Do you find that you’re waking up with aches and pains in new and undiscovered places, even after a full night of sleep? This is a telltale sign that you don’t have proper sleeping posture.
We all know sleep is essential — clocking eight hours each night delivers a heap of health and lifestyle benefits. But even if you’re sleeping eight hours, if you don’t have a proper sleeping posture, you may be doing your body more harm than good.
Sleeping posture is how you position your body on your mattress and pillow as you rest each night. People who have injuries, sleep apnea, or recurring back and body pain can usually find a proper sleeping position that supports their body's natural movement in the right way.
Once you figure out the proper sleeping posture for your body — there’s still a little work to do. How’s your mattress and pillow situation? The type of mattress and pillow you lay on is the next piece of the puzzle when you're on a path towards perfect posture.
We cover the best mattress for your sleep position, how to maintain proper sleeping posture, and why it’s all so important below.
Over 65 million Americans see their doc about back pain each year. Strenuous work, hours of sitting at desks, stress, exercise, and genetics can all play a role in how good or bad your back feels. Correcting posture is one of the easiest ways to protect your back and spine.
Proper sleeping posture and sitting posture enables better blood flow, aligns the spine, and helps keep nerves and muscles healthy. By making a habit of using correct posture, you will likely have less back and neck pain.
Before we dive into the best postures for sleep, let’s talk about your mattress. You spend one-third of your life in bed, so you need to be confident that your bed is working for you, not against you.
Two of the best mattress options you have for optimal spinal support are memory foam mattresses or hybrid mattresses. Memory foam is a viscoelastic material that conforms to the body. It has a plush feel and body-adaptive properties that support the spine even as you move. A hybrid mattress combines the standout features of memory foam with a base layer of coils for extra stability and a soft bounce, which some sleepers prefer.
If you’re thinking of an upgrade, and a little nervous about which mattress to go for — don’t be. It’s super easy to find the perfect mattress when you can try it at home. We’ve got a 101-night sleep trial that guarantees your money back if you don’t get better sleep.
Once your mattress is sorted, indulge in some pillow talk. The wrong pillow can put a considerable amount of strain on the neck and shoulders. A memory foam pillow or bamboo pillow is the best pillow for sleeping in variations positions because it cradles the neck and can be adjusted to varying heights.
Sleeping sounds simple enough. You lay there, and the magical ways of the circadian rhythm take over. Not quite. There’s a little more to catching quality Zzz’s — and if you suffer from aches and pains, you’ll know that getting to sleep and staying asleep can be frustrating.
Even if you wake up at wild hours or struggle to stay consistent with a sleep routine, chances are you always sleep in the same position. Transitioning to a new sleeping position to adopt proper sleeping posture habits is a gradual process.
So take your time and allow your body to adjust. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling better than ever when you wake up each morning.
Here’s a breakdown of how to sleep with good posture and who it’s good for:
Sleeping on your back
Love sleeping like a log? The good news is that sleeping flat on your back uses gravity to relax muscles and joints naturally.
It’s a great sleeping position for active people who don’t have acute pain in the back. Sleeping flat helps circulate blood and take the strain away from the knees. Back sleepers who want to improve posture can benefit from placing a pillow beneath the knee to support the spine's natural curve.
However, sleepers who snore should steer clear from laying flat on their back. Sleeping flat can block airways and make it hard to breathe.
Sleeping on your side
Sleepers who prefer the extra bolster of their shoulder are in good company: according to WebMD, 63% of sleepers prefer the side sleeping position.
The side sleeping posture comes in various shapes and forms. There’s the left side and right side and the fetal positions where the legs curl up.
Side sleeping is beneficial in several ways. It’s recommended for good digestion, reducing snoring, and alleviating back pain. Keeping the head neutral is essential as it helps maintain posture while side sleeping.
The best sleeping posture for back pain is sleeping on the side with a pillow between the knees. It’s a great way to reduce lower back pain and maintain a side position throughout the night.
Resting on the side isn’t so good for sleepers who have shoulder pain. If this is you, switch to the other side or lay flat on your back.
Sleeping on your stomach
Stomach sleeping is the least common sleep posture. Stomach sleeping presents a range of difficulties, such as straining the neck and arms and compressing the spine. Most stomach sleepers like the caressing feeling of having the mattress press against the abdomen. Despite this, it’s not a proper sleeping posture to reduce muscle and joint pain.
Habitual stomach sleepers find it hard to make the switch. The best way to transition to proper sleeping posture is to shift to one side and place a pillow between the knees. This way, the abdomen can still feel caressed without unnecessary strain on the back.
Before you sleep tonight, pay attention to how your body instinctively relaxes on the bed. Shift around a little bit and find new ways to align your body with proper sleeping posture. Once you find the perfect way to rest your body, you will wake up more energized than ever!