Healthy Sleeping Position: How to Wake Up Feeling Refreshed
Sleep complaints are present in 67-88% of chronic pain disorders. At least 50% of individuals with insomnia—the most commonly diagnosed disorder of sleep impairment—suffer from chronic pain. And this leaves people wondering what is the healthy sleeping position in order to avoid pain?
The correlation between sleep and pain is very strong. Pain can result from a poor sleeping position while inadequate sleep can result in higher sensitivities to pain, compounding the issue.
If you are waking up stiff and sore every morning then you are most likely succumbing to a poor sleeping posture. This can result from the position you fall asleep in, or one you naturally fall into throughout the night. By optimizing your sleeping position you can effectively combat both of these problems.
This post will show you how to achieve your healthy sleeping position, and how to optimize your preferred sleeping posture so that you can begin achieving great sleep!
Wake up feeling refreshed not beat up!
Healthy Sleeping Positions
There's no ‘bad sleeping’ posture, necessarily. Whether you're a back sleeper, side sleeper, or stomach sleeper, they can all be considered “healthy sleeping positions” if you're optimizing your sleep!
Sleeping on your stomach may work great for some people, while it may cause other people pain. Identifying which is best for you is the goal! Side Sleeping is the most common sleeping position. Back and Stomach brings up the rear with about 10% of people sleeping on their backs while only 2% stomach sleep. However, the best sleeping position for lower back pain tends to be on your back with a pillow under your knees.
How to get Optimal Sleep
New science suggests your sleep regimen is as important as the number of hours you get. For instance; someone who spends 8 hours in bed but falls asleep with the tv on; is going to get far less quality sleep. A person who is in bed for 7 hours but discarded the electronics will achieve a much deeper, more restorative level of sleep.
The type of mattress you need, again, fully depends on the type of sleeper you are. Back sleepers need a firm mattress to avoid the hips slumping and the back rounding. But side sleepers need a softer to medium mattress or firm mattress with a memory foam topper to allow for a comfortable shoulder position. Stomach sleepers will usually opt for softer mattresses.
The kinds of pillows you use and how many you use will depend on your sleeping position. And if you’re a roller in the night, setting yourself up with the right pillow structure can help you avoid rolling into a bad sleeping position in your sleep.
Use 2 pillows. One pillow under your knees to help support your back, along with a thin pillow or even no pillow for the head and neck. We love the Spry pillow for back sleepers, and you can get one for yourself by clicking here.
Use 3-4 pillows. Place one between your knees, another longer pillow behind you to lean back into, and a thicker pillow under the head to allow for a neutral spine. Additionally, a pillow can be placed under the elbow of the side you're sleeping on to maintain a healthy shoulder position.
Use 1 pillow. Place a large firm pillow under your upper body, supporting your chest, neck, and head. You can place your arms underneath the pillow like how you would sleep on a desk or table.
Typically, it’s suggested that the temperature in the bedroom for adults should be between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal sleep. Your body temperature decreases as part of the sleep initiation process, and this range of temperature is thought to actually help facilitate this decrease.
Try to cut-off eating 2 hours before falling asleep, especially carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise insulin higher than fats, protein or fiber. In the presence of insulin, our bodies will not produce optimal growth hormone. Additionally, watch out for foods that contain caffeine like green apples and dark chocolate. Unfortunately, alcohol will drastically impact the quality of sleep you achieve as well. So even though it helps relax you and you may feel well rested, alcohol will impact REM sleep negatively.
Healthy Sleeping Position by Aligning Your Body
A healthy sleeping position starts with making sure you've optimized your pillow placement as best as you can. Whichever position you sleep in, use the above pillow recommendations to get yourself into a good position before falling asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night be sure to reset the pillows if need be, switch sides if side sleeping and turn your head if stomach sleeping. If you continue to have lower back pain in the morning, then maybe try to switch up your sleeping positions.
Sometimes, these recommendations are not enough, especially if you're already living in pain. To further optimize your sleep position, try some of the tips below depending on the pain you're experiencing.
How to sleep when you have back pain
Double up the pillows under the knees for acute back pain. Keep your legs straight with no support places unnecessary stress on the lower back. Propping up the knees on a pillow will help maintain the curves of your spine and will take off some of the pressure, as well as aiding in circulation.
Place a pillow between the thigh, knee, and lower leg. This will take pressure off the hips and back while preventing the knees from pressing into one another.
Lie on a firm pillow with your chest, belly, and pelvis on the pillow. Lying with your face straight into the mattress doesn’t work because you can’t breathe and your neck bends backward, so you need your head turned slightly.
To help with this, place another pillow off to the side of where your face would be. Allowing you to rotate and lean your head into the pillow. You will be able to breathe in this position while your head is supported.
Finding your healthy sleeping position and then optimizing with the right products and environment will ensure you wake up feeling refreshed!
Has your pain or discomfort taken over your life? Are you trying to find a way to get back to normal? These recommendations are the perfect place to start. But, they may only temporarily relieve your pain. If you are only treating the symptoms and not learning how to control your position, these symptoms will constantly reoccur.
That’s why we created the MoveU Forever Fix Program. Read more about the program here, and why it’ll do more than relieve your pain for now, but help you on the way to a more pain-free life.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or email us at [email protected].
Written by David Schroer