Ever wake up in the morning with a stiff neck or tight back muscles? You might be sleeping incorrectly. Sleeping postures are a lot more important than one might think because it involves staying in one position for multiple hours without any conscious control.
Here are some tips on sleeping more comfortably no matter what position you are naturally in:
Sleeping on Back
Sleeping on the back is usually the best for the alignment of the spine, as it evenly distributes the weight throughout the whole body. However, it is also the position that is most prone to low back pain, as the muscles remain arched for an extended period of time. In addition, sleeping on the back is unsuitable for those with sleep apnea or in late pregnancy.
To improve sleeping on the back, it is recommended that you place a small pillow underneath the knees to promote a more natural curve to the spine and lower the risk of low back pain. In addition, when choosing a pillow, make sure your ears are aligned with your shoulder to protect the neck from being too flexed or extended.
Sleeping on Side
Sleeping on the side is better for those with snoring issues and sleep apnea as it opens up the airways. However, sleeping on the side also may cause stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and also cause low back pain as the spine is out of alignment due to gravity.
To improve sleeping on the side, it is recommended to find a pillow that is just the right size for your neck to keep the spine neutral and the shoulders relaxed. Also, you may put a pillow in between the knees to improve neutral spine alignment in the hip and prevent low back pain.
Sleeping on Belly
Sleeping on the belly is least recommended by experts as it is most prone to neck and back pain, with the neck rotated to one side and the shoulders pulled forward due to gravity.
For those who sleep on their stomachs and cannot change to other positions, it is recommended that you find a slimmer pillow to rest on to not overextend the neck, as well as place a small pillow underneath the pelvis to improve neutrality of the spine.