The Best Sleep Positions to Avoid Neck and Back Pain

The Best Sleep Positions to Avoid Neck and Back Pain

The Best Sleep Positions to Avoid Neck and Back Pain


Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for your overall health and well-being. However, the position in which you sleep can have a significant impact on your spinal health. At Desert Valley Chiropractic, we understand that proper alignment of the spine during sleep is essential for preventing pain and maintaining good health. Here are our top recommendations for the best sleeping positions to help you wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.

Sleeping on Your Back


Back sleeping is often considered one of the best sleep positions, it really is the gold standard for spinal health. This sleep position allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position, which means there’s no extra pressure on those areas. To enhance comfort and reduce lower back strain, consider placing a pillow under your knees to maintain the natural curve of your spine.

If you are exclusively a back sleeper choosing the right pillow can help avoid unnecessary neck pain.  You don’t want a thick pillow that pushes your chin down toward your chest, this will strain your neck causing neck pain and potentially headaches.  If you are a back sleeper you may want to consider a cervical pillow which can help maintain the natural curve in our necks.

Sleeping on Your Side


Side sleeping is another great example of the best sleep positions, especially for pregnant women and people suffering from chronic back pain. To get the most out of this position, make sure to:

– Use a firm pillow to keep your head and neck aligned with your spine.  You want your head and neck remain neutral which is to say you don’t want it to bend too far in either direction.

– Placing a pillow between your knees is crucial.  This can prevent your lower body from torquing (like wringing out a wet towel) which can pull your spine out of alignment.  A good option is to place a king or body pillow between your knees, because then you can hold or “spoon” the pillow with your arms so you don’t lose it when rolling over to the other side.  This is also helpful and keeping your knees and hips aligned which keeps your lower body from twisting too much.


Pro Tip – placing a pillow between your knees can also be a helpful way for people to transition away from stomach sleeping to side sleeping.  When you are on your side and you spoon the pillow you can fool your body into feeling like you’re sleeping on your stomach.




Back and Side Sleeping in Combination


It has been our experience over the last 20+ years that many patients will move from back to side sleeping through the night.  As noted above, both positions are good for our spinal health so there is nothing wrong with moving from one to the other.  In fact, this is the way I sleep, and I have found that it is important you choose the correct pillow to avoid unnecessary strain on the cervical spine.

Ideally you use a pillow that has a dip in the middle for when you are on your back but is also elevated on the sides so when you move from your back to your side you can maintain good alignment from your head to your neck.

sleep positions

Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach


Sorry stomach sleepers, but there is no way to sugar coat this, stomach sleeping is bad. As far as the best sleep positions are concerned, this is the worse.  It is hard on both your neck and back. This position can force your neck to turn to one side, causing strain and discomfort. Additionally, your hips will sink into the mattress which is a common cause of morning back pain.

We hear all the time “but doc it’s the only way I can get comfortable enough to sleep” or “I have been a stomach sleeper all my life”.  Trust me, I know how comfortable stomach sleeping can be. While I just said that when I sleep, I move from my back to my side, I didn’t always do that.

Growing up and in my early teens I was a stomach sleeper, and on a waterbed no less.  As a result, when I was 13, I started to get lower back pain, so my mom took me to her chiropractor.  In addition to some great Activator treatment, I was also given some tips to transition away from a stomach sleeping.  It does not happen overnight, but it can be done and if you read the side sleeping section above you will get a helpful tip.

If you have tried everything and simply must sleep on your stomach please use a thin pillow under your head and another under your pelvis to minimize the strain to your spine.


Listen to Your Body


Your body will tell you if something is wrong, so if you wake up feeling sore or stiff, it might be time to evaluate your sleeping position, your pillows and or your mattress. Make sure your sleeping environment supports your spinal health.


Consult with a Chiropractor


Chiropractic care can be helpful with our spinal alignment so we can both feel well and move well.  If you’re experiencing discomfort despite making the adjustments in this article, it may be beneficial to consult with a chiropractor. At Desert Valley Chiropractic, we can provide personalized advice and treatments to help align your spine and improve your sleep quality.


Remember, the goal is to support the spine in a neutral alignment and avoid any positions that might cause strain or discomfort. Sweet dreams and healthy sleeping!

Sleep Is Beautiful

Sleep Is Beautiful

Why getting your beauty sleep is important for your health…….

Not being able to get a good nights sleep is a very frustrating and increasingly common problem in our society. It is a common complaint we hear at Desert Valley Chiropractic ,read on to see how chiropractic can help! Not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep during the night is a terrible feeling and it has a negative impact on your health. Quality sleep is an essential part of your overall wellbeing, both physically and mentally. Ongoing sleep deprivation can lead to issues such as heart disease, kidney disease, high blood sugar, anxiety, diabetes, and stroke. Not everyone realizes the importance of quality sleep, but it’s just as crucial as exercise and healthy eating. So that is why this months bio-hack is improving your sleep!

Getting to sleep in our society is becoming more and more of a science! For our ancestors, it was a little simpler, when the sun went down you slept. Our body was designed to flow with our circadian rhythm but with introduction of modern lighting fixtures, electronic devices, and just the general fast-paced lifestyle that we all live, sleep doesn’t come as naturally as it should. If you have trouble sleeping, take a look at our best tips for how to fall asleep quickly!

Sleep with Your Phone in Another Room:

It has become common to keep our phones right beside us while we sleep. We use it as our alarm and many of us check our emails and social media as soon as we wake up. The more you’re on your screen the more your brain is stimulated and the harder it is for you to fall asleep. These devices emit light of a blue wavelength, which may trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime. Too much light from your screen can affect melatonin production, signaling to your body that you’re not ready for sleep. Get a separate alarm clock and sleep with your phone in another room so you’re not tempted to look at it before bed and if you wake up during the night!

Try using blue light glasses:

Blue light filtering glasses are a way to protect yourself from digital eye strain and sleep disruption. Blue light glasses work by protecting your eyes from high-energy blue wavelengths, reducing the potential for eye damage from prolonged exposure. Generally, the purpose of blue light glasses is to reduce digital eye strain and improve sleep quality.

Sleep in a Cool Room:

Your bodies core temperature needs to drop to initiate sleep. When you’re falling asleep your internal body temperature drops slightly and reaches its lowest point between 2 and 4 am. A bedroom temperature of 65 to 72 degrees is in a ideal range for sleep.

Breathe in Lavender:

A great way to fall asleep is to diffuse lavender before bed or use a lavender lotion, even scent your linen with lavender if you really enjoy the scent. Lavender helps you relax, can lower your blood pressure, and helps clear your mind. Breathe in the scent of lavender before bed to help you sleep deeper and wake up more invigorated!

Stick to a Regular Sleep Schedule:

A regular sleep schedule is key to beating insomnia. Plan for sleep, sleep isn’t always as easy as just having the time to lay down, but scheduling your rest periods will be a big step in the right direction. Get into a routine and plan to make sure you have enough time set aside for rest by counting backwards from when you need to wake up each morning. If you tend to always go to bed at different times, this can really mess up your sleep cycle. It’s best for your biological clock if you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, including weekends. Some people like to sleep in later on the weekends but doing that can make your insomnia worse.

Use Your Bedroom Only for Sleeping:

It’s important for your mind and body to associate your bedroom with sleep. If you work from home or bring work home, don’t do it in your bedroom. If you do, your mind will associate it with work and keep your wheels turning. It’s also best not to watch TV or do anything that stimulates your mind – keep your bedroom for sleeping!

Keep Clocks Out of View:

One of the worst things you can do is watch the minutes go by when you’re trying to get to sleep. The more you think about how much later it’s getting, the more anxious you’ll become about not falling asleep. This also goes for waking up in the middle of the night. If you’re watching 3 o’clock turn to 4 o’clock and 4 o’clock turn to 5 o’clock, you’re going to feel even more stressed out.

Stay Out of Your Head:

This one’s easier said than done but do your best not to think about everything under the sun when you go to bed. And most importantly, try not to think about the fact that you can’t fall asleep. Work on relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga to get you into a relaxed state instead.

Read a Book:

Reading a book before you go to bed can help take your mind off daily stressors and will help you relax. Try to go to bed half an hour earlier than you usually do to get some reading in. If you wake up in the middle of the night and are awake for more than 20 minutes, use a dim light and read a book to help you get back to sleep.

Practice Meditation Before Bed:

Meditation can bring your mind and body to total relaxation before bed, and help you get to sleep faster. Meditation helps enhance melatonin levels and helps the brain to achieve a sleepy state. It will be easier to fall asleep and you’ll wake up feeling more energized.
Avoid Long Daytime Naps. If you’re not getting a good night’s sleep it’s typical to feel tired during the day, but try to skip naps if you can. Long naps (over 20-30

Write Down a To-Do List Before Bed:

Many people can’t get to sleep because they’re worried about what they have to do the next day. Instead of letting your to-do list float around in your mind and keep you up, write it down on a piece of paper.

Exercise During the Day:

Exercise is a great way to make yourself feel tired and help you get to sleep quickly. Exercise boosts your serotonin levels and decreases cortisol (the stress hormone) to help you get a better quality sleep. Moderate-intensity exercise seems to work best, whereas extreme and excessive exercise may lead to a poorer sleep.

Don’t Drink Caffeine in the Afternoon:

Drinking caffeine after 2 pm can seriously mess up your sleep cycle. Although everyone reacts differently to the effects of caffeine, it’s generally best not to drink it at least 6 hours before you sleep, and even more if you have insomnia. Try to limit coffee consumption to the morning if you can, or cut it out completely.

Create a Bedtime Routine:

Having the same routine every night before you go to sleep can help calm your mind, relax your body, and condition yourself to realize it’s time to go to sleep. This routine can be 15 minutes to an hour, whatever works best for you, but be consistent with it every night. Find a routine that works for you whether that includes taking a warm bath, stretching, writing in a gratitude journal, reading, writing down your to-do list or goals, or anything else that feels good.

Stretch Before Bed:

Muscle tension can lead to restless nights. Do a short yoga routine or stretch out your tightest muscles before bed. Hamstrings, lower back, shoulders and ankles are some of the common areas that will be tight after a long day. Picture turning off every muscle in your body. Start at the toes and end with the brain, relaxing each muscle as you go.

Get adjusted and Sleep Better:

Many don’t realize that chiropractic can help with sleep issues! According to the National Sleep Foundation, nearly one-third of people who have undergone a chiropractic adjustment say they experience an immediate improvement in sleep.

The benefits of regular chiropractic care for patients with sleep issues include:

  • Easing muscle tension that causes restlessness,
  • Relaxing the body,
  • Relieving pain and discomfort,
  • Stimulating circulation and blood flow, and
  • Improving central nervous system function.

Your body needs sleep to repair and regenerate muscle tissues, skin cells and bone. A study that examined the impacts of sleep on injuries found sleep deprivation caused a marked difference in molecular markers of muscle repair. This showed that sleep impacted the body’s regeneration functions and can support healing. So while you are healing being able to get some sleep is very important.

Personally sleep does not always come easy for me, I am a mom, a doctor, a wife,  a business owner and an employer and probably a few other things I am forgetting at the moment! My personal favorites which make up my night time routine are: Getting adjusted, I always know I need an adjustment when my sleep patterns get bad. I exercise daily, I avoid caffeine as much as possible and definitely past about 2pm, I read at night and do some breathing exercises. I use the to do list tip and get things out of my head before I go to bed. I take magnesium and formula 303 before bed almost every night. I hope you have found these tips helpful, I encourage you to try a few of them out or include some new ones into your night time routine!

We carry a couple of products in the clinic which our patients have had great results with:


A Gluten-Free, Non-GMO product

Formula 303 is an all natural herbal remedy that harnesses the medicinal properties of valerian root, passion flower, and magnesium to provide you with relaxed muscles, stress relief, and natural relief from just some of the following:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Joint Pain Relief
  • Backache
  • Leg Cramps
  • Pulled Muscle
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain
  • Tension and Stress
  • PMS Cramps
  • Restless Sleep

Other valerian root herbal supplements only contain one or two of these important ingredients, Formula 303’s unique blend allows for the maximum levels to provide you with a safe, non-habit forming natural muscle relaxant that is perfect for long term use.

Valerian Root

Used for Centuries to calm upset nerves and for treating mood problems, pain, and headaches. Today, it is still used for its antispasmodic, calmative, tranquilizing, carminative, and pain relief effects.

Passion Flower

Discovered in 1569, passion flower has been used primarily as a sedative used to quell nervousness and anxiety, promote better sleep, reduce swelling as an anti-inflammatory, and as an antispasmodic and anti-convulsant used in the treatment of muscle cramps, dysmenorrhea, and other conditions.

Magnesium Carbonate

Magnesium is one of the most essential minerals in the development and function of nerves. It plays a large role in the overall stabilization of nerve cells, which without nerve cells would be in the state of tetany.

Be Sleepy CBD


ON CBD: Be Sleepy is a soothing lotion to enrich your sleep potential. On CBD Be Sleepy is infused with Melatonin, Chamomile, Valerian and Hops Extract.

  • 1,000 mgs  Hemp CBD Extract
  • Dosed Controlled 20 mgs CBD Extract Per Pump
  • 50 Pumps Per Bottle
  • Guaranteed To Contain Between 80%-95% Pure CBD
  • Formulated with Proprietary Phase Change Delivery Emulsion

 ON CBD: Be Sleepy is a soothing hydrating body lotion On CBD Be Sleepy is infused with Melatonin, Chamomile, Valerian and Hops Extract.

  • 1,000 mgs Organic Industrial Hemp CBD Extract
  • Dosed Controlled 20 mgs CBD Extract Per Pump
  • 50 Pumps Per Bottle
  • Guaranteed To Contain Between 80%-95% Pure CBD
  • Formulated with Proprietary Phase Change Technology



Magnesium helps the body relax. This nutrient reduces stress and helps you sleep longer.

Magnesium is a nutrient that’s involved in several important bodily functions. It Plays a role in muscle and nerve function, is involved in regulating blood pressure and blood sugar, and even helps build bones and DNA.

Some studies have found that Magnesium supplements can:

Make it easier to fall asleep

Improve sleep quality

Reduce symptoms of restless leg syndrome which can interfere with a good night’s sleep