Dr. Peter Martone: The Problem With Sleeping On Your Side, How To Sleep On Your Back, Little-Known Sleep Enhancement Tricks & Much More – Ben Greenfield Fitness

Check out the Ben Greenfield Fitness Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Sleeping on your side can result in you losing the normal curvature of the neck
    • It’s much more optimal to sleep on your back
  • By using a pillow for your neck instead of your head, like the Neck Nest, you can help to restore the cervical curve of your neck
    • This also helps to decrease lumbar tension/ lower back pain
  • Sleep tip::
    • Instead of counting sheep to make yourself fall asleep, try remembering what you did yesterday or some other random day in the past

Products Mentioned

  • The Neck Nest – a pillow meant to support the neck instead of the head
  • Dr. Martone is a fan of the Oura Ring and the sleep data it gives to users (purchase a ring using our link for a $50 discount applied at checkout)
  • Using a pillow wedge can help make it easier to sleep on your back (the position you should be in)
  • For some people, using a weighted blanket can help improve their quality of sleep (15% off with PODCASTNOTES15)
  • Keep a journal next to your bed – some of the best ideas come before you fall asleep and the moments after you wake up
    • Ben recommends The Pilot’s Pen, a pen with small LED lights to help people write in the dark

Intro

  • Host: Ben Greenfield (T: @bengreenfield IG: @bengreenfieldfitness) is a fitness/health blogger
  • Dr. Peter Martone (@drmartone) is the owner and director of Atlantis Chiropractic Wellness Centers. He created the Neck Nest – a pillow meant to support the neck instead of the head

Neck Problems

  • It’s critical that people maintain the normal curvature of their neck throughout life – however, some people lose that curve from over-texting, slouching over a laptop, driving a lot, or sleeping on their sides
    • This results in a lot of forward head activity and nothing is being done to reverse the damage
  • When we lose the curve of the neck, 98% of people will pick up a curve in their lower back (formed from compensating) which can result in scoliosis because the hips get thrown off alignment
    • So, the point – Sleeping on your side can result in losing the cervical curvature of your neck and cause scoliosis in your lower back
  • By using a pillow for your neck instead of your head, you can actually restore the cervical curve in your neck – this also helps decrease lumbar tension/lower back pain, and reverse scoliosis in the lower back
  • Dr. Martone got the idea for his product, the Neck Nest, from watching the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon where he saw actors sleeping on blocks of wood
    • He’s been x-raying his patients after sleeping with the Neck Nest and is taking “patients off care 3 or 4 months earlier” because of the improvement in their spines

Sleeping Positions

  • People toss and turn during the night because they tend to sleep on their sides in an improper sleeping position – sleeping on your side can be painful for long durations
  • Dr. Martone is a fan of the Oura Ring and the sleep data it gives to users
  • It’s better to sleep on your back than your side – sleeping on your back helps to distribute weight evenly throughout your body
    • The best thing to do is just to start sleeping on your back even if you can’t do it for the whole night – it may also help to get a bed that slightly elevates your upper body at ~4-5 degrees
    • If you’ve been sleeping on your side for years, your body will probably be in pain when you switch to sleeping on your back as it won’t be adjusted to the new position

Sleeping Tips

  • Instead of counting sheep to make yourself fall asleep, try remembering what you did yesterday or some other random day in the past
    • Dr. Martone and Ben aren’t sure about the exact science of how this works, but both have tried this method and experienced good results – it’s possible that dreams help your body categorize memories, and by trying to remember the past, you can help speed up the start time to begin dreaming
  • Dr. Martone advises to keep your core warm by having a cover from your waist to your neck, while exposing your hands and feet
    • Ben Greenfield believes the opposite and the science for each side is still being studied
      • For some people, using a weighted blanket can help improve their quality of sleep (15% Off with PODCASTNOTES15)
  • People are smarter in the first two hours of the day compared to any other time
  • Keep a journal next to your bed – some of the best ideas come before you fall asleep and the moments after you wake up
    • Ben recommends The Pilot’s Pen, a pen with small LED lights to help people write in the dark

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

3 thoughts on “Dr. Peter Martone: The Problem With Sleeping On Your Side, How To Sleep On Your Back, Little-Known Sleep Enhancement Tricks & Much More – Ben Greenfield Fitness

  1. Did they mention this at all?!
    https://www.sciencealert.com/sleeping-on-your-side-could-reduce-alzheimer-s-and-parkinson-s-risk-study-finds

    The analysis showed us consistently that glymphatic transport was most efficient in the lateral position when compared to the supine or prone positions,” said principal investigator, Helene Benveniste, in a statement.

    It is interesting that the lateral sleep position is already the most popular in human and most animals – even in the wild – and it appears that we have adapted the lateral sleep position to most efficiently clear our brain of the metabolic waste products that built up while we are awake,” said Maiken Nedergaard, a co-author of the research. “The study therefore adds further support to the concept that sleep subserves a distinct biological function of sleep and that is to ‘clean up’ the mess that accumulates while we are awake.”

    1. This was the first thing that come to my mind when I read these podcast notes. Ben talked about this better glymphatic transport in the lateral position in other podcasts and he said that he sleep on his side by himself. I think we need to listen to the whole podcast to figure this out.

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