Need a Good Night Sleep? Try These Sleeping Positions

Have you ever woke up feeling like you were beat up? We all know sleep is very important and it seems to ruin your day if you don’t get a good night of rest. I get asked a lot of what is the best position for the body to be in while sleeping at night?


Truthfully, there isn’t a perfect position that all people should sleep in. Generally, the best sleeping position for you is the one that allows you to have the most REM sleep and has your body in a position to prevent strain on your muscles. Posture could potentially cause back and neck pain, fatigue, muscle cramping, impaired circulation, headaches, and even premature wrinkles so, there are definitely some dos and don’ts depending on the position that is most comfortable for you.


Side Sleepers

Side sleeping is one of the most common position for people to sleep in.

  • Research suggests that sleeping on your left side is preferable to your right due to the arrangement of your internal organs.
  • A pillow between your knees will prevent your upper leg from pulling your spine out of alignment and reduce stress on your hips and lower back.
  • Prevent from putting arm underneath pillow to avoid shoulder impingement and prevent blood flow to hand.
  • Avoid putting your head pillow too high to prevent excessive side bend of your neck, that will put strain on your neck muscles.


Back Sleepers

Not the most popular position to sleep (only 8% of people)

  • Sleeping on your back allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position.
  • Elevating the head can prevent food or acid from coming up your digestive tract (acid reflux).
  • Support under the knees with pillow/ bolster to put relieve pressure from the low back and to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
  • Avoid putting your neck pillow too high to prevent neck muscles strains.
  • Pillow under each arm can put the shoulder in ideal position by decreasing the pull and pressure.
  • Can make snoring more severe and is not an Ideal position for those who suffer from sleep apnea.


Stomach Sleepers

Although stomach sleeping can ease snoring, sleeping on the stomach is the least favorable position due to flattening the lower back curve and rotated head, putting unnecessary stress on our cervical and lumbar spine. If this positions in the only way you can sleep you can modify your position to put less strain on your back.

  • Place slim pillow under the lower abdomen to decrease the the extension and the pressure of the low back.
  • Put an additional pillow under your shins to support your legs.
  • Use a slim pillow under your neck, but if it causes discomfort in your neck, try sleeping without a pillow.
  • Prevent from putting arm underneath pillow to avoid shoulder impingement and prevent blood flow to hand.


The big takeaway from all of this should be to always try to maintain the natural curve of your spine and avoid putting other joints in extreme positions to avoid strain.

For more information on sleeping positions or how to relieve back and neck pain to help you get a good sleep, just contact us! 801-980-0860.

Charlene Nordhoff
Physical Therapist Assistant

Who We Help At Align Therapy

At Align Therapy, we understand that every single person’s problem is unique, which is why our first step is to get a deep understanding of what is happening to your body, and how it is effecting your life so we can create a plan that focuses on YOU and your goals.
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David Butler PT DPT

David Butler

Align Therapy

"We help people with scoliosis and spine problems avoid surgery, reduce pain, and improve posture even if you have been told to wait and see if it gets worse."
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