Sleep Position And Its Effect on Your Posture

28th December 2017
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Your posture plays a huge role in the effectiveness of your musculoskeletal system’s ability to deal with the stress and strain of forces like gravity while you are out and about during the day.

However, it may also play a significant part in ensuring that you are getting the quality and quantity of sleep required for your optimal performance when you are awake.

Common Sleep Positions

You have several options when you sleep. You can sleep on your back, side, or stomach.

Each option has variables which may feel more comfortable depending on your body.

The more comfortable that you are throughout the night, the more likely you are to get a full night of sleep. Common sleep positions include:

1. Freefall

You are in this position when you are lying on your stomach with your head turned to your side while your arms are wrapped under or around your pillow.

2. Fetal

You are in this position when you are on your side with your arms curled up toward your face and your legs stacked one atop the other, knees slightly bent toward your stomach.

3. Soldier

You are in this position when you are lying on your back with your arms down by your side.

4. Starfish 

You are in this position when you are lying on your back with your arms raised near your head.

5. Yearner 

You are in this position when your arms are out in front of you while lying on your side.

6. Log

You are in this position when you have your arms down while lying on either of your sides.

While your comfort plays an integral part of how much you sleep, it may also affect your quality of sleep. Paying attention to your posture while sleeping may reward you with an improved quality.

Ergonomics of Sleeping

Paying attention to proper ergonomics while you sleep is important for reducing the stress and strain on your muscles, skeletal system, and joints.

By ensuring the alignment of your body throughout the night, you can vastly improve the quality of your sleep and help to reduce the wear and tear that your body can experience as a result of poor posture.

Since you will likely spend about one-third of your life in bed, it is vital that you pay attention to the position of your body while asleep.

You should take the time to check your pillows and mattress to ensure that you are getting the appropriate support.

It is going to be significantly more difficult for you to implement proper posture if your body is inadequately supported throughout the night.

If you have had the same mattress for a long time, roughly seven years or more, then it may be time to shop for a new one.

By this time, your mattress could have degraded enough that it is too soft to provide the support your spine requires.

If your mattress is still in good condition, then you may want to try flipping it as well as possibly lying additional support above your box spring.

This could be as simple as placing a thin sheet of plywood such as lauan.

Your pillows level of support is going to depend on your preferred sleeping position.

You may find it helpful to check them regularly once you have found the best pillow for you in order to maintain the quality of the support they provide.

You should also consider buying new pillows on a regular basis as they are the favored hiding spot for allergens that can seriously affect your sleep such as dust mites.

You should be aware that the pressure felt by your back will vary depending on your position in bed.

By sleeping on your back, the amount of pressure is at its least.

The next best position for sleeping to avoid unnecessary pressure will be on your side.

The worst position for sleeping is on your stomach.

This pose creates the most amount of stress on your back.

When you can, try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.

When sleeping on your back, you should try to position your pillow or pillows correctly to assist with giving your spine the best posture possible.

It is a good practice to use pillows that cradle the natural alignment of your neck.

You may even want to try to use a neck brace for sleeping which can promote proper posture and relieve tension between your vertebrae and muscles while you rest.

You can also try placing a pillow below your knees to keep them slightly bent which should keep your body in the best position.

When sleeping on your side, you should place a pillow between your knees keeping your legs even with one another.

You should also make sure that you have a pillow that properly cradles your head to maintain the natural curve of your neck.

By implementing these two habits, you should be able to ensure the correct alignment of your spine.

Effects Of Proper Posture Throughout The Night

Your posture at night is just as important as your posture throughout the day.

Poor posture during the night can have some pretty serious effects, both physical and mental.

Sleeping with a scrunched neck may result in headaches, neck pain, and even back pain.

Likewise, the quality of your bedding can play a role in your ability to maintain proper posture while you sleep.

Improving your posture is going to result from a combination of sleep position and appropriate support from your mattress as well as pillows.

When you are sustaining good alignment throughout the night it can help to ensure that you are waking up rested and ready for the day.

A good night of sleep can have a serious impact on your ability to function when awake.

It can help promote good cardiovascular health, immune system response, and even improve your metabolism. It also helps improve your cognitive function.

You may also find that having good posture in bed can help you to fall asleep more quickly and reduce your risk to experience musculoskeletal pain.

Joe Fleming is the President at
He is interested in all things related to living a healthy lifestyle, he enjoys sharing and expressing his passion through writing.
Working to motivate others and defeat ageing stereotypes, Joe uses his writing to help all people overcome the obstacles of life.
Covering topics that range from physical health, wellness, and ageing all the way to social, news, and inspirational pieces his goal is help others “rebel against age”.

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