleep products with you, so stay tuned!
To better sleep,
As a doctor of Physical Therapy, Senior Wellness Expert, and co-founder of NativePath, Dr. Walding has helped millions of people improve their quality of life from the inside out—by speaking, writing, and educating others on how to live life a little more #OnThePath.
This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of such advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Chad Walding nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.