The Best Sleeping Position
Sleeping positions fall into 3 categories:
1. Side: Most people sleep on their side (or Fetal position). This tends to result in pain either in the shoulders, the hips, or both. Where you feel pain is based on your body type and daily habits. If you tend to sleep on one side more than the other then you may notice numbness, stiffness, soreness, and/or pain on that side. When sleeping on your side it is best to use the support of pillows.
- You want the pillow to cradle the head and keep the neck aligned with the rest of the spine. A deviation in either direction can cause neck pain and stiffness. In other words, you don't want your pillow to be too flat or too fluffy. [Just think to yourself 'Goldilocks' and make sure everything is 'Just Right']. The shoulders are next in line and should be supported so that there isn't too much pressure on the bottom shoulder and the top shoulder doesn't roll forward. Last but not least the hips need to be evened out with a pillow between the knees.
2. Back: This position is the BEST and second most popular, but can sometimes strain the lower back or cause issues in the calves. The back tends to arch causing back pain or the toes are point downward causing calf cramps.
- A pillow under the head isn't always necessary. The back of the head is usually enough support for the neck. Too many pillows tilt the head forward and shorten the muscles in the front of the neck. These muscles can cause headaches and shoulder pain. The only pillow needed in this position should be placed under the knees to support the back so that it's in the neutral position and not arched while sleeping. If you have cramping in your calves a pillow under the feet to prevent them from pointing downward can reduce cramping.
3. Stomach: I don't meet too many people who sleep solely in this position. But this is one of my favorite positions. Sleeping straight as a board in this position isn't common. Stomach sleepers tend to sleep with one leg folded and the other leg straight, while turning the head to the side. This position causes low back, hip, neck, and shoulder pain and isn't suggested. This position leads to waking up and not being able to turn your head. Complete stiff neck!