One of the things that we hear in the clinic from our patients is, “How can I get comfortable and sleep at night?” We always tell our patients that it is so important that they get a good night’s sleep to help the healing process. We also like to give them some advice to help them.
Position: Sleeping position is hard to change. It is one of the longest standing habits that most people have in their lives. Some positions are better than others. Changing the position that you sleep in takes time and effort but it can help a lot in the long run. We recommend that most people sleep on their sides. Sleeping on your back is alright as well, but not as good as sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your back can increase clenching of the jaw and other problems. In order to sleep comfortably on your side you will need to:
- Comfortably support your head and neck. See the Pillows instructions below.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed. Some people find that hugging a pillow to the chest helps.
- Keep your legs supported and relaxed, try placing a pillow between your knees.
Pillows: There are so many kinds of pillows on the market today that it can get really confusing when you try to find the best one for you. The problem is that the pillows that are designed to prevent neck pain don’t really fit most people well. Also they are pretty expensive! If you sleep on your side, these directions will help you to create your own customized neck pillow system!
- Inspect your pillow by placing it on the wall of your bathroom in front of a mirror where you can clearly see your reflection as you simulate sidelying rest.
- Rest the side of your body on the wall in a position comparable to how you sleep at night.
- Your nose, chin, and the center of your breastbone should line up straight up and down, supported by the pillow. If not, replace the pillow.
Also, observe the side of your neck to insure that it is supported by the pillow. If not, roll a hand towel and place it under the side of your neck inside the pillowcase.
For more helpful information about neck pain, headaches, and jaw pain you can visit one of our locations in the San Antonio, Bulverde, or Helotes area, please feel free to call or come by one of our clinics for physical therapy assistance.