Dr Oz: Sleep Positions & Your Health
Dr Oz claimed the position you sleep in can tell you a lot about your health. He welcomed chiropractor Steven Shoshany who said patients come in with neck, shoulder, and back pain and they list their reason and “slept funny.”
Dr Oz: Sleeping On Your Stomach
Dr Oz welcomed a very vibrant, excited woman named Susan to come down and share with Dr Shoshany how she sleeps. She revealed that she’s a stomach sleeper, sleeping with her arms up by her head. Dr Shoshany said sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst sleeping positions, with one of the reasons being that your neck is always turned to one side, leading to neck and back pain. He said you’re affecting all the nerves that run down your body from your spinal cord, which can cause problems like carpal tunnel and shoulder pain.
He said the organs are connected to the nerves as well, which means if you have a chronic condition like fibromyalgia, it’s probably not a good idea to sleep on your stomach. Susan said she experiences some neck and back pain herself. Dr Shoshany suggested that stomach sleepers use a flatter pillow to avoid extending the neck. He also suggested putting a travel-sized pillow under your pelvis so that your abdomen is lower and your spine is in one neutral position. Susan said it felt pretty good to her, although I have to say she didn’t look to comfortable to me.
Dr Oz: Back Sleepers
Next, Dr Oz called down Andrea who shared that she likes to sleep on her back, slightly angled toward the middle of the bed, saying she has a daughter that sometimes sleeps in the middle of the bed with her. Dr Shoshany said sleeping on your back is the best position for your back. He suggested putting a pillow under her back to support her spine, and said that if she sleeps with her legs angled open, it could cause some inner thigh pain.
He took a travel pillow and put it underneath her knees to take some pressure off the lumbar spine. It also puts the knees in a more neutral position.
Dr Oz: Do You Sleep On Your Side?
Dr Oz then spoke to a woman named Julie, who likes to sleep on her side. He said it’s the most common position Americans sleep in, but it gives you a tendency to have some neck pain, as well as lower back pain and knee pain. He said people who sleep on their side are less likely to have acid reflux.
He suggested keeping your nose in line with your sternum, and putting a pillow in between your knees. Dr Oz said when putting someone to sleep for surgery, if they’re on their side, they always put a pillow between their knees.