Proper Sleeping Posture

by Apr 25, 2018Health and Wellness, Injuries, Posture and Ergonomics

The best sleep positions to get a good night’s sleep

You spend a few hours a night (at least eight, we hope) sleeping. While you are sleeping, your body is in a static position for long periods of time. If you have neck or back pain, sleeping with proper posture can help relieve back and neck pain. The key to sleeping with proper posture is to keep your spine in a neutral position. What we mean by this is maintaining the natural curve of your spine while you sleep. Check out the tips below for side, front and back sleepers, as well as what pillows and mattresses we recommend. 

Side Sleepers:

With every sleeping position, maintaining good posture when you sleep is achieved by maintaining a neutral spine. Here are some tips for people who like to sleep on their side.

1. Sleeping in this position puts more pressure on your shoulder and hip. Make sure that your pillow height allows your neck to remain in a neutral spine position, you don’t want your head to be tilted up towards the ceiling or down towards the ground. The perfect pillow allows your head to be in line with the rest of your spine.

2. Sleeping on your side is typically best for people who snore, have sleep apnea, or have shoulder or hip injuries and can lie on the unaffected side.

3. To maintain a neutral spine while sleeping on your side, bend your knees and place a pillow between your knees. Make sure that the pillow extends all the way from your knees to your ankles, so that your knees and ankles are in line with each other.

4. You want your hip bones to be stacked directly on top of each other, so that your spine remains in a neutral position. This of your hip bones as headlights that should be pointed forwards.

side sleeping posture
Proper sleeping posture

Back Sleepers:

If you sleep on your back, and have neck or low back pain here are some tips to maintain better posture while sleeping

1. Place a pillow under your knees to take some pressure of your low back

2. Stack multiple pillows underneath each other to support your shoulders and neck (see image below) so that your spine remains in a neutral position

back sleeping posture
back sleeping posture

Stomach Sleepers:

 Sleeping on your stomach can be difficult for neck pain as your head remains rotated for the entire night. You wouldn’t walk around all day with your head rotated to one side all day? We recommend limiting the amount of time you spend sleeping on your stomach. If you must sleep on your stomach here are a few tips:

1. Place a pillow underneath your hips to help maintain a more neutral spine

2. Place a pillow under your shoulder on the side where your head is turned towards.

stomach sleeping position

Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for your posture. It is difficult to achieve a neutral spine in this position. If you have back or neck pain, we recommend sleeping on your back or side.

Pillow and Mattress Selection

When selecting a pillow, the key is to ensure that the pillow that you sleep on allows you to maintain a neutral spine and head position. You do not want your pillow to be too thick, which will kink your head upwards, towards the ceiling. Likewise, you do not want the pillow to be too thin, which with kink your neck down towards the ground. Try out a few different pillows and try to find one where your head can be in a neutral position, in whatever sleeping position you find yourself in most often. Memory foam pillows are also a great option as they conform to the curves of your neck and shoulders allowing you to maintain a neutral spine position. 

Memory foam mattresses are a good option for people with back and neck pain. Traditionally, a mattress compresses and moulds to an individual’s weight. This is especially true if two people sleep in a bed who are of different weights.

A memory foam mattress, molds perfectly to your body. This means that two people can share a mattress regardless of their size or shape without compressing the mattress unevenly. The memory foam returns to its original shape after use.

Improper and Proper Pillow Height

Improper and Proper Pillow Height.

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