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The Impact of Sleeping Posture on Bone Health

The way you sit or stand affects your spine and eventually your bone health. It is something everyone would know and agree with. But did you know your sleeping posture, which means the way you sleep, also impacts your bone health?

Yes. That’s true! Many people complain about aches and stiffness after they get up. Why? One of the most significant reasons is their sleeping posture. Incorrect sleeping positions can increase the risk of osteoporosis, a skeletal disorder that weakens bones and makes them vulnerable to cracks and splits.

If you are one of them, you aren’t alone. It is a concern that millions worldwide suffer from. So then, how do you deal with it, and how to improve your sleep posture to maintain bone health? Here’s the answer!

How Does Sleeping Posture Affect Bone Health?

It is human to change positions while asleep. But some habits can stress the bones. For example, sleeping on the side or stomach with legs folded can stress the hips and vertebrae, resulting in bone damage. Similarly, sleeping in a curled-up position can squeeze the spine and result in back pain and other problems.

But apart from the sleeping posture, various factors affect bone health and cause pain and stiffness in the morning after waking up. Let’s look at some of them.

  • Pillow Selection: Having an excessively high or low, or very soft or hard pillow can bend your head away from the spine’s neutral position. Some use memory foam as it adjusts according to the head and neck providing optimal support.
  • Fixed Position During the Daytime: Not stretching the shoulders or keeping them in a fixed position throughout the day can carry the stress to sleep. Accordingly, stretching exercises and performing shoulder movements can help reduce the stress on shoulders, reducing pain in the morning.

How to Improve Sleeping Posture?

Considering sleep a crucial factor in bone health, here are some effective sleeping positions that can help prevent pain and stiffness and maintain bone health.

  • Flat on Your Back: Lying flat evenly distributes your weight across your body. While sleeping in this position, you should support your head with a suitable pillow. If you have pronounced arches in your lower back, you may also need to place an additional pillow under the knees to reduce strain and tension pulling on the lower back muscles. Having a small lumbar pillow can also be helpful.         
  • Lying on Your Side: While sleeping on your side, elongate your legs to maintain a neutral spine. Yet, it can result in a sore neck. But you can reduce it with the right pillow that supports the neck and keeps it pretty straight.
  • Sleeping on Your Stomach: This is the worst position, particularly for your spine if you’re turning your head to one side to breathe. Stomach sleeping stresses your knee joints pointed downward into the mattress. It also holds the feet in an unusual or unnatural position. If you have to sleep on your stomach, try to keep your head straight to reduce the pressure on your neck. Keep a firm pillow under your forehead to create enough breathing space when your head is facing down. Also, a firm pillow under the abdomen can help maintain a straight spine.

Do you want to know more about sleeping positions, their impact on bone health, and specific consultation? Ranka Hospitals can help. Call us at +91 20 2426 1600 to book an appointment with our experts and receive personalized guidance.

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