Even those with perfect posture can be struck by back or neck pain. Good posture is important not only for your day-to-day comfort, it’s also vital to ensure you don’t strain your body during repetitive exercises. While more of us are becoming aware of posture’s role, we tend to focus on it during the 12 hours of daylight. But what about the best sleeping positions to help ensure healthy posture?
Best option: Flat on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs out straight. Make sure you use a low pillow. High or multiple pillows can compromise neck alignment no matter how you position your body. This can result in neck, shoulder and back pain, as well as headaches and potentially migraines.
Good option: On your side with your top arm by your side or behind your body, to open up your shoulders. Avoid snuggling both of your arms into your chest as this places your upper spine into a hunched position known as thoracic kyphosis.
Poor option: On your stomach with your neck turned to one side. If you regularly sleep in this position and have neck and back pain, you need to train your body to sleep on your side or back. Once you’ve done this, you should notice drastic improvements to your neck and spinal twinges.
Weave more small touches into conversations with your spouse, family, and friends—it’s another way to show loved ones how much they mean to you. Squeeze your spouse’s hand when you’re riding an elevator together, or rub your daughter’s back when you chat about her day. Traveling by train, then site real close and hold hands! Last thing at night and first in the morning snuggle into each other, no words need to be said. The simple act of touching, closely cuddling is enough. We’re cuddle bugs by nature—our endocrine systems release a cascade of positive pleasure chemicals when we receive a caring touch, making us feel more connected and content and less anxious. (One study found that waitresses who touched their customers even earned bigger tips.)