Ever go to bed and wake up feeling just as tired as when you first hit the pillow? Bad sleep posture could be the culprit. In the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) brochure titled “Optimizing Your Sleep Posture For A Better Night’s Rest,” it outlines the importance of quality sleep and highlights strategies on how to achieve rejuvenating rest.

Coffee won’t cut it. Get some sleep!

It’s estimated that one in three American adults don’t get enough shut-eye, and neither do half of U.S. adolescents and a whopping 73 percent of high school students. The general rule of thumb for what is considered enough sleep is seven to eight hours for adults, eight to 10 hours for teens and nine to 12 for kids ages six to 12.

Not getting enough sleep takes a toll on the body, often resulting in palpable short and long-term health issues. Poor mental health and concentration can occur. Bad sleep habits have also been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Risk of falls increases, as well as car accidents brought on by profound fatigue behind the wheel.

It might seem like nothing happens during sleep, but in fact, the body goes into active recovery mode revitalizing, repairing and healing itself, expelling toxins and allowing the brain to process information from the day and form long-term memories. Effective sleep contains several identifiable stages and cycles of lighter and deeper sleep that allow the body to perform needed functions. During this time, the body initiates changes in brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure, nervous system activity, muscle tone, blood flowto the brain, respiration, kidney function, hormonal functions and metabolic activity.Sleep has also been related to immunity capabilities.

Potential causes of restlessness

Movement at night is normal, with people often shifting positions between three and 36 times each night without typically interrupting sleep. Waking up fully several times in the evening can be detrimental, of course, and the causes of which can be obvious, such as an overactive and stressed mind, a crying baby, or too much caffeine late at night. There are other potential sleep disruptors that are less commonly known, such as nutrient imbalances or deficiencies than can keep individuals awake. These conditions can lead to cramping or affect the production of neurotransmitters needed for sleep. Phones, tablets and TVs can also make it hard to rest, as the blue light emitted by devices interrupts the production of melatonin, a hormone in the body that controls the sleep-wake cycle.

Tips for Sleep Posture and Positioning

It’s strange to think of a right and a wrong way to sleep, but poor sleep posture tends to lead to discomfort, a common cause of sleep loss. Look at these tips for how to catch some Zs.

  • Make sure to support your head at the base of the skull with a position that allows for the curve of the neck. Unless you have a medical condition requiring your torso to be propped up, lay flat and only use one good pillow.
  • Ensure your spine is in alignment during sleep. Watch for awkward leg positions that can create a twisting strain on the back.
  • For back sleepers, place a small support under the knees to keep them slightly flexed and take pressure off the low back.
  • For side sleepers, utilize a body pillow between the knees to relieve stress on the low back and hips.
  • If you change positions during the night, try to remember to carefully shift your spine as a whole versus making jerky twisting motions.
  • When getting out of bed in the morning, avoid harsh jerking and twisting motions. Keep the spine straight, roll to the side, knees bent and gently swing your legs to the floor to start the day off right.
  • If back pain is a common problem, don’t sleep on your stomach as it can put extra pressure on the lower back and require irritating rotation in your neck.

How Chiropractic Care can help improve sleep

Safe and natural sleep remedies are a needed tool, with dependency on potentially harmful prescription sleep aids on the rise. Believe it or not, a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) can help patients recognize when they might be getting sleep deprived, as well as provide pain relief measures that will diminish the need for pain killers or sleep meds.

DCs can narrow down a patient’s individualized causes for sleep issues and recommend suitable posture and relaxation strategies. Chiropractic care can increase joint mobility and reduce pains and aches. A chiropractor can also suggest dietary improvements and herbal formulas to help with relaxation, as well as needed vitamin or mineral supplements.


References (from original Foundation for Chiropractic Progress article)

1   CDC 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. A good night’s sleep is critical for good health.

2   American Academy of Pediatrics. Study: 73% of high school students not getting enough sleep: January 25, 2018

3   CDC. Do your children get enough sleep? Graphic.

4   Short- and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption Goran Medic,1,2 Micheline Wille,1 and Michiel EH Hemels1 Nat Sci Sleep. 2017; 9: 151–161. Published online 2017 May 19

5   Short and long-term health consequences of sleep disruption Goran Medic,1,2 Micheline Wille,1 and Michiel EH Hemels1 Nat Sci Sleep. 2017; 9: 151–161. Published online 2017 May 19.

6  Bedtime Use of Technology and Associated Sleep Problems in Children Caitlyn, BA,1 Eric Lehman, MS,2 Steven Hicks, MD,2 and Marsha B. Novick, MD2 Glob Pediatr Health. 2017; 4: 2333794X17736972.  Published online 2017 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5669315/

7  Using medication: What can help when trying to stop taking sleeping pills and sedatives? Created: April 20, 2010; Last Update: August 10, 2017; Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/

8  The relationship between micronutrient status and sleep patterns: a systematic review Xiaopeng Ji,1,* Michael A Grandner,2 and Jianghong Liu1 Public Health Nutr. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2017 Nov 7.Published in final edited form as: Public Health Nutr. 2017 Mar; 20(4): 687–701.


Slice of LIFE is an invitation to and extension of everything happening at Life U. Whether you are a current student, a potential freshman or a proud alumni, Slice of LIFE can help keep you connected to your academic community. Know of a compelling Life U story to be shared, such as a riveting project, innovative group or something similar? Let us know by emailing Marketing@life.edu.