A lot of people are curious about whether or not they should be sleeping on their stomach...
It’s important for stomach-sleepers to know that this position applies mechanical stress to the cervical spine (neck). Muscles and ligaments are stretched asymmetrically to one side, which physically pulls the upper cervical vertebrae out of proper alignment. Among other things, this can cause chronic neck pain and headaches, and snowball into irreversible arthritic changes over time.
So I’d like to describe some ways for you to train yourself how to quit sleeping on your stomach. It’ll take time – don’t expect overnight success. But patients have informed me they’ve made the change in as little as two weeks. For others, it can take up to six months.
Here are 4 ways to stop sleeping on your stomach…
Suggestion #1: Use a 'Tri-Core' or 'D-Core' sleeping pillow,
Our most requested ergonomically designed fibre-fill support pillow is made of a hypoallergenic, anti-microbial fiber that provides softer support and lasts longer than traditional pillows. The patented “D-Core or Tri-Core Sleeping Pillow” allows you to sleep on your back and/or side in the correct spinal alignment. This unique sleeping pillow incorporates two shapes into one pillow; designed to properly support the spine when people are back sleeping and side sleeping.
Since most people sleep in the center of their pillow when they sleep on their backs, the patented “D-shaped” center is prized for its effectiveness to deliver great orthopaedic benefits; properly cradling the head and gently supporting the neck and upper back while back sleeping; helping to restore the natural curvature of the neck vertebrae and upper spine. When people sleep on their side, they sleep on the outside edge of their pillow, so both outside edges of this pillow are taller and designed for side sleeping.
High resiliency fibre-fill springs back when compressed for exceptional comfort and durability, which allows for a supportive good-night’s sleep. This pillow also helps relieve tension headaches; reduce nerve pressure on the neck to diminish muscle stress neck spasms; arthritic neck pain and helps open obstructed airways that often cause snoring. The blended cotton cover is breathable and soft to the touch, and fits a standard pillowcase, 24”x 16” (61cm x 41cm).
If you are new to a cervical support pillow, it may take time to adjust; this is the pillow working to help restore proper cervical curve during sleep. Most users experience a positive difference within days of using the cervical pillow, while others may require up to two weeks before their neck and back muscles adjust to their proper position.
Suggestion #2: Solo sleepers have some creative ways to police their sleeping position. One method involves tying a ribbon around your wrist and anchoring it to a nightstand or bedpost. The theory is that “rolling over” will create a tugging sensation on the arm, prompting you to change positions. An alternative to this would be Velcro-ing a tennis ball to the front of your pajamas. The idea here is to make lying flat on your stomach unpleasant.
Suggestion #3: “Will” yourself to stay on your back or side all night. This method is appealing because it doesn’t cost anything. It can be effective if you share your bed with someone who is a light sleeper. Ask them to nudge/poke if they notice you’ve unconsciously shifted onto your stomach during the night. Using a knee wedge pillow, which is available for purchase thru our office, might help as well.
Suggestion #4: Use a Teardrop™ Body Wedge Pillow, which is available for purchase thru our
A body pillow which is also available for purchase thru our office, is designed to provide therapeutic support and increased levels of comfort for all types of sleeper
In addition to implementing these methods, I recommend receiving an evaluation from a reputable chiropractor who will review the overall health of your cervical spine. Improving spinal alignment can make the transition process from stomach-to-side/back more comfortable for you.