How to Sleep on Your Side by Dr. Mike McGovern
August 19, 2019
By Chiro One Wellness Centers
Side sleeping is one of the best ways to maintain optimal alignment of your spine. When you sleep on your stomach, you normally have to turn your head to one side and lift up one of your arms. When you sleep on your back, it’s impossible to maintain your lumbar curve.
While sleeping on your side remains, in my opinion, the best ergonomic position for your spine, there are still three critical steps you need to follow
to get your spine into perfect alignment before you start counting your sheep.
1. Check Your Hips
When lying on your side, it’s natural to want to turn your topside hip toward the mattress in front of you. This will rotate your hips out of position
and lead you to waking up with a tight low back. Be sure to keep your hips stacked directly on top of each other with a pillow or blanket between
your knees if you feel strain in either hip muscle.
2. Check Your Shoulder
Make sure your bottom shoulder is underneath you, not out in front of you. Don’t reach your arm too far out in front of your body. That’s how you
wake up with pain in your shoulder or in your upper back inside of your shoulder blade.
3. Check Your Head
Make sure you don’t tuck your chin down towards your chest, especially in the wintertime when your body is cold. This is the most natural time
to want to get into the “fetal position.” Keep your chin level, not tucked down. Tucking your chin can cause you to wake up with a headache at
the base of your skull.
Dr. Michael McGovern, D.C., is a chiropractic director at Chiro One Wellness Center of South Elgin and contributing writer for the Be Well blog. He earned his doctorate in chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic and specializes
in nutrition, hormone balancing, sleep optimization, vitamin therapy and adrenal fatigue.