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Sleeping Posture: How It Impacts Spinal Health

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Sleeping Posture

Back pain is a common issue among young people as well. While the causes vary, spinal disorders, improper posture, and lifestyle habits are major factors. This pain can even occur when sleeping for extended hours on the weekend or lying down in a comfortable position. In such cases, it’s advisable to check both the bed and the sleeping posture, as the root cause of back health issues might lie there.

1. The Correlation Between Sleeping Posture and Spinal Health

Morning or bedtime back pain is often closely related to one’s sleeping habits. Especially, lying on your stomach is detrimental to spinal health. This position can overly bend the back, putting strain on the spine and leading to pain. Moreover, turning the head to one side while lying on the stomach can twist the neck and compress nerves. Sleeping on your side can also negatively affect the neck and back, disrupting the spine’s natural S-curve.

Modern habits of lying down and using a phone for hours before sleep are also harmful to spinal health. This position can strain the spine, accelerating degenerative changes and hastening the aging process of the back. Additionally, a semi-reclined position with the neck resting against a wall can cause neck strain and pain. Therefore, maintaining a proper posture is crucial for spinal health.

2. Ideal Sleeping Posture and Activities for Spinal Health

Health experts advise adopting proper sleeping posture for spinal health. The most ideal position involves lying straight with your back to the ceiling, feet shoulder-width apart. People with back discomfort should use a pillow. To reduce strain on the back, placing a pillow under the knees while lying down to slightly bend the hip joints can be helpful. When lying on your side, placing a pillow between the knees prevents the back from twisting. Particularly for patients with spinal stenosis, the ‘shrimp sleep’ position, lying on the side with a pillow between the knees, can be beneficial as it widens the spinal canal and alleviates symptoms.

Stretching immediately after waking up is also an effective way to reduce back strain. However, it’s important not to lie down for too long due to back pain. Lying down for more than 3-4 days can reduce muscle use, leading to muscle weakening and chronic pain. When experiencing back pain, it’s advisable not to lie down for more than 2-3 days and maintain a healthy sleeping posture.

3. The Importance of Choosing a Suitable Bed for Spinal Health

Back pain can sometimes worsen due to an unsuitable bed. Both too hard and too soft mattresses are bad for the back. Sleeping on a bed with a moderate level of firmness is ideal. A hard bed can cause pain by exerting excessive pressure on certain areas, while a too soft bed can further bend the spinal curve. Opting for a moderately firm mattress or using a 3-5 cm high mat when sleeping on the floor can be helpful. If back pain persists despite maintaining proper sleeping posture and environment, it is advisable to visit a medical facility.

4. Summary

Back pain in young people is often caused by improper sleeping posture and lifestyle habits. Correcting sleeping positions and using a suitable mattress are key to alleviating and preventing spinal discomfort.