Improve Posture While Sleeping
Do you wake up with muscle aches and pains, particularly in your back? To solve this it could simply be a case of needing to improve posture while sleeping, as this is the number one cause of such issues. Getting a good night’s sleep is important as it gives your body a chance to relax and recover, but if it’s done in the wrong way you may find yourself feeling worse at the end of it. In this article we will take a look at the different positions people sleep in, and ways to get an accurate sleep posture so you wake up feeling refreshed and energized.
People sleep in three positions; on the back, on the stomach, and on the side. Each of these orientations have their own benefits and downsides for your posture.
Side sleeping is the most popular position for people to sleep in, and is a fairly good way to sleep. It reduces the likelihood that you will snore, and elongates your spine. You do, however, risk twisting yourself as your upper leg tends to try and rest on your mattress.
This movement causes your body to rotate and can add extra strain on your lower back and pelvis that can result in pains in those areas. It can also lead to pains in the shoulders because of the uneven loads they experience.
Sleeping on your front is the worst position you can take in regards to your posture. It’s very difficult to keep your spine straight, and the rest of your muscles tend to tense up and can ache and be painful the next day, particularly in your legs and back. There’s also a risk of straining your neck as you constantly move you head from side to side and exert more pressure than is ideal onto it.
For posture, sleeping on your back is by far the best position to take. It is much easier to keep your back and neck straight and stress-free, but puts slightly more strain on breathing so it isn’t great for people who snore.
Obtaining the Correct Sleep Posture
The trick with getting a good posture while sleeping is ensuring your muscles are put under as little stress as possible. This will depend on how you sleep, but with each orientation some simple steps can be followed to achieve this.
If you sleep on your back or your side, you can do a few things to improve your posture. If, on the other hand, you’re a stomach sleeper, the first thing you will need to consider is changing to another position entirely. It prevents your back from reaching position that is neutral, so whatever you do you will still experience more strain than you would if you slept on your back or front.
As we have already mentioned, side sleeping will hold your back in a good position but your run the risk of twisting in your sleep that will cause some issues.
This can be easily rectified by the use of some extra pillows. Placing one between your knees is a great way to prevent your upper leg from trying to roll over onto the mattress and will hold your legs in a much more comfortable position. This technique is also useful when sleeping on your back because having slightly raised knees will further help keep your back straight.
The Correct Bedding
While you can take steps to improve your body position while sleeping, it won’t help you much if the bedding you are sleeping on is inadequate. The ideal posture to sleep in is with your spine straight and with your head perfectly in line with it. Your choice of mattress and pillows will have a massive effect on how possible this is.
Mattresses need to be supportive and not have dips within them. After six or seven years they tend to soften and you won’t achieve accurate support so you need to think about replacing them. If this isn’t economically viable you can use a mattress topper or try turning the mattress over to increase its firmness.
Pillows need to be equally as supportive. They should be just the right thickness to hold your neck and head, and be positioned underneath them, not your shoulders.
An effective way to get a better posture while sleeping is to ensure that your muscles are loosened and relaxed before bedtime. This may seem counter-intuitive because you are going to sleep to relax, but your activities during the day can compress parts of your body that will affect you at night.
The more flexible you are, the better you will sleep, so doing some light stretches after you wake up and before bed can make a massive difference. By giving your back a stretch and twirling your shoulders as you go along with your day, it will be much easier to find a good posture in bed.
Improve Posture While Awake
Finally, you should ensure your posture is as good as possible when you’re awake, so you don’t undo all of your hard work with your sleeping posture. To check this, stand against a wall. While standing straight the back of your head and your shoulder blades should be touching it.
If they aren’t then you need to practice this position, and try to maintain it without the help of the wall. If you can do this, your body will be more used to an optimum posture and maintain it more easily when you are asleep.
The Final Word
It can ruin your day if you wake up with pain in your back or muscles, but this shouldn’t be happening if you are sleeping in the right environment in a good position. It’s worth ensuring that you have a firm mattress and pillows to improve posture while sleeping, and you’ll find yourself feeling much more relaxed and pain free.