What is your personal sleep posture? Spread eagle, stomach down? Fetal position? Do you move a lot when you sleep, or stay still as a rock? Few people can answer these questions with total clarity because by nature, sleep is an unconscious activity. But some sleep positions are superior to others, and we do have the power to influence how we fall asleep. We generally choose whatever feels most comfortable, which is fine for those of us who sleep on our sides or back, but sleeping on the stomach can be incredibly damaging to the spine. Here are some postural considerations while sleeping:
The primary goal for any sleepers should be to keep their spine as close to natural alignment as possible.
The stomach-down position should therefore be avoided, but if you must sleep this way, use a pillow underneath the stomach to avoid letting the curve of your back collapse into the bed. Furthermore, the position that the stomach sleeper’s head usually takes during sleep puts a lot of pressure on the muscles of the neck and the shoulders.
Sleeping on your back is one of the best positions, but it can put pressure on the lower back. You can defeat this condition by putting a pillow under the knees that gently lifts them and alleviates pressure from the lower spine. Make sure you are using a pillow that keeps your head straight in relation to the spine.
When sleeping on the side, bend your knees in a loose approximation of the fetal position to avoid pressure accumulating to the lower back. As with the sleeping on your back, pillow usage is crucial: you don’t want a pillow that encourages the neck to angle up or down to aggressively.
Changing the way you sleep is a challenging proposition: it requires peeling back years of repetitive behavior and a lot of patience, but the upside is tremendous. We would like to see people waking up refreshed and pain free. At Holmes Chiropractic, we have the knowledge to help you institute changes that will lead to a restful night’s sleep.
Call our office in Houston at (713) 862-2440
Sleep deficiencies are often correlated with poor diet patterns.
For example, eating too little during the day leads to eating too much at night. Conversely, eating too much during the day may leave your stomach growling as you attempt to sleep. The paradox exists: It is hard to digest a heavy meal while lying in bed, but sleeping is difficult on an empty stomach. Space out your meals so that a balanced level of nutrition is flowing into the body throughout the day.
Reduce sugar/caffeine and alcohol. Sugar especially leaves your brain at the mercy of blood sugar swings that make you hungry, which is not what you want when trying to sleep. Alcohol and restful sleep is a cocktail that was never meant to be: while a healthy buzz may induce sleep, it disrupts REM sleep, leaving you drowsy the next day.
Clean fats and proteins are good things to eat at night because your body will have a stable flow of energy that does not bend to the whim of blood sugar. Protein helps your muscles and immune system repair during deep sleep.
Before bed: something soothing
- A cup of warmmilk for vitamin b and tryptophan effects
- 6 oz of hot water and a teaspoon of honey
- A cup of chamomile tea.
Do not sabotage your sleep by eating poorly. Call our office in Houston at 713-862-2440 to schedule an appointment and find out how we can use nutrition to get you a better night’s sleep.
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.
At Holmes Chiropractic we believe that sleep is integral to immunity.
A good night’s sleep is priceless: the influence of sleep on mood, attitude, cognition and health is something you have to feel to believe. Unfortunately for many, they don’t know what they have until it’s gone: lack of sleep is a leading contributor to stress and depression, symptoms that are all too real. Lack of sleep can also leave weaken your biological systems and contribute to elevated stress levels. Adult insomnia, the condition whereby people find it difficult to fall or stay asleep, is on the rise, and although there are many sleep medications on the market, most only treat the symptoms and not the cause.
To this end, we pledge to dive deep to derive the underlying cause of your sleeplessness. Sometimes, all it takes is a conversation to discover that unhealthy habits are obstructing your sleep patterns. We help you to institute healthy practices that reduce stress such as monitoring and limiting caffeine, alcohol and tobacco intake, increasing exercise and creating routines that give your brain a semblance of order.
If back pain is making it impossible to find a comfortable position to fall asleep in, we diagnose and correct the cause of the pain through adjustment and massage.
Massage also helps to increase blood flow and heal injuries, and reduce muscle tension that may have accrued due to stress or poor posture.
For sufferers of insomnia in the Houston area, we offer a composite strategy for wellness. Call us today at 713-862-2440 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Randall Holmes, D.C.