“Start the day right”. How many times have we heard this line? A lot of experts have said this before to motivate us in doing our daily routine with positive disposition and outlook. This is absolutely correct. Nobody would want to start the day with the wrong foot. Experts now believe that for a person to start the day right, one essential thing is that he must have slept comfortably the night before. We always associate comfortable sleeping with a good mattress, pillows and everything. But we often forget one important thing and that is the way we sleep. Sleep positioning plays a huge factor in achieving a good night’s sleep.
Studies reveal that proper sleep positioning relieves back and sciatic pain. Majority of working individuals have already experienced back pain at some point in their lives. The most likely causes are improper posture at work and during sleep.
Sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the human body. It starts from the lower back, down the buttocks, legs and knees. Because it starts from the lower back and extends until our lower limbs, our sleeping position also affects this nerve making our night very long and uncomfortable. There is also what we refer to as Sciatica which refers to the pain, numbness and tingling sensation in the leg. Improper sleep positioning worsens all of sciatica’s symptoms as well.
Let us now take a look at some expert-recommended sleeping positions as well as which positions to avoid relieving back and sciatic pain:
1. Do not sleep on your stomach. This position only increases the pressure on our spine because it exaggerates the arch on your lower back thereby increasing pressure or strain causing back pain.
2. On your side in a fetal position. This is probably the best position for sleeping because it relieves most of the strain or stress on the back. Make sure to properly lie on your side, make a fetal position putting a pillow in between your legs to ensure a restful night.
3. On your back. If this is your style, then there must be a big, fluffy and comfortable pillow under your knees. This way, most of the strain is kept away from the lower back and sciatic nerve. This position maintains the normal curve of the back as well.
There are also simple and safe exercises to help relieve back pain. Here are three easy routine that you can do every day for just 15 minutes:
1. Knee bending – do some simple and gentle knee bending exercise. To be safe and just in case you have knee issues, pull up a chair or stand in front of a table and hold onto it for support. Stand straight, shoulders relaxed slowly inhaling and exhaling. Slowly bend the knees while pulling up your heels in the process to relieve tensions on the knees while supporting the lower back as well. Do five to ten repetitions. Avoid over straining the knees and back.
2. Hip twist or Hip rolls – a simple and straight forward exercise we’ve seen a couple of times being done in aerobic classes. Stand firmly, legs apart. Tighten the abdominal muscles and put your hands on your hips. Rotate the hips alternately counter-clockwise and then clockwise, five counts each. Breathe normally while doing this exercise.
3. Waist twist – also a straight forward exercise just like the hip roll. Stand straight, feet apart and hands placed on your sides. Start twisting to the right with hands slight raised towards the shoulders. Do the same going to the left. This will stretch and exercise the lower back as well as the shoulders. Make sure to breath slowly in and out and not to over stretch to prevent from straining the hips and the back.
A good sleep positioning along with easy simple exercise to relieve back and sciatic pain can absolutely contribute to making the start of your day right. Remember to maintain proper posture at all times; while walking, working, sitting and most importantly sleeping.