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Posture and Sleep Quality: How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Can Make a Difference

What is sleeping posture?

Let’s talk about sleep, a crucial part of our lives, even if we’re not hitting the recommended 8 hours. It turns out that how you sleep matters more than you might realize. The way you lie down can significantly affect the quality of your sleep, so maybe it’s time to consider changing it up.

Your sleeping posture is basically the way you position yourself when you sleep. It can be on your back, side, or front, and each of these has different variations.

Different sleeping positions come with different benefits. If you’re dealing with pain or health issues, adjusting your sleeping position could help manage them. It might not be a quick fix, but trying out a new way of sleeping could be worth it.

If the idea of changing your default sleep position seems daunting, don’t worry too much. You can also enhance your favorite sleeping position to maximize its benefits. The key is to take the time to gradually adjust and find what works best for you, potentially unlocking better sleep quality.

Damir Khabirov | Adobe stock

Common sleeping positions

Fetal position

Fizkes | Adobe stock

Sleeping in the fetal position means sleeping on your side with your legs bent and curled towards your body. Many people prefer this position because it’s comfortable and can be helpful for lower back pain or during pregnancy. It’s also known to reduce snoring.

However, there are some things to keep in mind. It’s important to maintain a relaxed posture; otherwise, the cozy fetal position might restrict your ability to breathe deeply while sleeping. Additionally, if you experience joint pain or stiffness, sleeping tightly in the fetal position could leave you feeling sore in the morning.

Side sleeping

Logi3in1 | Adobe stock

Sleeping on your side is like curling up in a fetal position, but without pulling your legs in close. This position is generally good for you as it can reduce snoring, aid digestion, and possibly decrease heartburn.

However, there are some downsides to side sleeping. It may cause stiffness in your shoulders and lead to tightness in your jaw on that side.

To make side sleeping more comfortable and prevent lower back pain, try placing a pillow between your lower legs. This helps align your hips better.

Which sleeping posture is better?

Depending on your health, sleeping on your left side instead of your right might have some advantages.

In a small and older study involving 10 people over 2 days, researchers observed that when participants rested on their right side after a high-fat meal, they experienced increased heartburn and acid reflux. However, when they switched to sleeping on their left side on the second day, these issues were less prominent. This suggests that sleeping on your left side could be more beneficial for avoiding heartburn and acid reflux.

Additionally, sleeping on your left side may help with regular bowel movements. The process involves the ileocecal valve, located in the lower right abdomen, which moves waste from the small intestine to the large intestine. By sleeping on your left side, gravity might assist in the smoother movement of waste through the ileocecal valve.

Sleeping on your belly

If we were to rate different ways of sleeping, lying on your stomach might not be the best choice. Even though it can be helpful for reducing snoring or sleep apnea, the advantages are limited.

Regrettably, sleeping on your stomach may lead to neck and back discomfort. It puts extra stress on your muscles and joints, potentially causing you to wake up feeling achy and fatigued. Placing a pillow under your lower belly could be a simple way to ease back pain.

Lying on your back

Sleeping on your back is the healthiest position for various reasons. It keeps your spine aligned and can alleviate hip and knee discomfort.

When you sleep on your back, gravity helps maintain your body’s alignment, reducing unnecessary pressure on your back and joints. Placing a pillow under your knees can support the natural curve of your back.

Additionally, sleeping on your back can prevent wrinkles on your face, keeping your skin looking fresh.

However, this position might be challenging for those who snore or have sleep apnea. It can also be difficult for people with back pain, so it’s crucial to ensure proper support while sleeping.

Sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side in a proper way is essential for taking care of your neck and spine. Here’s a simple guide for side sleeping:

  • Make sure your head is in a straight position, not tilted left or right.
  • Avoid using too many or overly thick pillows that could force your head to lean up or down. Keep your head aligned with your spine and perpendicular to your shoulders.
  • Consider using a contoured pillow for better neck support.
  • Place a pillow between your knees to maintain hip balance and create space.

How does upper cervical chiropractic help improve sleep quality?

Upper cervical chiropractic techniques are all about fixing and aligning the top bones in your spine, specifically the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). When these bones are not in the right position, it can cause various health problems, like issues with sleep.

Now, let’s see how upper cervical chiropractic techniques can help you sleep better:

Nervous function: The nervous system works best when the upper part of your neck is in the right position. This can help improve how well your body regulates sleep.

Muscle relaxation: Chiropractic adjustments are a way to ease muscle tension in your neck and shoulders, making it simpler for you to find a comfy sleeping position.

Improved blood flow: Better body posture can enhance the flow of blood to the brain, helping to regulate sleep patterns.

Stress relief: Chiropractic treatment can help relax your body, reducing stress and tension. This can make it easier for you to relax and have a better night’s sleep.


The way you sleep is important, and it can affect how well you rest. Consider keeping a sleep diary for a week or two to understand what works best for you. Look for patterns in your sleep habits and quality to see what helps and what doesn’t.

If your current sleeping position works well for you and you wake up feeling rested, there’s no need to change it. The key is to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready for the day.


Dr. Berner does not diagnose, treat, or prevent any medical diseases or conditions; instead, he analyzes and corrects the structure of his patients with Foundational Correction to improve their overall quality of life. He works with their physicians, who regulate their medications. This blog post is not designed to provide medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment, or services to you or any other individual. The information provided in this post or through linkages to other sites is not a substitute for medical or professional care. You should not use the information in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of your physician or another healthcare provider. Foundation Chiropractic and Dr. Brett Berner are not liable or responsible for any advice, the course of treatment, diagnosis, or any other information, services, or product you obtain through this article or others.

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