How To Reduce Pain With the Right Sleeping Positions

life hacks

| LAST UPDATE 03/22/2023

By Dina Wu
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Do you ever feel like being constantly tired is just a part of who you are? Well, we have some good news straight from neuroscience and psychiatry expert Dr. Dave Rabin: you don't have to feel like that forever. Apparently, sleep plays a huge role in our well-being and affects everything from our energy levels to our overall mood. But how do we sleep better and reduce our pain, you ask? Dr. Rabin suggests we start with finding a comfortable sleeping position.

First off, here's a fun fact: stress can increase inflammation in our bodies and make our pain worse. No wonder we wake up feeling sore sometimes! Luckily, we can combat this with a sleep position that supports our posture and prevents pain. There's no perfect position that works for everyone, though, so it's all about finding what works best for our unique bodies. Dr. Rabin recommends three main sleeping positions to choose from: side, back, and stomach.

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For those of us with back pain, Dr. Rabin suggests side sleeping. This position can also help with snoring, and sleeping on your left side is especially good for pregnant people or those with gastrointestinal issues. Just keep in mind that this position isn't great for those with shoulder pain or anyone who's worried about getting wrinkles on their chest and face. If back pain is a recurring issue, back sleeping might be more comfortable. Make sure to have a well-supported, firmer mattress for optimal comfort. Bonus: this position can also help prevent wrinkles and might ease breathing issues. However, if you struggle with sleep apnea, acid reflux, or heartburn, avoid back sleeping as it might worsen those conditions.

Avoid stomach sleeping as well, since it can cause pain by compressing the neck and leading to poor spine alignment. If you can't avoid sleeping on your stomach, try using a thin or no pillow to reduce neck strain. You can also place a thin pillow under your lower stomach or upper thigh to ease the strain on your spine. Remember that finding your ideal sleep position might take some trial and error, so experiment with different pillows and mattresses and pay attention to your body's signals. After all, it's all about getting a good night's sleep and waking up pain-free and ready to tackle your day.

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