Best Sleeping Position
Best Sleeping Position?
Since you spend 1/3 of your life in bed, your sleeping posture is important to get a restful night’s sleep and minimize mechanical stress on the neck and spine. What’s the best sleep position and best pillow for you?
People sleep in 1 of 3 basic ways:
- On their side
- On their back
- On their stomach
Mechanical stress, in the form of poorly controlled motion and improper sleep posture, can permanently damage muscles and ligaments because of plastic deformation. Plastic deformation is a result of constant stretching of the muscles, ligaments and other soft tissues of the neck. This can lead to pain and permanent joint damage (arthritis/DJD). For good health, mechanical stress on the neck and spine should be minimized.
Sleeping on your stomach is very bad for the neck. If you sleep on your stomach you must keep your head turned to one side to breathe. The body works like a chain – a kinetic chain. Everything must work together. Spending a quarter to a third of your life with your neck and spine in a stressed position causes the body to adapt to that position. Over time, the neck and the supporting soft tissues will cause misalignment all the way down the spine, creating unbalanced motion and posture.
Sleeping on your back is good for people with military posture and some other body types. To reduce spinal stress, try putting a pillow under the knees. Also, a thin cervical support pillow will reduce neck and spine stress by supporting the neck and cradling the head while sleeping.
Sleeping on your side is the best sleeping position for most of us. To reduce spinal stress, try putting a knee support pillow between the knees. This will stop the top leg from falling in front of the body and twisting the pelvis. A thick (but not too thick) foam cervical pillow will help to keep the head level with the center of the shoulders. If you are not sure if your head is drooping down, ask a friend to look at you from behind when you are lying on your side. If your head is bent up or down, you are stressing the neck.
If back, hip or leg pain is an issue, use a foam wedge or knee pillow between your knees to provide additional support.
Best Mattress for Back Pain
Joint pain after sleeping is a common problem for people who have not replaced their mattress for years. Keep in mind that mattresses do not last forever. If you often wake up feeling stiff, with pain in your joints, or have back pain after sleeping your mattress probably does not give you adequate support.
Another common mattress problem is it’s too stiff or firm. Especially for side and stomach sleepers, your mattress may be the reason for sharp or achy joint pain or back pain in the morning.
There are now many mattresses available that will support you properly, keep you cool and provide a comfortable and restorative nights sleep.
Investing in a good mattress is essential -remember you spend 1/3 of your life on it. Waking up with pain is not normal. If you think it’s your mattress get a new one delivered this week.
Best Pillow for Neck Pain
The best pillow for neck pain is a cervical support pillow of a non-rebounding material (we prefer the Royal Rest Memory). These are considered to be the most comfortable by people who have tried different types of pillows.
This is also the best pillow for back sleepers. There are many types on the market, be sure you have one with two lobes as in pillows one-size doesn’t work for everyone. Dual lobes let you choose the lobe size best for you. You must keep your head aligned without jutting the head forward or tilting it back.
The best pillow for sleeping on your side will provide ample support keeping the spine aligned. The best pillow for side sleepers has a dual lobe to give height options are are a rebounding foam material (we like the Regular Royal Rest Pillow for Side Sleepers).
The best pillow for stomach sleepers? There’s not, most stomach sleepers should try methods to retrain their sleeping posture. Get a pillow for side sleepers and knee support as described earlier and begin retraining your body to find restful comfort on your side.
Posture isn’t just about standing up straight, whether you’re sleeping or standing – posture matters.