What are the three best sleep positions for sleeping through the night pain-free?
The following three optimal sleep positions reduce or prevent neck, shoulder, and back pain. Sleep is vital to anyone desiring a high-functioning, active life!
Of course, your night affects your day… and vice versa!
Back Sleeping (Supine)
If you want to sleep on your back, that’s great! Sleeping on your back is one of the three optimal sleep positions because it can reduce stress on all your joints and may deliver a night of restful sleep. Optimally, sleep with arms at your side with palms up or down. If you have pain-free shoulders, you might bend at the elbow and place one hand under your pillow.
Caution: Stacking pillows under the head is NOT recommended. A thin pillow would be best. However, if you have been sleeping with several pillows, progressively eliminate extra pillows over time as your cervical spine adjusts.
Supported Back Sleeping (Supported Supine)
This modified sleep position accommodates common body aches and pains in the neck, shoulder, and back, thus making the list of three best sleep positions.
Roll a towel or use a travel neck pillow under the neck if you commonly have neck pain. Headaches can be a symptom of misalignment, too. A neck pillow may bring relief for this problem, as well.
Prop a folded towel under your shoulder blade if you commonly have shoulder pain or have had rotator cuff issues. Bend your arm at the elbow and rest hand on the stomach.
Place a pillow or rolled bath towel under your knees if there’s discomfort in your low back. This relieves the pressure in your lumbar spine and can offer comfort.
Side Sleeping (Side-lying)
Side sleeping keeps your spine in alignment but only if you have proper support. A long body pillow is perfect for side sleepers but you can make do with two pillows when necessary.
When you’re on your side, hug your pillow by wrapping both arms around it. Anyone with chronic shoulder pain would sleep on the pain-free side.
A pillow between the knees serves two purposes. It reduces a common pressure-point area between the knees (medial patella) and also keeps hips in alignment, which reduces stress in the lower back and hip region.
Sleep Does the Body Good
Ample daytime activity can help you sleep at night. Just the same, a good night’s sleep helps you stay active!
Share your thoughts in the comment box below…
What is your favorite position for sleeping pain-free?
Do you have a bedtime ritual?
Do you have any questions for Michelle? Feel free to ask in the comment box and she’ll answer you personally!
Do you want more information on better sleep? Read more about winning your sleep argument or writing before going to sleep!
Medical Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please be sure to consult your physician. Aging Gracefully TV accepts no liability or risks associated with using or acting upon the information provided.
6 thoughts on “Three Optimal Sleep Positions”
Having problems with one knee. It’s been very difficult to get into a comfortable position. The advice about the pillow between knees was helpful!! Definitely will try it!
I love simple solutions! Let me know about your future restful nights!
Thank you for your suggestions to sleep pain free. I have arthritis in my neck, and most mornings I wake up with a headache. Last night I tried sleeping on my back with a cervical / travel pillow, and found it to be quite comfortable. It’s also perfect for between my knees, when on my side. The best part is no headache this morning!
Great to hear no headache AND comfortable! Keeping our bodies in alignment is so important, especially when we sleep. Thanks for your comment.
This is very helpful. Thanks.
I am happy you found it helpful! Hoping you many restful nights ahead.
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