Maintaining good posture while sleeping

We spend approximately eight hours out of every day asleep, which means that one-third of our day is spent in a recumbent position.

What you may not know is that it is just as important to maintain good posture while asleep as it is to keep our backs healthy while we’re sitting at a desk or standing behind a cash register. In order to help maintain good posture while you sleep, try to keep these few tips in mind:

  • Keep your spine in a neutral “S” position while you sleep.
  • The right mattress and supportive pillows can help you keep your spine in alignment.

While these are the two easiest tips to remember, there are a few other ways that you can help maintain a good posture while lying down in bed.

Ways to practice good posture at night

Putting unnecessary stress on your neck and back while you sleep can accelerate your spine’s degenerative process and put you at greater risk for developing facet disease or degenerative disc disease. To lower the chances of developing a herniated disc, bulging disc, bone spurs or spondylolisthesis, consider the following to maintain good posture while you sleep:

  • Mattress — Select a medium to firm mattress so that your spine can have support, but avoid mattresses that are too hard, as these can prevent your spine from maintaining its natural curvature.
  • Cervical pillow — Using a firm cervical pillow for the neck that is made of memory foam is a good way to prevent your neck from becoming rounded as you sleep. This type of pillow can also help prevent muscle strains in the neck as you turn from side to side.
  • Leg pillow — If you sleep on your side, putting a pillow between your knees can help your spine maintain its natural curvature. Without the pillow, your spine can collapse into a “U” shape instead of its natural “S” shape.

Other ways to maintain a strong back and neck

When you get out of bed and go to work, it’s important to think about spine health throughout the day. If you sit at a desk, sit up straight with your shoulders back. An ergonomic office chair with lumbar support and a wide, mesh back can help you maintain good posture. If you stand for the majority of your workday, keep your feet shoulder width apart. Stand with a slight hollow in your lower back, but be sure to keep your buttocks tucked under to avoid a swayback. After work, engage in low-impact exercise to keep your spinal muscles strong.

For more information about the importance of spine health, or to talk about the various treatment options available if you do have neck or back pain, contact the spine care experts at Laser Spine Institute today.