When people think of poor posture, they often visualise someone who sits with a hunched back or walks around with their shoulders rolled forward. What people don’t often think of is how your sleeping position can impact your posture, spinal health and general wellbeing.
As a human, you will spend nearly a third of your life sleeping so the position you sleep in can have a significant impact on your spinal health. Adjusting your sleeping position and improving your sleep posture may help reduce pain and discomfort by limiting the stress placed on your back, neck and shoulders.
By improving your sleep posture, you may wake up feeling more rested and help you maintain good posture practices once you are awake.
Below are some tips on how to improve your posture while you sleep.
When it comes to improving your sleep position, you are going to need the right pillows and plenty of them.
Your head pillow should support the natural curve of your neck, be comfortable and help keep your neck in a straight line with your spine. It is important to avoid pillows that force the head to either extend higher or sink lower than the rest of your spine.
It is also important to replace pillows that have any lumps, bumps or dents.
Additional pillows can be placed underneath your knees, underneath each arm and on each side of your torso to help keep your spine, neck, shoulders and head aligned.
Health professionals such as chiropractors, physiotherapists, osteopaths and remedial massage therapists may be able to provide additional information on how to improve your sleep posture and address your musculoskeletal concerns.
Like with pillows, if your mattress has more lumps and bumps than foam and springs, it probably needs replacing.
Generally, you should replace your mattress every eight years. According to The Sleep Health Foundation, a comfortable mattress and quality pillows are also essential for improving sleep quality.
If you have ever woken up in the morning and felt as though you stepped into the ring with a professional boxer while you slept, there is a chance you need to adjust your sleep position.
If your spine is not in the correct alignment while you sleep, you may be placing pressure and tension on your spine, neck, shoulders, hips and even your jaw.
Regardless of your sleeping position, it is important to keep your ears, shoulders and hips aligned to maintain a good sleep posture.
Below are some tips on how to align your body correctly to maintain a good sleep posture:
Use A Pillow When Sleeping On Your Side
Sleeping on your side is often considered the best sleep position. It is recommended to sleep with a firm pillow in between your knees and draw your knees in slightly towards your chest. This may help keep your spine in the proper position and prevent your upper leg from pressing into the mattress or pulling your spine out of alignment.
To maintain a good posture, you should avoid using too many pillows or a pillow that causes you to lift your head up. When sleeping on your back, your pillow should keep the neck aligned with the chest and lower back.
It is also recommended to place a pillow underneath your knees to take the stress off the lower back.
It is not recommended to sleep on your stomach. Along with potentially causing wrinkles, sleeping on your stomach forces you to externally rotate your head to one side. This may place unnecessary strain on your muscles, joints and spine resulting in pain and discomfort when you wake up.
Importance Of Good Sleeping Posture
Getting the recommended amount of sleep and maintaining good sleep posture is vital to daily health and wellbeing.
Poor sleep posture has the potential to cause back and neck pain, poor sleep quality, muscle cramping and other health issues. These tips and consulting with a health practitioner may help you improve your sleep posture, quality of sleep and overall health.