Sleep Posture

There are so many bad ways to sleep that are bad for your back and neck. If you think about how long are you in a sleeping position, it is no wonder that people develop stiff backs or necks. Our bodies are often used to sleeping in certain positions and we feel uncomfortable when we sleep in a slightly different position. Remember that although we may prefer to sleep in our usual position, this does not mean it is a healthy posture, and in most cases, it means we are reinforcing a pattern of years of twisting and contorting our skeleton. 

So let us examine a healthy sleeping posture. You want to try to keep your spine and neck in alignment the whole time you are in bed. There are in other words two skeletally healthy sleeping postures. Your ability to achieve these is largely dependent on you adopting the correct body position, the performance and suitability of your mattress and the height and nature of the pillow(s) you are using.

On Your Back


On your back, with your neck in line with your spine, looking upwards. In other words you should be looking straight forwards. Do not use too thick a pillow so your neck is bent forwards. The pillow should be just the right height to allow your neck to be straight and in line with your spine. You can always raise the height of a pillow by putting a towel or folded vest or t-shirt inside the pillow case (on the underside) or buy a slightly thicker pillow. Some orthopaedic pillows will have a raised height around the neck to provide more support to the base of your neck. However, those pillows designed for sleeping on your side may not be suitable as the base is too thick/raised and they will exert too much pressure on your neck and may result in your neck being raised up and your head tilted back.

Do not turn your head to the left or right when you sleep on your back with your cheek and side of your face resting on the pillow behind your head. Whilst the neck joint is designed to move, the neck is not intended to rest or remain in the turned position for long periods of time, but seconds at a time. The more severe/pronounced the turn, the more pressure you put on your neck vertebrae. Some pillows have a natural hollow for the head and provide more lateral support, so the body does not have to try so hard to keep the head in the same position.

On Your Side


On your side, with your torso, shoulders and hips perpendicular (i.e. at 90 degrees) to the bed. The lower leg (in direct contact with the bed) should ideally be straight out and extended, with the upper leg bent with the knee out to the side, preferably supported on some pillows (if necessary, depending on your mattress), and with a high orthopaedic neck pillow under your head so your head isn't tilted to one shoulder or the other). The head should be facing forwards and be perpendicular to your shoulders, and not turned to one side (into the pillow or looking up at an angle at the ceiling). The pillow should support the neck (which is higher up than the side of your head), and should be the correct height. The upper thigh should ideally be parallel to the bed, as should the side of your face.

If your head is in not tilted to the left or right shoulder and you have the perfect height pillow, it is possible to tuck in your chin too much (in a similar way to looking down or tilting your head forwards when you are standing up). This again will prevent your neck being straight and in line with the spine and may result in neck ache long term. Try to have a positive posture and look straight away from your body. The more you dip your head and tuck in your chin, the more likely the rest of the back is to follow suit and curve also.

A variation of this posture is to have both legs semi-extended and together, with a cushion between your knees. If you don't have the cushion between your knees, after a few nights you may find that you develop pains on the contact areas on your knees. The above posture is preferred however. With the knees together posture, in order to provide enough balancing support, the tendency is to bend your knees more, which can result in bending the knees more in front of you, then curving the whole spine (in a slouching sofa style), which is clearly not good for your back. It may also end up in the fetus position, which is posturally and psychologically unhealthy!

Some of you may read the above and think, I'm not doing that, it's too regimental, and I want to do whatever I like in bed. You will probably find that it takes a few nights to get used to it, but once you are used to it, you will become aware of how the old posture was bad for you and how uncomfortable the old posture is. Good sleeping posture is noted as resulting in improved blood circulation, less tossing and turning, and deeper sleep, which will result in better health and greater daytime energy levels. Sleep is very important for the body's healing and recovery, and a good posture during sleep will help the body's organs and biochemistry work and function better. 
Tri-Core Pillows - Standard Size Models
Tri-Core Pillows - Standard Size Models

Our premier, fiber-filled support pillow filled to providea softer feel for those looking for for more gentle support

Tri-Core Pillow Gentle Support

I have used this pillow for over a year now and must say I have had a huge improvement in my neck and my shoulders and have very little if any pain at all.

Bed Prism Spectacles
Bed Prism Spectacles

Enjoy Reading in Bed or Watching TV While Reclining -- Read a book without eye fatigue or physical strain or watch TV in horizontal comfort. Precisely aligned glass prisms show half a page of an average hard-cover book.

Bed Prism Spectacles

These prism glasses are perfect in bed for watching TV or reading without any neck strain whatsoever (because the neck is on the same flat plane as the body).

Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow
Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow

You spend approximately 1/3 of your life sleeping. Are you getting the most out of your sleep? Use the #1 NECK PILLOW. The Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow can help restore the normal neck C- curve, help you improve your posture, and relieve back and neck pain.

Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow

After using this pillow the very first night, I woke up with no pain.