Are you a side sleeper? A stomach sleeper? An all over the map sleeper? It could be at least part of the reason your back hurts.
A study conducted in 2015 by the National Institutes of Health indicated that a staggering 25 million American adults deal with chronic pain on a daily basis, so if you have an aching back, you’re certainly not alone. What you may not have realized is that how you sleep may be playing a major role in that.
Here’s a quick overview of the problem:
If you sleep on your side, you might get away with it for years without incident, but side sleeping puts stress on the hip and shoulder you’re putting your weight on, and over time, it can cause pain in those areas. Not to mention the pain in the neck it can give you.
It gets worse though. If you sleep on your right side, it could aggravate any heartburn you might be having.
If you think side sleeping is bad though, stomach sleepers have it even worse. That’s because sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on your entire body. Your spine just wasn’t meant to support your body in that position. Long term, it can lead to numbness or tingling all over.
Also, inevitably, stomach sleepers will have to turn their head to one side or the other in order to breath. Unfortunately, doing that increases your risk of neck, muscle and joint pain.
Although back sleeping is the best and healthiest option, only eight percent of people sleep in that position. The good news is, you can train yourself to do so.
The simplest way to retrain your body is to flank yourself with pillows before you sleep. That should keep you from turning over during the night. If that doesn’t cut it, start wearing a tee-shirt to bed, and sew a tennis ball into the lining. When you try to roll over, the discomfort will ensure you roll back onto your back.
Give it a try. Your back will thank you for it!