One of the most frequent complaints I have heard throughout my years in practice is “I think I slept wrong?!”

How do you sleep? Do you toss and turn all night? Do you wake in pain or feeling rested?

One of the best pieces of advice I can give is DO NOT sleep on your stomach. Several straight hours of your neck turned to one side and your lower back arched is likely to leave you in pain the next morning. Most of my patients state that they have been sleeping like this “forever.”

I tell them to start sleeping on their back or side knowing it’s not going to be easy to break that old habit. But when they make the switch, it will be worth it in the long run. I recommend using a body pillow when sleeping on your side to keep yourself from turning over.

If you are a side or back sleeper, try using an orthopedic pillow to support your head so that it is in line with the rest of your spine. You might also try a pillow or two under your knees to relieve pressure in the lower back if sleeping face up.

When choosing a mattress, be careful with an extra firm bed as it can create pressure points on your shoulders and hips. The converse – and worse option – is a bed that is too soft and doesn’t provide the proper support for your spine.

More importantly than everything discussed above – if your spine is out of alignment it won’t matter how you sleep, you’ll wake up not feeling completely rested and energized and will have some aches and pains.

People present almost daily saying they believe their mattress is “bad.” It is not until they get their spine properly aligned again that their sleep improves and they realize that while the mattress may have been exacerbating the condition, it was not the cause.

The goal with making regular chiropractic checkups part of your overall wellness lifestyle is to keep your spine and body functioning at its best. By keeping your spine aligned and following the sleeping tips above you should notice an overall improvement in your quality of life.