Sleep position and quality zzz's aren't typically on the minds of people when their head hits the pillow at night. However, the way we sleep can have an incredible impact on back, leg, joint and chronic pain. A good night’s sleep allows your body to repair and rejuvenate as it prepares for another day. If you are waking up tired or with aches and pain, consider your sleep position and talking with a MAPS specialist to learn how to alter your sleep position effectively to get the most out of your night's rest.
The MAPS physical therapy department offers their expertise on sleep positioning with simple tips below.
What should I consider if I sleep on my back?
If you choose to sleep on your back, your lower back can arch too much and increase pressure on your spine. To combat this, be sure that your knees are bent upwards slightly. Try using a few pillows underneath your knees to help maintain this position throughout the night.
What are your thoughts on sleeping on your side?
This is usually the most desired sleeping position because it keeps the spine in the best alignment. You want to make sure not to curl yourself up too much; the spine should stay in a neutral spine alignment from the neck all the way down.
Why is it important to have a pillow between your knees?
The pillow between the knees in a side-sleeping position helps keep the spine and pelvis in the best alignment and can also be more comfortable for the knees.
Which sleep position is best for shoulder pain?
If it is difficult for someone to lie directly on their shoulder they can try rotating their shoulder slightly forward or backward. I would also suggest using extra pillows for support to help maintain a comfortable position throughout the night.
Which sleep position is best for neck pain?
For neck pain, it is helpful to use a small rolled up hand towel right under the neck for added support. The towel can be placed inside the pillowcase to help it stay in place.