14th July 2021
It's often said that a good laugh and a long sleep is the dream team when it comes to maintaining good health. But recently, the question has been less about how long you're sleeping, and more about how you sleep.
The first point that everyone agrees on, from doctors to scientists, to those of us that love a good snooze - is that your sleeping posture is important and directly affects things like your circulation, skin, back & neck pain, and can relate to sleep apnea.
Here are some of our tips & tricks to getting the most out of your sleeping position.
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Sleeping on your stomach always ranks third - and for good reason. With or without a pillow, there is no natural way for your head to be placed in this position, that doesn't negatively affect your neck & shoulders.
Although it is recommended to try and adjust your sleeping position to something better, some people are unable to fall asleep without sleeping this way! If you fall into this category we recommend the following:
- Use a very low or soft pillow under your head or no pillow at all.
- If you use a head pillow, be sure to use a bamboo/cotton or satin pillowcase to prevent your skin from drying up or bacteria growing too rapidly on the pillow.
- Place a pillow under your pelvis to put your spine into a more neutral position & alleviate pressure on your lower back.
- Stretch in the morning - to gently release your neck from any position it has been held in.
Second best falls to the side sleeping position. This is considered better than the stomach position as you can maintain a straighter posture, as well as making it easier to breathe without your face pressed into a pillow.
However, whilst it's not the most optimal position, there are methods you can take to make this position ultra-comfortable and safe for your back, neck & shoulders. If you fall into this category we recommend the following:
- Using a high or contoured pillow under your head, ensuring that you arrange it to make sure your neck is well-supported, and your head is perfectly horizontal, not tilted up or down.
- Again we recommend a skin-sensitive pillowcase. Bamboo cotton has natural anti-bacterial properties helping to ensure your pillow stays clean longer.
- Use a body pillow to hug, putting one end between your knees to keep your hips square and lean forward onto it so you aren't using muscles to keep your body upright all night.
- Alternatively, place 1 extra pillow against your back to lean on if you'd prefer not to lean forward, & replace the body pillow with 1 standard pillow to place between your knees.
This leaves us with the optimal sleeping position - the back! The reason the back is considered the best is because it provides no obstruction to your nose & face for breathing, and aligns your hips, spine shoulders & neck nicely.
That being said, there are some small adjustments you can make to get maximum comfort out of this position. If you're a natural back sleeper or are interested in trying to adapt to this position, we recommend the following:
- Use a mid-height or low pillow that is either: soft & easy to arrange, or firmer and holds shape. You'll want a pillow that touches the back of your neck, supporting the natural curve towards the top of your spine, but isn't too high that it pushes your head up and points your chin down. Your pillow should also be able to plush up on each side of your head, preventing it from rolling to either side and ensuring you can relax the muscles holding it upright.
- Place a high and firm pillow underneath your knees OR a low and soft pillow underneath the curve of your spine. Either of these options will help take pressure off your lower back.
- If you already use these options and find you have sore shoulders when waking up, trying adding in 2x extra pillows - 1x under each arm, to help lift your elbows & shoulders and alleviate any strain.