No, you didn't sleep wrong.
Updated: Mar 13, 2020
Have you ever woken up and noticed a new ache or pain? You might have attributed it to sleeping "wrong". Unless you literally passed out due to some form of drug (prescription, legal or otherwise), chances are you didn't sleep "wrong".
We're designed to sleep every night and to move throughout the night. This means there will be no one position that you should sleep in. If your spine and body are healthy enough, your sleep position shouldn't affect your health. But, what does happen during our sleep is repair. Humans require sleep every night to stay well. So much healing happens when we sleep that our bodies simply can't do it when your brain is awake. It requires a lot of energy! Have you ever worked out hard, went to bed feeling okay and woke up really sore? That's the extra inflammation building up overnight as your body repairs itself. You may have also experienced this when you were sick.
Here's the problem many people have today: chronic inflammation. Our bodies are constantly trying to repair themselves. Unfortunately, we don't give it the tools it needs to do a good job. We eat too much sugar and processed foods, we internalize our problems, we work too hard and don't take enough time off, we spend more time sitting than moving. So, we wake up sore. All of the time. And then blame it on "sleeping wrong" because we can't pin point one thing that may have caused our pain.
Most of my patients today aren't seeing me because of an acute accident. They see me because something "just all of a sudden happened". Like, "I just bent over and my back went out" or "I must have slept wrong." No, you didn't sleep wrong. Your hips are too tight because you don't move through full ranges of motion or stretch. You spend too much time seated. You eat more bread and pasta than vegetables and meat. And your body finally said, "no more".
So, what can we do if it really feels like we just slept "wrong"? Ensure that you are eating real, whole foods more often than you aren't. Go for a walk. Get adjusted. And remember, waking up with pain is not "normal" or part of getting older. You deserve to feel well most of the time and recover from illness or injury. Don't hesitate to seek treatment!
And, if you are looking for my favorite pillow to support your sleep, HERE IT IS! You can purchase it online or swing by the clinic to pick yours up.