Ideal Sleeping Position and Correct Sleeping Position


  • Sleeping Position
  • Lying Position for Neck Hernia
    • Choosing the Right Pillow to Prevent Neck Pain
  • Lying Position for Lumbar Hernia
    • What are the lying positions that reduce low back pain?
    • Caution while lying down and getting up!
  • Is It Healthy To Sleep On Your Face?
  • How to Choose the Right Bed?

Ideal Lying Position for Sleep

We spend almost a third of our lives asleep. The quality of our sleep seriously affects our health. So how important is the way we sleep? What is the correct and ideal sleeping position in sleep? Is there a relationship between sleeping position and  low back, back, neck pain , snoring, psychology and sleep quality?

The ideal sleeping position may seem like a simple matter at first glance. After all, how many positions are we talking about? Prone, side-lying, supine … Else? In fact, there are many different sleeping styles that people prefer. You can see various examples in the picture below. How do you prefer to sleep?

There is information that various inferences can be made about the person, especially the character analysis, from the way of sleeping.  In our article, we will discuss the relationship between sleeping positions  and spinal health . By paying attention to the ideal sleeping position during sleep, it helps to prevent back and neck pain .

Ideal Sleeping Position for Neck Hernia

The ideal sleeping position for the neck is side lying and supine. If you sleep on your back, it is ideal that the pillow you use has a curved part that supports the natural curvature of your neck and a flatter part that supports your head. There are neck pillows specially produced for this   . If you can’t get special pillows, you can try to keep the inside of the pillow thin and roll a small towel to support the neck of the pillow.

Not only the ideal sleeping position, but also sleep itself affects musculoskeletal pain.  Problems such as difficulty falling asleep, interrupted sleep, waking up too early in the morning and restless sleep  can increase neck pain. Sleep disorders adversely affect the relaxation of the muscles and the resting process. In addition, chronic pain disrupts sleep and a self-feeding vicious circle develops.

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Choosing the Right Pillow to Prevent Neck Pain

  1. Feather-filled pillows can be preferred as they easily take the shape of the neck. It will be to your advantage that these pillows can easily take different shapes according to the sleeping position. The downside is that they collapse over time and have to be replaced every year.
  2. Pillows that are traditionally shaped but contain “memory foam” as a filling material can also be beneficial in preventing neck pain. These pillows support the spine by taking the natural shape of the head and neck.
  3. To avoid neck pain, you should avoid very high and hard pillows. These pillows keep your neck bent. You may wake up in the morning sore and stiff. On the contrary, if you use a very thin pillow, your neck may be strained as it does not provide sufficient support.
  4. If you prefer the side sleeping position , the part of your pillow under your neck should be slightly thicker than the part under your head. This keeps your spine straight. The thickness of the pillow required to support the head on the shoulder in the side lying position is slightly higher than when lying on the back. Putting one arm on a pillow while lying on your side and placing a pillow between your knees provides additional support for your spine.
  5. While traveling on the plane, bus or car , a horseshoe-shaped pillow supports your neck and prevents your head from falling to the side if you fall asleep. However, if the pillow is too large, it may cause discomfort by pushing your head forward.

Our position does not stay the same during sleep. There are also pillows suitable for both back and side sleeping. Their central part is thinner for supine sleep, and the edges are thicker for side-lying.

You may be interested in: “ How Does Neck Pain Go? Home Treatments “

Ideal Sleeping Position for Herniated Back

Low back pain manifests itself throughout the day as well as disrupting sleep at night, and sometimes it can even be difficult to find a comfortable position in bed. Even getting into and out of bed can be very painful. We should pay attention to the features of lying position, bed and pillow in preventing and coping with low back pain  .

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What are the Ideal Types of Sleeping Positions to Reduce Low Back Pain?

Certain sleeping positions reduce back pain. The ideal sleeping position varies from person to person, so it may take some experimentation to find the position that works best for you. For example , you may find it comforting to put a pillow between your legs and under your knees.

If you are lying on your side;  place a pillow between your knees and gently pull your legs towards your stomach.  People with lumbar hernia  can lie more comfortably in the so-called fetal position, with the knees pulled to the abdomen and the body slightly bent forward In this position, the spaces between the vertebrae are opened and the pressure of the hernia can be reduced. If you prefer to sleep on your side, you should avoid sleeping on the same side all the time in order not to strain your back.

If you are lying on your back;  place a pillow under your knees or roll and place a towel under your lower back. A pillow or rolled towel placed under your knees and waist will keep your spine in a neutral position. Since the body weight is distributed in the widest possible way when lying on the back, less load is placed on the pressure sensitive points.

If you are lying face down; a flat pillow under your hips will reduce the curvature of your lower back and the stress it is exposed to. However , we do not recommend this position for those with herniated disc, because it puts too much weight on the waist. If this is the only position you can sleep in, put a pillow under your stomach so you can relax a bit.

We find that patients with low back ( spondylolisthesis ) sometimes feel more comfortable lying down in a reclining chair. In this position, the pressure on the spine can be reduced, as an angle is formed between the thigh and the trunk.

You may be interested in: “ How Does Low Back Pain Go? 

Caution while lying down and getting up!

Going to bed and getting out of bed can become a difficult situation on its own in low back pain, lumbar hernia. Bending your back forward, making sudden turns or stretching movements can aggravate your pain. Therefore, avoid hasty movements. For example, to get out of bed;

Bend your knees first. Then roll to one side of you. Lift your torso up using your arms while hanging your legs off the bed. Then lower your feet over the edge of the bed and stand up slowly. Do the same movements in reverse while lying on the bed.

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Is It Healthy To Sleep On Your Face?

Lying  on your stomach is not healthy for your spine. That’s because your back is hunched back and your neck is turned to the side. The sleeping position we love often becomes a habit early in our lives, and it becomes difficult to change it later. Moreover, we often do not wake up in the position we are in when we fall asleep in the morning. However, we should try to sleep in a supine or side lying position, where our spine is better supported. If you can’t stop sleeping on your stomach:
  • You can use very thin pillows for your head   or even try not to use any pillows at all.
  • Another technique may be to use a pillow at forehead level . This leaves your nose open for breathing and keeps your head and neck in a more neutral position.
  • In addition, if you support your hips and abdomen with a pillow, you can maintain the natural shape of your spine.

How to Choose the Right Bed?

Your body type determines the mattress you need . If  your hips are wider than your waist,  soft mattresses are better for you because they keep your spine straight while you sleep. If  your waist and hips are about the same width  , a firm mattress is better to give you more support.

In the past, hard beds were recommended for spinal health. Studies show that people with low back pain actually sleep more uncomfortably on very hard mattresses. Soft mattresses, however, can also cause problems. If you are too buried in the bed, your joints may take abnormal positions and your pain may increase.

You may need to do some exploring to find the mattress that best suits you. Experiment with bedding at friends, stores or hotels to find which type of mattress you are most comfortable with. If you think a firmer mattress is better for you, you can try some simple changes, such as placing a piece of plywood between your mattress and the base of the bed, or laying the mattress on the floor. So you can be sure that a firmer mattress is good for you before you buy a new mattress.

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