General Question

millie's avatar

How do I learn to sleep on my back?

Asked by millie (53points) December 15th, 2006
how does one transition from being a side or stomach sleeper to being a back sleeper. Also any advice for night teeth grinding?
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17 Answers

ben's avatar
Out of curiosity, why switch?
ben's avatar
I've heard side-sleeping is great for your back...
millie's avatar
I thought back sleeping was better for spines. I could have made that up
andrew's avatar
I think the most important is the way you use your muscles when you sleep.
andrew's avatar
i.e. are you clenching, etc.
gailcalled's avatar
we spent our first 9 months in fetal position; maybe that says something about what the spine liked initiallt. Mine (w. a minor but uncomfortable scoliosis) likes only side-sleeping...on a really firm mattress plus bedboard.
gailcalled's avatar
Teeth grinding is evidence of some deep-seated stress; should be addressed by examination of life and stuff; and temp. device that dentist can give you for sleeping. Yoga, meditation, talking to therapist, etc getting to the root of what is bothering you might help..
hetar_institute's avatar
my friend had an elaborate method recommended by a doctor:
hetar_institute's avatar
you set your alarm for 90 minutes after you go to bed; if you wake up on your stomach, you turn yourself over and go back to sleep on your back, and re-set your alarm for 90 minutes...and so forth. after three days where you wake up on your back every_time your alarm goes off, you lengthen the alarm time to 3 hours; after three days waking up on your back at three hours you should be re-trained...
darwinsbulldog's avatar
Sometimes fitted mouthgards can help relieve some of the tension in your jaw and keep teeth from wearing down. These aren't the sports mouthgards people get for boxing or hocky but smaller ones made at a dentist's office.
peggylou's avatar
I've always used the mouthguards that are made for high school football. They do the trick but they don't keep me awake like the bigger ones from the dentist. My gosh, don't set your alarm! Every time you wake up, your body will be more stressed when you try to go back to sleep because you are dreading the alarm. I used to sleep on my stomach and loved it. Did that all of my life. But then I started having problems with my neck when I slept with it turned sideways. I've learned to sleep on my back simply because it hurts my neck if I don't. Side sleeping used to be okay, but now I tighten up my shoulder muscles when I try to do that; or my arms and hands get partly numb on my side. Best of all is to do what you feel like as you go to sleep and forget about it. I'd be awake all night if I had to think about it!
tyson's avatar
for back problems in athletic training we always recommended sleeping on your back for quicker healing, usually with a pillow under your lower legs (to take strain off of your lower back) and the pillow under your neck supporting a neutral posture (not flexed). if sleeping on your side put a pillow between your legs.
tyson's avatar
common sleeping helpful hints: reduce stress, go to bed / wake-up at the same time daily, limit caffeine, exercise daily, only use bed for sleeping, develop pre-sleep ritual, slow down the last hour before sleeping (dim lights, low stimulation, etc.), meditation, sleep teas (valerian (tastes awful but knocks you out), chamomile, lavender, etc., melatonin vitamin / pills, working with a therapist, reduce stress, etc.
JCS's avatar
I recently went to the Rosicrucian museum of Egyptology in San Jose. I learned there that all ancient Egyptians slept on their backs! Or on their sides. They used wooden headrests. Apparently it's good for the spine too.
dans85's avatar
I'm a teeth-grinder and a clencher, and after being told that, at the age of 20, I was on my way to having the teeth of a 40-yr-old since I had ground them down so much, I started the process of finding the right remedy. I started out with a standard sports mouthguard, but I eventually realized that, while it stopped the grinding, it didn't stop the clenching; in fact, it made my jaw lock and I could barely open my mouth wide enough to eat a bagel during the day. I then found my MIRACLE: The NTI (google it and Dr. Jeffrey Hoos). My dentist invented this device that fits over your top two teeth, is fairly subtle, although not necessarily sexy, and has TRULY saved my life. I can't sleep without it.
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