The Proper Way To Sleep: Your Guide To Sleeping Positions

A good night’s rest should leave you feeling energized and refreshed! But if you are like the majority of us, restlessness and post-sleep aches happen all too often and can really impact your everyday life. The good news is that finding the correct sleeping position and putting into place a few simple changes to your routine can make a positive impact on how well you sleep at  night.

When you get enough sleep, it gives the body an opportunity to heal itself from a hard day’s work, leaving you feeling physically energized and mentally sharp. We recommend reviewing and trying these tips into your regular sleep routine:

  • Use pillows to support your frame
  • Sleep on your back
  • Aim for alignment of your spine

Some typical sleep routines will suggest sleep-inducing tactics such as setting a regular bedtime, using darkening shades, and listening to white noise. So when you combine their advice with ours, you are taking some big steps towards alleviating pain and getting a good night’s rest. 

The Proper Way to Sleep

1. Use Pillows To Support Yourself

Your pillow makes a difference: pillows help to support your sleeping position. They fill the space that tends to displace joints. When used properly, your pillow will help to prevent joint, back and neck pain. 

It’s important to make sure your pillow fully supports your head. You know your pillow is doing its job if it fills the negative space from your head and neck down to the mattress. When your pillow is at this height, it will allow for the spine to maintain neutral alignment.

Correct Sleeping Posture for Neutral Alignment

Sleep positions play an important role in neutralizing your joints. But if you aren’t following expert-recommended correct sleeping postures, the possibility for  long-term damage to your body can be increased. Regardless of your position of choice, you must ALWAYS try to make spine alignment a top priority. 

How To: Properly Sleep on Your Back

If you already sleep on your back, you are in luck! Sleeping on your back with a pillow supported underneath your thighs is known to deliver a good night’s sleep. This type of sleeping posture allows your head, neck and back to settle in the best neutral and natural position. If you are wondering about what to do with your arms, the expert’s opinion recommends you keep your arms at your side. 

How To: Properly Sleep on Your Side

Though not ideal, side sleeping is an okay alternative to back sleeping. Side sleeping still helps to elongate your spine.

Simply add a thick and firm pillow underneath the rib cage/torso to fill the space between your hips and shoulders. This will help to alleviate compression from the downside shoulder. 

Why to Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach

Unfortunately, there is no real good way to sleep on your stomach. The only benefit stomach sleeping offers is lessening the likelihood of snoring. Stomach sleeping is incredibly taxing and hard on the back, spine and neck. 

Since most of our weight is in the middle of the body, stomach sleeping makes it difficult for your spine to sustain a neutral position. As for the neck, most stomach sleepers turn their head to the side to breathe. As a result, the head and spine are forced out of alignment and can lead to damage down the road. 

If you are among the 17 percenters unable to break away from stomach sleeping, consider using a flat pillow to reduce the angling of your neck. We also recommend sleeping with a pillow under the abdomen to take some of the pressure off your back and spine. 

Ensure Your Structure is Supported Throughout

As we mentioned, maintaining proper alignment of your spine is by far one of the most important things you can do for your body. But how can you tell if your approach is effective? It’s simple: fill spaces and gaps to help neutralize and support correct sleep positions. Doing this will help to preserve body alignment and relieve any pressure.

The Good and the Bad

Like most things in life, you get what you put in. When it comes to sleep and your daily habits, if you are willing to make a few simple changes – whether it be avoiding your phone before bedtime or looking after your sleep posture, you’ll be doing your body much good in the long run!