The cumulative effect from time spent in certain positions while sleeping can be devastating from a musculoskeletal and myofascial perspective, and therefore, must be addressed in conjunction with a corrective exercise program to ensure you remain pain free and fully functional.
Here are some simple strategies you can use to help position yourself into a better posture when sleeping to ensure you wake up with less aches and pains.
- Sleep on your back on a bed that is firm enough so that neither your lower back or upper back (and shoulders) sinks into the mattress. If you feel uncomfortable in this position, place a wedge or pillow(s) under your knees to help decrease the arch in your lower back. Start off in this position for just a few minutes each night and gradually increase the amount of time you spend in this new position. As you adjust and become more comfortable sleeping on your back try and stay in that position longer and eventually reduce the height of the pillow(s) under your knees.
- Choose a pillow thickness for your head that puts your eyes in a position that is perpendicular to the ceiling. This will support the back of your neck and head, without pushing your head (and neck) too far forward.
- If you find it too uncomfortable to sleep on your back (and must sleep on your side) then place a pillow between your knees to help keep your legs in line with your hips and pelvis. The pillow you use for your head when sleeping on your side should be thick enough to keep your head in line with your spine.
While making changes to your sleeping position can be difficult at first, your persistence and hard work in adapting to these new positions will help keep you feeling great for many years to come.