Having trouble sleeping? Always find yourself having either headaches or body soreness upon waking up? There are various reasons as to why you could be in pain while you sleep but one problem that affects everyone in the same way is definitely poor posture and movements while sleeping.
The muscles in your body are always playing a game of tug-of-war and you start to feel pain when one side is much stronger than the other. In this article we will be addressing the challenges faced by people with various sleeping positions namely back, side and stomach and how minor changes in the way you sleep can improve the pain you experience.
Sleeping on your side can be brutal on your neck, shoulder, lower back, hips, and even the knees. Thus, you may want to look for a firm pillow. Better yet, try to find one that has an extra-wide gusset that will help with the space between your ear and shoulder. And don’t forget to place a firm pillow between your knees that keeps them a couple inches apart from each other to prevent knee bruising. Bend the top knee or both knees and curl them up to help take some of the excessive arch out of your lower back. Try to find a pillow that is long enough to keep the ankles separated as well. For extra comfort, do place a firm pillow behind to take the pressure off by leaning back rather than crushing the shoulder.
This sleeping position often results in too much neck flexion (chin bent down toward the chest) and extension of the lower back. Pay extra attention if you have pain in either the neck or the lower back while back sleeping. This group does best with thinner pillows especially those that have extra padding in the bottom to support the neck in a way that allows the neck to retain its curvature. Memory foam is a good material that molds specifically to your own neck. A water pillow is another option that gives firm, all-over support. If you have lower back pain while sleeping on your back, try putting several pillows under your knees. This will help neutralize or even slightly round the lower back to take pressure off of the joints.
You should aim to use the thinnest pillow possible or no pillow at all, as this position can be pretty brutal on your neck. Many people that do it actually put a pillow under their head, which results in the head being lifted up, jamming the joints of the neck and causing “kinks” when you wake up. Depending on how big you are, you may need 1 or 2 firm pillows under your side to make sure that you can prop yourself up enough. Do not use a pillow under the head. In fact, if you like sleeping on your stomach, you may try sleeping on your side while holding a body pillow. The body pillow will give you the feeling of something against your stomach while helping to align the rest of your body.
We tend to shift between sleeping positions at night. You may need to get crafty in the middle of the night. Eventually moving pillows around becomes second nature. Apart from that, do remember to change your pillow every 18 months to ensure proper hygiene from molds and dust mites.
Author: Teddy @ Rev Publika (Pro Trainer cum Nutritionist)