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  • Writer's pictureTom Ellis

Confused about sleep positions?

Apologies for using my new puppy to get your attention, but since she arrived it has highlighted how important sleep is, in terms of her ‘crashing out’ at various points of the day or my disturbed sleep due to having to take her out for toilet trips during the night. It is also something I get asked a lot about in clinic, usually in regards to what position is best to sleep in.

There can be positives and negatives to which ever position you sleep in but there are tricks in each position to make it more comfortable and put less strain on the body.


If you are like me and are a side sleeper then you may find that occasionally you feel achey in your shoulders/neck this could be due to your pillow set up, ideally you should have your pillow the width of your shoulder so that your neck is in a neutral position. Too many pillows and your neck will be stretched upwards and too few and your neck will be pulled down the opposite way, so check your pillow set up and that your neck is in a nice neutral position.


For back sleepers the best pillow set up is one thin pillow that just gently elevates the head, too many pillows and your neck will be in a flexed position of strain. Putting a small pillow underneath your knees can also help to support the natural curve of the spine and reduce the risk of lower back pain.


Unfortunately for you front sleepers this is the worst position of the three to sleep in, this position is most likely to cause lower back or neck pain. You can help this position by using a very thin or no pillow depending how you position your neck, a thick pillow here will extend the neck up putting pressure on all those joints.


I always think that due to how much healing and repair our body does during our sleeping it is better to get a good nights sleep in a bad position than a bad nights sleep in a good position, but there are always little ways we can try to improve our sleep position and quality.

If you need any advice or have any questions regarding your sleep health please do get in contact and I’d be happy to help.


Best wishes,

Tom



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