Do you ever wake up feeling sorer than if you had done a workout? If might be time to change your sleeping position! There are a variety of comfortable sleeping positions, but some may not be suitable for you!
Here are three different types of pain that may be caused by your sleeping position:
For back pain
Lying on your side is recommended if you have lower back pain. To make this position even more comfortable, bend your knees and add a pillow between them. This will allow optimal alignment of the lumbar spine to promote relaxation.
Image: Proper sleep posture on your side with a pillow to support your knees and your arms closer to your body
For those who cannot tolerate lying on your side, the other option is to lie on your back. However, leaving your legs stretched out can cause lower back pain as the spinal curvature becomes more pronounced. To correct the exaggerated curvature, a pillow can be placed under the knees which will put the back in a more relaxed position.
Image: Proper sleep posture on your back with a pillow under your knees
For Neck Pain
If you suffer from neck pain when you wake up, the best sleep positions are on your back and on your side. These positions allow the cervical spine to be properly positioned if the pillow is the proper size. If you sleep on your back, the pillow should be less bulky. If you sleep on your side, the pillow should be bulky enough to fill the space between the head and the shoulder.
Image: Poor sleep posture on the side and neck is not aligned because pillow is too big.
Image: Poor sleep posture on the side and neck is not aligned because pillow is too small.
Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended since the neck is in torsion for an extended period of time. However, if this is the only position you find comfortable for falling asleep, you can try the ¾ position.
Image: Proper sleep posture in a ¾ with a pillow to support the arm and knees
For Shoulder Pain
The best sleeping position for shoulder pain is to have your arm close to your body. The higher it is, the more the structures of the shoulder are compressed, causing shoulder pain or numbness than can extend to the fingers after a few hours of sleep.
Image: Poor sleep posture with arms improperly aligned (in elevation)
Despite the tips, I still have back, neck and shoulder pain. What should I do?
These tips are specific to people who experience pain in the morning as a result of their sleeping position. If your pain starts at another time of the day or your sleep position does not seem to be the cause, you may need more personalized advice and exercises or an assessment of your musculoskeletal condition.
Book an appointment at our clinic with a physiotherapist. It would be our pleasure to help ease your back pain during sleep.