We all know that bad postures held for too long can lead to stiffness. One thinks, among other things, of tension in the neck and upper back when you spend too much time on your cell phone or computer. However, there is an activity that we often underestimate; sleep! We spend an average of 6 to 9 hours a day sleeping and if we live 80 years, it’s equivalent to sleeping for 20 to 30 years without stopping. It is a long time! Especially if our posture is not ideal. But what is the best sleeping position?
The ideal sleep position may vary a little from one person to the next. One thing is certain, lying on the stomach is not recommended. The reason is very simple. Unless you are able to breathe through your pillow, you normally turn your head to breathe and in addition you have your head tilted backwards because of the pillow. There is also the matter of the legs not being straight, usually one leg is up to the side, creating a twist in the pelvis and hyperextension in the lower back. If you try to hold this position for a while, you will find it really uncomfortable. Therefore, maintaining it all night… not a good idea!
As for sleeping on your back and on your side, it’s not as clear. Indeed, it depends on your physiology (the way your body is made) and also on your health condition. These two positions have advantages and disadvantages. It remains to be seen which one is comfortable for you and if there is one that would contribute to an increasingly painful problem you may have.
Now that you are a little more aware of the proper sleep posture, what about the best pillow? Whether it is in feather or wadding, buckwheat or memory foam, there are certain aspects to take into account depending on your sleep position.
- If you sleep on your back: the pillow should not be too thick so as not to bend the neck too far forward, but it must be able to support the normal curve of it.
- If you sleep on your side: the pillow should be thick enough to fill the space between the shoulder and the crook of the neck. This will prevent the head from falling too much or being too high. Try to keep the spine aligned as much as possible.
- If you are constantly spinning: there are no quick fixes, but there are certain types of pillows that allow you to sleep on your back and on your side as well. (We have some at the clinic that you can try!)
Obviously, changing a sleeping position can take a long time. Do not let yourself be discouraged and make a small change every time you can. If you want advice or if you have pain or tension caused by your sleeping position (usually worst within 1-2 hours of waking up), do not hesitate to come and see us at the clinic.
Do not forget that each condition is unique! Do not hesitate to contact us for any questions!
We look forward to helping you!