On one level, everyone knows that good posture is important: there’s no need to slouch in your chair. But good posture is also important while you sleep.
The muscles and ligaments of your back relax and heal themselves when you are asleep, so protecting your back is, of course, a priority. As you sleep, the way you lie down is just as important as the way you sit and stand.
Here are some tips to help you improve your sleeping posture.
1) Choose the Right Mattress
Your mattress is part of your sleep environment. Like your pillow, your mattress should depend on your sleeping posture. If you sleep on your side, you want a slightly softer mattress, which will cushion your hips and shoulders while still supporting your torso.
If you sleep on your back or stomach, you want a mattress that is a little firmer. If you sleep on your stomach, you need a mattress that is firm. You don’t want your hips to sink too far into the mattress when you are in these positions as it will misalign your spine. For the vast majority of people, a true soft mattress is not good for them.
2) Find the Right Pillow
Pillows are also an important part of your sleep environment. You’ll find that your pillow must be able to support your neck in a way that aligns with your spine’s natural curvature. There are a lot of fancy pillows out there, but the main thing to focus on with your sleeping position is the thickness of the pillow.
Side sleepers require the thickest pillows to fill the gap between your shoulder and neck, back sleepers need a medium thickness pillow, and stomach sleepers need a thin pillow. Sleeping on your stomach puts the most strain on your neck so a thin pillow keeps your head from being tipped back is important.
3) Keep Your Hips, Shoulders and Ears Aligned
Experts generally agree that the best position is to sleep on your side, with your arms folded in front of you. This reduces the risk of sleep apnea, and can keep the spine well aligned. Back sleeping can also be done well, but many people have the problem of sleeping on their backs, with their heads and neck twisted or extended.
By keeping your hips, shoulders and ears aligned, you’ll be able to maintain proper alignment of your spine. Focus on this in every position.
4) Try Not to Sleep on Your Stomach
As mentioned before, stomach sleeping is the one position that puts us most out of alignment. Try to use body pillows to support your stomach so that you are at more of an angle that just sleeping on your stomach. You can even try to train yourself to sleep on your side or back. At the very least, focus on a firm bed with a thin pillow to keep the least amount of strain on your neck.
5) Use Your Pillow to Help with Your Sleeping Position
Body pillows and positional pillows can be used to help you stay on your side or help make an unideal sleeping position better. Using a pillow in between your knees if you are a side sleeper can help with hip and lower back pain. Using a body pillow to turn your stomach sleeping into more of side sleeping position can be helpful. There are also pillows you can wear on your back to help keep you on your side, especially for those that experience sleep apnea if they sleep on their back.
As you can see, sleeping posture is very important. You need to experiment with different sleeping positions to discover which one is the best for you. Most importantly, your mattress and pillow must work together to help you eliminate back pain and tension.
If you want to learn more about your sleeping habits and how to sleep more efficiently, Sleep Better Live Better can help you out. We are a sleep clinic in Surrey that will help you get to the bottom of your sleep problems. Get in touch with us today to learn more.