Is your sleeping position hurting your spine?

A good night’s sleep sets us up for a great day. However, some of us wake far from refreshed, with aching backs, sore necks and stiff muscles. There can be a number of reasons for this, but your sleeping position could be a contributing factor.


If you favour sleeping on your side, it’s important to keep your head, neck and thoracic spine in a straight line. Choose a pillow thick enough to lift your head to the correct angle, and comfortable but firm enough to keep its shape. Place it low so that it fills the gap between your neck and the bed.

Pillows can help your body too. A full bodied pillow under your top arm will keep the higher shoulder from falling forward to cause hunching and back strain. Try placing a firm pillow between your slightly bent knees will help keep the natural line of your spine by preventing downward rotation of your pelvis.


Sleeping on your back is thought to be a healthy option, but there are still considerations to make if this is your preferred position. Most importantly, you should maintain the natural curvature of your spine. Like side-sleepers, you need a firm, but slightly thinner pillow to keep your head gently raised. Place it low down under the nape of your neck; roll-shaped pillows are ideal for this. Try placing a rolled-up towel or pillow under your knees or the small of your back for extra comfort. This will help to maintain the spinal curve and reduce lower back strain.


This position can be tough on your neck and back, but if you can’t sleep any other way, there are some things you can do to try and reduce the impact. Some opt for a thin pillow, while others prefer not to use one at all. If your pillow forces your neck into an uncomfortable position, try sleeping without it. You can also add pillows under your abdomen and pelvis to support the body and maintain the spinal curve.. If you’re experiencing sleep-related discomfort or pain, your chiropractor maybe able to help. As well as addressing back and neck pain, your chiropractor will assess your sleeping habits and recommend helpful changes you can make to minimise your discomfort. Speak to your chiropractor today to find out more.

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