6 Tips for Sleeping Without Pain Tip#3: Keep Your Body Long and Symmetrical as You Sleep
Today is the third in our series on sleeping without pain. Keeping our body lengthened and symmetrical when we sleep will make for a more pleasant night’s sleep. Of course, we cannot always determine the positions our body will end up assuming throughout the night, but we can at least start in the right position.
Many of us have a tendency to curl our bodies into a fetal position while we sleep. We bend at our elbows, hips, and knees, drawing our limbs inward. Sleeping in this position causes the flexor muscles (the ones that bend our joints) to shorten. As those muscles stay shortened for long periods of time, issues with the muscles and joints can begin to appear.
Another source of sleeping issues comes from sleeping in asymmetrical positions, such as allowing one leg to hang over the edge of the bed, or pulling one leg up while allowing the other one to remain more straight. These positions pull our spine out of alignment and lead to eventual pain. Try to avoid those positions as much as possible.
A Better Position
A better approach is to allow the arms and legs to stay in a more elongated position. Knees and hips should be slightly bent, but not extremely so. Sleeping with a pillow in front may help to retrain your body to stay more lengthened. As your body adjusts to this, you may find yourself gradually spending more of your sleep time in a better position and less time in the old contracted way.
Sometimes pain associated with sleeping actually happens when we are getting into or out of bed rather than while we are sleeping. Next time we will discuss getting in and out of bed properly.
If you have any questions or comments, please let us know.
*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional. Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.
Photo courtesy of www.telegraph.co.uk Photo: SOLENT