Best Sleep Position. One of the questions I ask during my initial consultation is “What position do you sleep in?”. Most people have never considered this as a possible contributor to their condition. I always cringe when I hear “on my stomach.” Not only does this flatten the normal curves of the spine, but the head/neck is forced to maintain rotation and the arms are never in a good place. I have done posture analysis and noticed permanent head rotations! Sleep position effects posture!
So what’s ideal? For optimal spinal alignment, the best sleep position is on your back with a flatter pillow or on your side with enough of a pillow to fill the gap between the mattress and head. People with back pain often find it comfortable to put a pillow between their knees when on their side, or under their knees when on their back. If you suffer from neck or upper back pain (or even if you don’t) please avoid the stomach position!
What about pillows? I wish I had the perfect answer! There is no one-size-fits-all pillow. My patients have tried it all- from water pillows to beads to down filling, and various shapes and sizes. Pillows generally only last 2-3 years so be sure to change yours when needed.
Remember, mattresses do not last forever. If you’re in your 40’s and youre still spending the night on your college mattress, its time! Ten years is usually the limit. Buy quality, and yes, lie on it before you buy it! You can learn a lot from a few minutes in a quality show room. Check out this website which offers great information about mattresses.