Most people know that good posture is important when we are standing, sitting or performing activities throughout the day, but having good posture while asleep can help to prevent or reduce chronic back pain.
It is best to try to sleep in a position that maintains the natural curve of your back where your ears, shoulders and hips are in alignment. Here are some tricks for every type of sleeper:
Back – While on your back, tuck a pillow under your knees or place a lumbar roll or a small, rolled towel under your lower back.
Side – If you sleep on your side, sleep with your knees slightly bent. Try not to pull your knees all the way up to your chest (fetal position). Placing a pillow between your knees will help you maintain spine alignment.
Stomach – If you sleep on your stomach, place a small pillow under the stomach/pelvis area to help keep the spine in better alignment. You may also find that sleeping on your stomach with a pillow under your head puts too much strain on your back; therefore, you may want to sleep without a pillow.
A firm mattress and box spring set that does not sag provides the best support for your back. If you are used to sleeping on a soft mattress, it may be too difficult to get used to a new firm mattress. So before you spend the money on a new set, try placing a piece of ply board under your soft mattress to make it firmer. This is an inexpensive way to see if a firm mattress will work for you.
When turning in bed, do not bend or twist at the waist but move your entire body as one segment (logroll). Tighten your stomach muscles and bend your knees toward your chest when you roll.
To stand up from a lying position, log roll onto your side, draw both knees up and swing your legs on the side of the bed. Sit up by pushing yourself up with your hands. To prevent injury, avoid bending forward at your waist. All of these suggestions should help decrease back pain and help you get a better night’s sleep. If you have questions about the proper mattress or sleeping position, a physical therapist can help.
Eileen is the CEO of Pillow Solve Inc. in Montreal, QC. She always knew she had to come up with a solution for her sore knees and painful back. Having always slept on her side, Eileen tried a big pillow between her knees, but it made it hard to turn over at night, often waking her up. She then tried a small pillow but lost it during the night when she moved. Then, Eileen started working on designing a pillow that was comfortable and stayed in place all night long. After 2 years of development, Eileen created Sleepy Kneez®, the knee pillow that is both comfortable and stays firmly between your knees all night. She is passionate about posture, especially posture at night as this can greatly affect how you feel during the day!