Pay attention to these signs and behaviors to make sure your dog is getting the best sleep possible. They might also dig a hole that would help keep them warm in winter or cool in summer. Dogs tend to circle a few times before lying down, but doing it too much or having trouble settling in might be a sign of pain, arthritis, or a neurological issue. Consult a vet if you notice excessive circling. This is not a very restful sleep, and your dog may just be waiting for something more interesting to come along. This probably means that your dog is still fairly alert and looking for something worth getting up for.
Dogs tend to move a bit during REM sleep when they are most restful. They could very well be acting out their dreams, but they are getting a nice, deep sleep. Twitching, tail wagging, leg kicks, and occasional barks or grunts are common. This is a good time to let sleeping dogs lie, as this stage of sleep is very restorative and good for their health. A less common reason for twitching during sleep is if a dog is cold. If your dog is cold, get a blanket or move them to a warmer sleeping place.
If your dog seems particularly agitated during sleep with more movement, barks, or whimpers than usual, you can try gently calming your pup down. Call their name softly and stroke their back or side.
Use soothing tones. When twitching gets excessive, it could be a sign of a seizure that requires immediate medical attention. If they wake, it may have just been an intense dream. Dogs sleep a lot more than people do. On average, dogs need about twelve to 14 hours of sleep a day. Big dogs tend to take longer naps than smaller dogs, and puppies need about 18 to 19 hours of sleep a day , usually waking up for an hour after every few hours of sleep.
Placing a small pillow under the knees can provide additional support and help maintain the natural curve of the spine.
Although lying on the side is a popular and comfortable sleeping position, it can pull the spine out of position. This can strain the lower back. Correcting this is easy. Anyone who sleeps on their side can simply place a firm pillow between their knees. This raises the upper leg, which restores the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine.
People who habitually turn to sleep on their front may also want to try hugging a large pillow against their chest and stomach to aid sleep and keep their back aligned. For people with a herniated disc , adopting a curled-up fetal position may bring relief during the night. This is because lying on the side with the knees tucked into the chest reduces bending of the spine and helps open up the joints. Lying on the front of the body is usually considered the worst sleeping posture. However, for those who struggle to sleep in another position, placing a slim pillow underneath the stomach and hips can help improve spinal alignment.
Sleeping on the front may also benefit people with a herniated disc or a degenerative disc disease. Another reason sleeping on the front is considered bad is because the head is usually turned to one side. This twists the spine and places additional stress on the neck, shoulders, and back. To avoid this, try lying face down. A small but firm pillow or tightly rolled-up towel can be used to prop up the forehead, allowing room to breathe. This should be done in addition to placing a pillow under the stomach. Sleeping in a reclined position may benefit lower back pain, particularly in people with isthmic spondylolisthesis.
If significant relief is found from resting in a reclined chair, it may be worth investing in an adjustable bed that can be positioned accordingly. A head pillow should maintain the natural posture of the neck and help support the spine. Ideally, it should be comfortable, adaptable to different positions, and keep its overall shape after use. Someone who sleeps on their back may be better suited to a thinner pillow.
Raising the head too much can place a strain on the neck and back. There are also thin pillows specifically designed to help the neck, such as those available here. These pillows are also ideal for placing under the hips if a person sleeps on their front. People who prefer to sleep on their sides may want to consider a thicker pillow. For best support, it should fill space between the neck and mattress completely. A gusseted pillow is an excellent choice for this, and there are many options available to purchase here.
People who sleep on their stomach should use a thin pillow or no pillow at all. Pushing the head backward can put pressure on the neck. Alternatively, they may wish to try sleeping face down with a small but firm pillow propping up only the forehead. This leaves enough room to breathe but allows a person to keep their neck straight.
A mattress should be well made, fully supportive, and comfortable. Firm mattresses are often recommended, but there is some evidence to suggest that medium-firm may be better for people with long-term lower back pain.
Body shape, size, and proportions can help determine how much support is needed. Wide hips may be better suited to a softer mattress and slim hips to a firmer one to keep the spine properly aligned. Although they can seem more comfortable, softer mattresses provide less support. Sinking too deep can cause joints to twist and the spine to come out of its natural alignment. A foam mattress topper can be used to provide additional support to a spring mattress. Alternatively, a plywood board can be placed underneath the mattress to increase firmness.
A range of mattress toppers is available for purchase online. Back pain can significantly disrupt sleep. People should avoid sleeping in late to compensate for lost sleep overnight. Instead, they should try to maintain a regular schedule with consistent bedtime and wake times. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours every day.
Anyone with severe or worsening back pain, particularly after a fall or injury, should speak to a doctor. People should also speak to a doctor if they experience pain that gets worse after resting or at night. People should seek immediate medical advice for back pain if it is accompanied by any of the following:. If back pain is causing long-term lack of sleep, a person should speak to a doctor about treatment options and lifestyle changes to improve their symptoms and help them feel better rested.
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All references are available in the References tab.
Back pain. Brain basics: Understanding sleep. Good sleeping posture helps your back. How to get to sleep. Kovacs, F. Effect of firmness of mattress on chronic non-specific low-back pain: Randomised, double-blind, controlled, multicentre trial [Abstract]. Lancet , , — Prevent back pain while you sleep. Sleeping with lower back pain.
Never miss a great news story! Hug a thick pillow for more shoulder support. For non-human sleep, see Sleep non-human. Sleep paralysis is a medical condition where a person, on waking up from sleep, experiences temporary inability to move or speak. Vervelende Panda 2 years ago Is he at the top, or the bottom of the stairs? The best way to achieve this, big surprise, is with a great mattress.
Slide show: Sleeping positions that reduce back pain. The best sleep position for your body. What pillow is best for you? What type of mattress is best for people with low back pain? MLA Gill, Stephen. MediLexicon, Intl. APA Gill, S. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media.