Have you ever woken up and all of a sudden you have a stiff neck or sore back? I’ve been struggling with bad neck and back pain lately and I think this could be related to my sleeping position.
Whilst there is no ‘best’ sleeping position, there are definitely adjustments we should make that can help reduce strain on the body.
So here are some tips on how to improve your posture while you’re asleep, so you can have a restful night’s sleep.
Sleeping Position: Stomach sleeper
Let’s face it, sleeping on your stomach is oh so comfortable… well at least for us stomach sleepers. But apparently, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position to sleep in.
Sleeping on your stomach doesn’t allow your spine to be in a neutral position when resting. It flattens the spine. Stomach sleepers also tend to sleep with their neck turned to one side which can also strain the neck.
The best adjustments that can be made for stomach sleepers is to place a pillow underneath the hips to reduce stress in the lower back. It’s also recommended that you don’t sleep on a pillow. This increases strain on the neck.
Sleeping Position: Back sleeper
Sleeping on your back is the least problematic of the sleep positions because the spine is straight and not bent or contorted in any position. However, this is still not a perfect position.
Sleeping on your back can place pressure on the lower back or the lumbar spine. A great way to relieve pressure is to place a pillow under the knees. This will stop the back from arching.
It should be noted that although this is the recommended sleep position, this is not the most optimal position for those who suffer from snoring or sleep apnoea.
Sleeping Position: Side sleeping
Sleeping on your side is the most common sleeping position. People are generally curled up in a foetal position with their shoulders slouched.
Sleeping on the side can aggravate a shoulder injury. You may also find you’re sleeping on your side, resting your head on your arm. The arm is supporting a lot of body weight in this sleep position which can lead to constricted shoulder and neck muscles.
Its important to try and sleep with a straight spine whilst sleeping in the side position, as a hunched back is poor posture. It is also recommended to place a pillow between the knees that are slightly bent. This will help keep the hips in alignment.
It is recommended to try and work towards changing your sleep position over time and become a back sleeper. This can be really tricky. Making these small adjustments when you sleep should help to alleviate any pain to wake up with and give you a better night’s sleep.
Let us know in the comments if you use any of these adjustments and whether they have worked for you.