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Optimal Sleep Positions & Sound Slumber Tips

woman sleeping in a bedIf you frequently experience neck or back pain or are told by your partner that you snore, you may want to change your sleep position. “Many of our patients have chronic problems because of the way they sleep,” said Dr. Siow. “When I adjust patients I may see that their pelvis or neck keeps getting torqued. So I ask how they sleep; invariably, they tell me they can only sleep on their belly or side.”

Take a Different Position

Here are three sleep positions and how they can affect your slumber:
  • Back: The best sleeping posture is on your back with pillows raised to ensure your knees are bent at almost 90 degrees. This position supports your low back. There should be sufficient form to the pillow to support the neck. Sometimes Dr. Siow tells patients to forget the pillow and just roll up a towel to support their neck.
  • Side: If you’re a side sleeper, your pillow should now be much higher. Sometimes you can use a soft pillow that can be folded up to support your neck. The thickness of your pillow should go all the way from your shoulder to your head. The pillow should support the height of the shoulder width, so your head’s not tilted.
  • Stomach: The worst position is on your belly, because your lumbar spine is in the reverse direction the whole time. You may experience low back and neck pain, and even chronic sinus problems.

Go to Bed the Same Time Each Night

In addition to adopting a good sleep position, it’s important to train your body to go to bed at the same time each night. That’s because it has a natural “clock” that will learn to fall asleep at that time. That clock must be regulated, so that the body can do its cleanup process for the entire day. The best time to go to sleep? Dr. Siow recommends no later than 10 p.m.

Prepare for the 10-2 ‘Clean-up Crew’

From 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. the “clean-up crew” cleans up all the information throughout the day and all bodily processes—the nutrition and junk that needs to be flushed out. If you’re not sleeping during that time, the clean up crew can’t do its work. As a result, you wake up groggy.

The remedy? When you start to feel tired, go to sleep. “I’d rather a person go to sleep early and wake up early, versus force themselves to finish up what they need to do, and they’re exhausted when they go to sleep,” said Dr. Siow. The clean-up crew needs energy. Once you have a regulated sleep and wake-up time, you’ll find your body knows how to go into that mode.

Are you a late-night snacker? If yes, that could interfere with your sleep. You should stop eating two hours before you go to sleep.

Get Adjusted

Chiropractic care also promotes good sleep. Here are four ways:

  • Shifts the nervous system from sympathetic to parasympathetic mode
  • Eases muscle tension that causes restlessness and improves healthy tone of muscles and flexibility of the spine
  • Relaxes the body and mind
  • Alleviates pain and discomfort

Dr. Siow’s bonus tip for falling asleep: try drinking warm milk with cinnamon.

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