Sleep is incredibly important for your mental and physical health. The position you sleep in can help your sleep quality if you choose a position that supports your spine well. Healthy sleeping positions will contribute to better rest and quality of sleep, especially healthier joints and muscles.
Different conditions and postures benefit from different sleeping positions. Generally, side or back sleeping are considered the most beneficial. However, if sleeping on your front is the most comfortable option, there are ways to support that with the right mattress and pillows.
Sleeping on Your Side
On your side is the most common position to sleep in. It provides healthy spinal alignment and will help reduce back pain from front sleeping positions. When side-lying make sure to use a large enough pillow to support your head and neck, as well as placing a pillow between your thighs to keep your pelvis level.
Tips for Side-Lying Sleep Positions:
Can cause shoulder/hip pain. Softer mattresses will help alleviate this, as will shifting positions while you sleep.
Sleeping on your right side can intensify symptoms of acid reflux. Try sleeping on your left side to decrease pressure on internal organs.
Beneficial for: pregnant women, older adults, acid reflux, back pain, snoring, sleep apnea, digestive issues, and more.
Sleeping on Your Back
On your back is a popular position to sleep in for snorers. This position will evenly distribute the weight on your spine and help alleviate neck and back tension. If you prop yourself upright slightly, sleeping on your back can relieve congestion from allergies and colds.
Tips for Back Sleeping Positions:
Prevents misalignment of the neck and shoulders. Memory foam pillows, pillows with a divot for the head, or a rolled towel under the neck are the best options in this position.
Propping your torso upright slightly will help avoid nasal congestion that leads to snoring.
A pillow underneath your knees will help support this joint and eliminate extra tension in your lower back and hips.
NOT recommended for: pregnant women, sleep apnea, acid reflux, older adults, heavier adults.
Beneficial for: neck and shoulder issues, allergies, congestion, back pain.
Sleeping on Your Front
On your front is the least restful position to sleep in. It provides the least amount of support for your spine; primarily because it requires twisting your neck and head out of alignment with your spine.
Tips for Front Sleeping Positions:
Use a firm mattress to avoid your spine sinking out of alignment and into your mattress. A thin pillow, or no pillow at all, will reduce adding an excessive extension to your cervical spine.
Try adding a small pillow underneath your hips/low abdomen to help with low back pain.
Try to keep both legs in an equal position to avoid misaligning your pelvis.
Choose a sleeping position that makes you feel most comfortable; one which gives you the feeling of being rested, refreshed, and free of aches and pains. You don’t have to change to a new sleeping position to get a better night’s sleep. Find your favourite position and try these tips to improve the quality of your sleep.