Sleep is the one time your body has during the day to repair and maintain its cells and systems. It’s also essential for flushing out toxins and clearing away dead cells. Experts recommend between 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Because sleep is so important, if there’s something that’s keeping you from getting comfortable and sleeping through the night, it helps to know what adjustments you can make to get the rest you need. Following are some recommendations to help you find the best sleeping position to deal with your common aches and pains.
Finding Your Best Sleeping Position
These sleeping positions will make you feel like a brand new person every morning!
1. Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain
Many people suffer from back pain. It’s often difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position when your back hurts. What you may need is a little support. The best sleeping position for back pain is lying on your back. Place a pillow under your knees and a rolled-up towel at the base of your back where it curves. This will relieve pressure on your lower back while adding support (1).
For those with back pain, alignment of the ear, shoulder, and hip is the most important part of sleep posture, so make sure to keep your spine aligned.
The University of Rochester Medical Center offers the following suggestions for a solid sleep without back pain, whatever the position (2):
- Sleeping on your stomach can create stress on the back because the spine can be put out of position. Placing a flat pillow under the stomach and pelvis area can help to keep the spine in better alignment. If you sleep on your stomach, a pillow for your head should be flat, or sleep without a pillow.
- If you sleep on your side, a firm pillow between your knees will prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment and reduce stress on your hips and lower back. Pull your knees up slightly toward your chest. The pillow for your head should keep your spine straight. A rolled towel or small pillow under your waist may also help support your spine.
- Insert pillows into gaps between your body and the mattress.
- When turning in bed, remember not to twist or bend at the waist but to move your entire body as one unit. Keep your belly pulled in and tightened, and bend your knees toward the chest when you roll.
2. For Shoulder Pain
It may seem obvious but if one of your shoulders hurt, don’t add pressure by lying on it. Lie on your other side with your knees and arms bent. Place one pillow between your knees and another between your elbows so it touches your chest.
If both shoulders hurt, lie on your back with your arms by your sides.