Hey guys, thank you for joining me. I’m dr Emil Tompkins and today we’re going to be talking about the sleep positions that are going to help you to relieve pain and be healthier. So when a question that I get very often is, what position should I sleep in so that I can feel better, not hurt myself more or create problems down the road? And there are two ways that you can do this. So we’re going to demonstrate this in just a little bit, but first we’re going to talk about the one position that you really want to try to avoid and that is sleeping on your stomach. So if you sleep on your stomach here, your the problems with sleeping on your stomach. When you’re lying face down one, your spine isn’t sitting on anything. There’s nothing that’s really supporting your spine, number one so you don’t get the spinal support.
And then number two, the second problem with sleeping on your stomach is that you can’t actually lie completely face down on on a surface that just isn’t really possible. So you don’t support your spine. Your head can’t actually do that. You’ll either suffocate and die or what? Actually most of us do, we turn our head to one side. So if you turn your head completely to one side though, the problem that you’re going to run into is your head is in complete end range of motion one direction or the other. You do that for a certain number of hours. You are setting your neck up for problems with mobility, either hyper-mobility issues or you’re going to start leading to degeneration because you’re going to start, you’re, you’re going to cause things to be out of position and stay that way. So we want to not sleep face down, but there are two positions that you can sleep in that tend to work out really well.
The first position is going to be when you’re lying face up on on the bed, so lie on your back. The first position we’re gonna talk about is lying on your back. This position generally works out really well as far as a good position to be able to sleep in. And so that’s what I want to encourage now is, is definitely lying face up when we have the opportunity to do that. So the things that you want to consider is making sure you have pill, a pillow that’s going to support your head that’s not too large and something to support your help. Give support to your lower back. So here’s how we do this. You make sure I’m not actually using a pillow, but I’ve just raised the head rest of the table just slightly because really when you’re lying on your back, the pillow that you need is relatively small.
You don’t need a lot at all. And then underneath the knees what you need differs depending on the person. So most people don’t need a lot, but we need something supporting the head and we need something underneath the knees. Having something underneath the knees is going to take some pressure off of the lower back because when the knees are completely flat, that curvature isn’t supported very well and that can cause some people to have back pain. So having a setup like this where the knees are slightly bent, something’s under the head really does make a difference. That’s a comfortable position to sleep in. It’s very neutral. You’re supporting the spine well not doing any damage. Now for some people, even though they do it just right, they still may have trouble. They still may find that it’s uncomfortable to sleep in that position and so when that’s the case, what I recommend is that you sleep on your side and sleeping on your side is also a very good position to sleep in.
It’s not going to be problematic, but there are a couple of things that you want to consider when you’re sleeping on your side and we’ll talk about them. Number one is the pillow that you put your head on because it’s incredibly important to make sure that your head is your head and neck are in a neutral position so you actually need a lot bigger pillows. I’m going to raise my head rest up quite a bit here in a lot bigger pillow when you’re sleeping on your side because we need to keep that head in a really nice neutral position. And then we want to make sure that we’re stabilizing the lower back. So when you’re sleeping on your side, typically the knees are bent and sometimes we’ll push one leg over top of the other. And the key is to make sure everything is even and neutral.
And the way that we do that is by placing a pillow under, in between the knees. So you’re going to lie on your side. You have your pillow nice and large here to keep your head in neutral. So now my head is neutral with my shoulders and my body and I have a pillow in between the knees. So now being in this position has me in a really nice neutral position. I’m being supported really well. I’m not putting undue pressure on any part of my body. It also keeps me from moving around having this pillow in between the knees. Now, some people need something to do with their arms or they start flopping them around or they put one arm underneath their head. And when that’s the case, then we either grab another pillow to hold onto or maybe something really long, like a body pillow that gives the arm something to do that keeps the knees nice and neutral.
A nice big pillow to keep your head in a neutral position. Great way to sleep. That’s going to be comfortable, that’s going to support the spine and the body of the way that the way that it’s supposed to, allowing you to sleep comfortably and feel better when you wake up. So those are some of the things to consider. One, avoiding that stomach sleeping position because it’s only going to cause problems eventually and either sleeping on the back with a small pillow under the head, a pillow underneath the knees, or sleeping on your side with a big pillow underneath the head and a pillow between the knees. Hey guys, I’m dr Emil Tompkins. Have a wonderful day and I hope you get a good night’s sleep.