TODAY

TODAY   |  September 20, 2013

Your sleeping position could be a nightmare

How you sleep during the night can have just as much to do with how good you feel in the morning as how much you sleep. Dr. Keri Peterson, contributor to Women’s Health magazine, reveals the best ways to hit the sack.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> up with back pain like i do? or keep your partner up all night because of your snoring, like willie?

>> it's true, 80% of people have problems sleeping at least a few times a month. here to tell us how to stop it is dr. carrie peterson.

>> good morning. good to see you guys.

>> what are the problems?

>> if you're sleeping in the wrong position, it can lead to a host of medical issues. it can exacerbate snoring or reflux. it can cause muscle cramps in your legs. aches and pains. insomnia and that's a vicious cycle . you can't sleep. you're in pain. you wake up, you're more irritable. then you can't sleep. it's a whole cycle.

>> let's talk about brooke 's big problem. the lower back pain and the irritability.

>> the irritability. a little tmj. but let's just start with the lower back pain .

>> so what we're going to do is teach our viewers how to sleep when you have certain conditions. i'm going to position you. if you have lower back pain maintain the natural curvature of your spine. the best way is to lie on your side with one pillow --

>> oh boy.

>> not two.

>> arm under.

>> arms relaxed in front of you and legs slightly bent and the key is to keep your hips straight. if you rotate one forward that's also going to curve your spine and you want to also put a pillow between your knees.

>> wake up brooke .

>> sorry.

>> i have a pregnancy pillow that i kept and it's like a full body pillow .

>> i know that pillow .

>> so rotanic.

>> you can use that for back pain as long as you're positioned correctly.

>> yeah, back pain. like, no.

>> stay away. so then you want to make sure your knees are hip width apart.

>> do you recommend sleeping in leather pants like that.

>> no. no give.

>> thank you.

>> snoring, apparently my wife tells me a snore. what i can do to fix this.

>> make sure you're lying on your side. if you're lying flat on your back, also one pillow .

>> one pillow ?

>> yeah, if you're lying flat on your back then the palate and base of the tongue can go to the back of the throat and cause you to vibrate in your breathing and that's what snoring is. the tricky part about lying on your side is staying on your side. let's get you on your side.

>> all right.

>> i have a trick.

>> how you doing brooke ?

>> good.

>> train yourself to lie on your side, tape a tennis ball to your pajamas on your back.

>> i'm not doing that.

>> i don't want anything to do with tennis balls .

>> i'd rather snore.

>> you roll on it, it hurts and gets you back on your side and it trains you to not rollover on your back.

>> are you messing with me.

>> no. a tennis ball and duct tape .

>> and that will work.

>> well, your wife will be happier.

>> while he's in that position it's perfect for you to tell us how to deal with pms.

>> oh my gosh.

>> thank you for asking for me.

>> i know.

>> for you brooke .

>> yeah. i wanted to see him do the thing.

>> no, you're good.

>> what have you got?

>> what women have is lower back pain and lower cramping of the belly and also breast tenderness so the best position is flat on your back with a pillow under your knees.

>> two big pillows here.

>> no, that's going to squash your boobs and it's going to hurt.

>> can i leave? i'm uncomfortable.

>> you said boob and he ran.

>> yeah, the pillow under your knees is going to take the curvature out of your spine and ease the lower back pain .

>> okay.

>> don't lie on your side and you don't want to lie on your tummy because it hurts the uterus.