Back Pain Pillow For Chair
- 0.1 Should you put a pillow on your chair?
- 1 What is the correct position of back pillow?
- 2 Is it OK to sleep in a chair every night?
- 3 Is it OK to decompress your spine?
- 4 What does pillow behind back do?
Is it good to put a pillow behind your back while sitting?
Lumbar Roll From Objects Around Your House – You can use things around your house to serve as a lumbar roll. The best lumbar roll to use is an actual lumbar roll, but the following household things can serve the purpose of supporting your posture until you can get the real thing:
- Bath towel roll, To make your own lumbar roll, simply obtain a bath towel. Fold the towel twice lengthwise, and then roll it up. Place two rubber bands around the towel to keep it rolled up, and then place it behind your back when sitting to help support your lumbar spine.
- Paper towel roll, Another household item to use to support your back when sitting is a paper towel roll. The roll is the perfect size to help support your back and your spine, and it will squish down just enough to maximize comfort while you are using it.
- Use a small pillow, If you have a small pillow on your chair or sofa, you can use that as a lumbar roll. Simply place the pillow behind your back when you are sitting to support your spine’s normal lordosis and maintain proper posture.
Remember, the best lumbar support is one that maintains the forward curve in your back while you are sitting and that feels comfortable on your low back. You may need to try out a few different things to find the right support for your low back. Your physical therapist can help you find the best lumbar roll for your specific condition.
- If you have low back pain, exercising is essential to help you recover fully.
- Performing postural correction exercises like the slouch-overcorrect exercise can help you learn how to attain proper posture.
- Using a lumbar roll while sitting is also one thing you can do to help support your spine as your back is healing.
Using household items to help support your spine is a good idea to help you maintain normal posture and quickly return to your previous level of function and activity. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.
- Kripa, S., Kaur, H. Identifying relations between posture and pain in lower back pain patients: a narrative review. Bull Fac Phys Ther 26, 34 (2021). doi: 10.1186/s43161-021-00052-w
- Grondin DE, Triano JJ, Tran S, Soave D. The effect of a lumbar support pillow on lumbar posture and comfort during a prolonged seated task, Chiropr Man Therap,2013;21(1):21. doi:10.1186/2045-709X-21-21
- Macedo LG, Hodges PW, Bostick G, et al. Which Exercise for Low Back Pain? (Welback) trial predicting response to exercise treatments for patients with low back pain: a validation randomised controlled trial protocol. BMJ Open,2021;11(1):e042792. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042792
By Brett Sears, PT Brett Sears, PT, MDT, is a physical therapist with over 20 years of experience in orthopedic and hospital-based therapy. Thanks for your feedback!
Should you put a pillow on your chair?
It Improves Your Posture – With lumbar cushions, you sit up straight with a better posture. Poor posture can lead to health conditions like back pain,, and heartburn. By having cushions and other lumber support, it becomes effortless to maintain your posture as you don’t fidget or become neurotic on how you sit.
How can I support my lower back while sitting?
Preventing Neck and Back Pain When Sitting – Here are some important guidelines to help make sure your work area is as comfortable as possible and causes the least amount of stress to your spine to avoid neck and lower back pain from sitting :
Elbow measure Begin by sitting comfortably as close as possible to your desk so that your upper arms are parallel to your spine, Rest your hands on your work surface (e.g. desktop, computer keyboard). If your elbows are not at a 90-degree angle, move your chair either up or down. Thigh measure Check that you can easily slide your fingers under your thigh at the leading edge of the chair. If it is too tight, you need to prop your feet up with an adjustable footrest. If there is more than a finger width between your thigh and the chair, you need to raise the desk/work surface so that you can raise your chair. Calf measure With your buttocks against the chair back, try to pass your clenched fist between the back of your calf and the front of your chair, If you can’t do that easily, the chair is too deep. You will need to adjust the backrest forward, insert a lumbar support or get a new chair. Lower-back support Your buttocks should be pressed against the back of your chair, and there should be a cushion that causes your lower back to arch slightly so that you don’t slump forward as you tire. This support is essential to minimize the load (strain) on your back. Never slump or slouch in your chair, as this places extra stress on your spine and lumbar discs. Eye level Close your eyes while sitting comfortably with your head facing forward. Slowly open your eyes. Your gaze should be aimed at the center of your computer screen, If your computer screen is higher or lower than your gaze, you need to either raise or lower it. If you wear bifocal glasses, you should adjust the computer screen so that you do not have to tilt your neck back to read the screen, or else wear full lens glasses adjusted for near vision. Armrest Adjust the armrest of your chair so that it just slightly lifts your arms at the shoulders, Use of an armrest allows you to take some of the strain off your neck and shoulders, and it should make you less likely to slouch forward in your chair. While this article is about traditional chairs, some people prefer more active chairs, such as a Swedish kneeling chair or a Swiss exercise ball. Traditional chairs are designed to provide complete support, but a kneeling chair promotes good posture without a back support, and an exercise ball helps develop your abdominal and back muscles while you sit. It is advisable to first talk with your doctor prior to using one of these types of chairs if you have an injured back or other health problems. Finally, no matter how comfortable you are at your desk, prolonged, static posture is not good for your back, Try to remember to stand, stretch and walk at least a minute or two every half hour, Moving about and stretching on a regular basis throughout the day will help keep your joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons loose, which in turn will help you feel more comfortable, more relaxed, and more productive.
Are lumbar pillows worth it?
Sojoy 3 in 1 Foldable Gel Seat Cushion –
Price: $$ Firmness: high Size: 18.5 x 15 x 2 in.
From uncomfortable office chairs to meditation or yoga sessions on hardwood floors, the Sojoy 3 in 1 Foldable Gel Seat Cushion is an excellent option that’s easy to pack on the go. Filled with memory foam and soft silicone gel, this cushion is designed to support your tailbone and relieve pressure from your lower back.
It’s also great if you’re recovering from recent surgeries, injuries, or bruises since it can be easily zipped, folded up, and taken anywhere. Shop Sojoy 3 in 1 Foldable Gel Seat Cushion online. It’s important to look for a lumbar pillow that is comfortable and firm enough to provide support for your lower back.
Most lumbar pillows are made using memory foam, which is soft, supportive, and durable enough to hold its shape even with continued use. Ideally, you should also pick a pillow that has a removable, machine washable cover for easy cleaning. Your lumbar pillow should also be the right size and shape for your body to ensure that it can provide support exactly where you need it.
- You may also want to look for an adjustable pillow that can be secured to your chair or seat to help hold it in position.
- A lumbar support pillow can help improve your posture and relieve back pain.
- The curved shape of the pillow should rest along the inner curve at the base of the spine to offer constant support while cradling the lower back.
This helps take the pressure off of the spine and keep the back muscles relaxed. Additionally, a lumbar support pillow can help to prevent slouching and hunching over, which can lead to further back pain. When used correctly, a lumbar support pillow can be a helpful tool in managing and preventing back pain.
- You can also use lumbar support pillows to help keep your spine naturally aligned while sleeping.
- Many people find that using a lumbar support pillow helps them to sleep better at night and wake up feeling more rested in the morning.
- The type of material that you should look for in a lumbar pillow can vary depending on your needs and preferences.
The majority of lumbar pillows are made with memory foam. However, some lumbar pillows may also be made using polyurethane foam, latex, or buckwheat, Here is a closer look at each of these materials:
Memory foam: This type of pillow contours to the shape of your body to reduce tension and support spinal alignment. Though memory foam can be beneficial for back pain, it retains heat more than other materials, which may not be a good fit for everyone. Polyurethane foam: Also known as polyfoam, this material offers moderate contouring and is more affordable than memory foam. However, it’s typically not as durable and is also not as dense. Buckwheat: These pillows are filled with buckwheat hulls and are designed to promote airflow to keep you cool. The firmness and height are adjustable and the hulls distribute evenly to help relieve back pain. Still, the higher price tag and rustling noise that these pillows make may be a deterrent to some. Latex: This material is made from the sap of rubber trees. It’s highly durable and breathable, with moderate contouring to provide extra support for your back. On the other hand, latex pillows can be pricey and may not be as widely available as other types.
There are several factors you should consider when shopping for a lumbar pillow, including:
Firmness: It’s important to find a lumbar pillow that offers a good balance of comfort and support and caters to your personal preferences in terms of firmness. Loft: The loft, or height, of a pillow can range from low to high. Many pillows are available with varying height levels or include removable inserts so you can adjust to fit your needs. Size and shape: Many lumbar pillows are designed to support spinal alignment, improve posture, or reduce tension in your lower back to alleviate pain. It’s also important to find a pillow that’s the right size for your body to ensure it stays in place while you’re using it. Materials: Pillows are made using various materials, so it’s best to determine your preference before you start shopping. You should also look for a pillow with a removable cover that can be easily washed. Price: The price for pillows can vary quite a bit and may depend on multiple factors, including the type of material used. Be sure to evaluate your budget and find a price point that you’re comfortable with to find a pillow that fits your needs.
Back pain can make it harder to fall asleep and could cause sleep disturbances. But, according to one 2020 review, improving the quality of your sleep could lead to less back pain, and vice versa. If you’re often sitting for long periods, using a lumbar pillow can reduce back pain by decreasing the strain on your lower back.
A high quality lumbar pillow can also help reduce tension, provide additional support, promote better posture, and improve spinal alignment, all of which could potentially enhance sleep quality, Your sleeping position affects the alignment of your spine and can either improve or worsen lower back pain.
Sleeping on your back is generally considered the best option if you have lower back pain, as it can reduce lumbar pressure and keep your spine aligned to prevent back problems. On the other hand, sleeping on your stomach can strain your lower back and spine, which could actually worsen back pain in the long run.
What is the correct position of back pillow?
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We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness. Lower back pain is often related to your sleeping position. Changing how you sleep so that your spine is aligned can help. In addition, having the right mattress and pillow can also help relieve the pain.
Do you deal with lower back pain ? You’re not alone. The Global Burden of Disease study named lower back pain the leading cause of disability across the globe. What’s even more interesting is that most back pain isn’t caused by serious medical conditions, like cancer or arthritis, Instead, it’s often brought on by stress or strain from bad posture, awkward sleeping positions, and other lifestyle habits.
Here are the best sleeping positions to try if you have lower back pain, as well as some other things you can do to get a better night’s rest. If lying flat on your back feels uncomfortable, try shifting over to your side:
- Allow your right or left shoulder to make contact with the mattress, along with the rest of that side of your body.
- Place a pillow between your knees.
- If there’s a gap between your waist and the mattress, consider using a small pillow there for added support.
Whether you use one pillow or opt for two, you should resist the urge to always sleep on the same side. Doing so many cause issues like muscle imbalance and even scoliosis, How does this position help? Sleeping on your side alone won’t make you feel better.
- Lay on your back and then roll over gently onto your side.
- Tuck your knees toward your chest and gently curl your torso toward your knees.
- Remember to switch sides from time to time to prevent any imbalances.
How does this position help? Your discs are soft cushions between the vertebrae in your spine. Herniation happens when part of a disc pushes out of its normal space, causing nerve pain, weakness, and more. Curling your torso into a fetal position opens the space between vertebrae.
- Place a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen to relieve some of the pressure off your back.
- Depending on how this position feels, you may or may not choose to use a pillow under your head.
How does this position help? People who have degenerative disc disease may benefit most from stomach sleeping with a pillow. It can relieve any stress that is placed on the space between your discs. For some people, sleeping on their back may be the best position to relieve back pain:
- Lay flat on your back.
- Place a pillow underneath your knees and keep your spine neutral. The pillow is important — it works to keep that curve in your lower back.
- You may also place a small, rolled up towel under the small of your back for added support.
How does this position help? When you sleep on your back, your weight is evenly distributed and spread across the widest area of your body. As a result, you place less strain on your pressure points, You’re also able to get better alignment of your spine and your internal organs.
- Do you feel most comfortable snoozing in a recliner? Although sleeping in a chair may not be the best choice for back pain, this position can be beneficial if you have isthmic spondylolisthesis,
- Consider investing in an adjustable bed so you can sleep this way with the best alignment and support.
- How does this position help? Isthmic spondylolisthesis is a condition where a vertebra slips over the one below it.
Reclining may be beneficial for your back because it creates an angle between your thighs and trunk. This angle helps to reduce the pressure on your spine. No matter what position you choose, keeping proper alignment of your spine is the most important part of the equation.
- Focus specifically on aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips.
- You may notice gaps between your body and the bed that strain your muscles and spine.
- You can reduce this stress by using pillows to fill the gaps.
- Be careful while turning in bed.
- You can get out of alignment during twisting and turning motions as well.
Always move your entire body together, keeping your core tight and pulled in. You may even find it helpful to bring your knees toward your chest as you roll over. Your pillow should cradle your head and neck and help to support the upper portion of your spine.
If you sleep on your back, your pillow should completely fill the space between your neck and the mattress. If you sleep on your side, try using a thicker pillow to keep your head in line with the rest of your body in this position. Whatever you do, don’t place your pillow under your shoulders. For back sleepers: You may do best with thinner pillows and those that have extra padding in the bottom to support the neck.
Memory foam is a good material that molds specifically to your own neck. A water pillow is another option that gives firm, all-over support. For stomach sleepers: You should aim to use the thinnest pillow possible or no pillow at all. In fact, you may try sleeping on your side while holding a body pillow,
- The body pillow will give you the feeling of something against your stomach while helping to align the rest of your body.
- For side sleepers: You may want to look for a firm pillow,
- Better yet, try to find one that has an extra-wide gusset that will help with the space between your ear and shoulder.
- And don’t forget to place a firm pillow between your knees.
You may even substitute a rolled towel. While you’re at it, remember to change your pillow every 18 months or so. Those pillow protectors can be a good barrier, but pillows still hold lots of allergy triggers like mold and dust mites. Shop all Healthline-approved pillows for back pain in our sleep shop.
- Your mattress matters too.
- Doctors used to recommend very firm orthopedic mattresses to people with lower back pain.
- But don’t go out and buy one just yet.
- Recent surveys have shown that people who use extremely firm mattresses may have the poorest sleep.
- That said, a mattress that’s too soft won’t help very much with alignment.
If you have the funds to buy something new, try choosing a firm or medium-firm mattress made with good-quality innersprings or foam. You may also improve the innerspring mattress you already own by adding a memory foam mattress topper, It may be difficult to tell if that mattress at the store really feels comfortable after only a few minutes of testing.
Some companies let you test out a mattress over a set period of time and then return it if it’s not for you. Not in the market right now? You can see if a firmer mattress would help you by placing an inexpensive plywood board under your current mattress. You can even place your mattress on the floor to see if lessening the movement of the springs helps with your pain.
Shop all Healthline-approved mattresses for back pain in our sleep shop. Here are some other ideas for how you can get better rest at night and reduce your back pain: Put yourself on a sleep schedule. It may be hard to resist sleeping in if you toss and turn all night.
- Still, setting regular bedtimes and wake times can help your body fall into a more natural sleeping pattern.
- Aim to get around eight hours of sleep per night.
- Having trouble with a sleep schedule? Try following a nightly routine.
- Start this routine about 30 to 60 minutes before your set bedtime.
- Choose two soothing activities that help put your mind into a relaxing space.
Ideas include taking a bath, doing some gentle yoga, and engaging in quiet hobbies like reading or knitting. Skip caffeinated drinks like coffee and other stimulants. If you just have to drink a cup, finish your last one before noon. Save hard exercise for the morning or early afternoon hours.
- Doing anything too rigorous before bed may raise your adrenaline levels and even your body temperature.
- These two factors make it even harder to sleep.
- If you don’t already have a primary care doctor, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
- For pain relief Use an ice or a cold gel pack before hopping into bed.
It may help reduce inflammation in your back and relieve pain. Apply the cold pack to your back for 15 to 20 minutes before sleep.
Can you use pillows as seat cushions?
The Trick to recovering an old chair by using a pillow as your chair stuffing is to make sure the pillow is slightly larger than the chair seat. That way there will be more fill for cushioning when you reupholster it. – Just center your pillow between your seat and your fabric.
Is it OK to sleep in a chair every night?
Is it OK to sleep in a chair every night? – Most experts recommend against sleeping in a chair every night as it doesn’t support or encourage proper spinal alignment.
Why is my lower back worse when sitting?
Mechanical lower back pain – Because it represents 97% of cases, mechanical low back pain deserves to be discussed first. To determine the factors that bring out the pain, the doctor will consider the following causes of mechanical low back pain:
Muscle strain. Spondylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebral body on the next). Herniated disc (the discs, or pads, that act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae can bulge into the space containing the spinal cord or a nerve root and cause pain). Osteoarthritis (a common form of arthritis in which the cartilage that cushions the joints breaks down and bony spurs form in the joint, causing pain and swelling). Spinal stenosis (caused by a narrowing of the bony canal and predisposes some people to pain related to pressure on the spinal nerves or the spinal cord itself).
Low back pain that gets worse with sitting may indicate a herniated lumbar disc (one of the discs in the lower part of the back). This is because certain positions of the body can change the amount of pressure that an out-of-place disc can press on a nerve.
Is it better for your spine to sleep without a pillow?
Side sleepers – Side sleepers should choose a firm pillow with extra depth to help support the head and bridge the distance between the ear and the shoulder. Sleeping with a pillow between the knees can also help align the spine more effectively. Learn more about side sleeping here. General tips to improve sleep include:
waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day, including at weekendshaving a relaxing bedtime ritual, such as having a warm bath or reading a bookavoiding napping during the dayexercising dailymaking sure that the bedroom is cool, quiet, and darkusing a comfortable mattressavoiding cigarettes and alcohol avoiding heavy meals before bedtime
Learn more tips for improving sleep here. Sleeping without a pillow may help some people who sleep on their front. It can help keep the spine and the neck in alignment during sleep, easing neck and back pain. It is not a good idea for everyone, though. People who sleep on their back or side might find that sleeping without a pillow causes neck or back pain.
Shop for memory foam pillows. Shop for thin pillows. Shop for body pillows.
Is it OK to decompress your spine?
3. Avoids Spinal Disc Problems – It has been proven by studies that spinal decompression methods are more effective ways to heal disc problems than traditional traction treatments. Be it a herniated disc or a disc injury due to any degenerative disease, spinal decompression is beneficial for all these problems.
What does pillow behind back do?
What Are Lumbar Pillows Used For? – To understand the uses for lumbar pillows, let’s build a backbone of knowledge by starting with some spine science. Your spine has several natural curves that form an “S” shape. These curves can be divided into three main sections:
- Cervical (your neck)
- Thoracic (your upper back)
- Lumbar (your lower back)
When you sit slouched or hunched over for long periods of time, it puts more stress on your lumbar spine or lower back, leading to muscle strain, fatigue, and ultimately, the ever-dreaded lower back pain. So, what is a lumbar pillow used for? These clever cushions are designed to support your lower back and assist with pain relief.
How do you position a pillow for your back?
If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower back. You might try a small, rolled towel under the small of your back for additional support. Support your neck with a pillow. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products.
What is the most healthy sleep position?
What Are the Best Positions for Sleeping? During sleep, your body works to restore and repair itself National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
Your sleep position can either help or hinder that process, depending on how effectively it supports the natural curvature of your spine. It’s also common for people to wake up with brand new aches and pains in the morning, sometimes due to sleep position. We spend a third of our lives National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
asleep or resting, so it’s important to choose a sleep position that assists your body with physical recovery. A proper sleep position can relieve stress on your spine, while an unhealthy position can increase pain or stiffness in the back, arms, or shoulders, all while contributing to lower-quality sleep National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- The best sleep position is one that promotes healthy spinal alignment from your hips all the way to your head.
- What that looks like for you depends on your personal health situation and what you find comfortable.
- Having said that, there are some positions that are considered healthier than others.
- Specifically, sleeping on the side or back is considered more beneficial than sleeping on the stomach.
In either of these sleep positions, it’s easier to keep your spine supported and balanced, which relieves pressure on the spinal tissues and enables your muscles to relax and recover. However, if sleeping on your stomach feels good to you, don’t feel forced to change it.
- You can minimize your risk of pain and improve spinal alignment with the right mattress and pillow.
- Different sleep positions provide different benefits that may be helpful for you if you’re dealing with back pain, pregnancy, allergies, acid reflux, or another health condition.
- In these cases, it may be worth trying a new sleep position to enable more restful sleep.
In one study, a group of adults with back pain were trained to sleep on their back or their side. They experienced significant pain relief in just four weeks. Adjusting to a new sleep position takes time, but it is possible. Be patient with yourself and use pillows to help train your body to the new position.
- More than 60% of people sleep on their side, with men spending more time on their sides National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- Each night than women.
- As children, we split our nights by sleeping in all positions equally, but by adulthood, a clear preference for emerges.
The flexibility of our spine decreases as we age, which may make the more comfortable for older adults. Sleeping on your side offers several benefits. It promotes healthy spinal alignment and is the sleep position least likely to result in back pain, especially when supported with pillows.
- Side sleeping also may reduce heartburn National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- And snoring National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
, making it a better sleeping position for people with or acid reflux. Side sleeping may be particularly beneficial for:
- Pregnant women
- People with acid reflux
- People with back pain
- People who snore or have sleep apnea
- Older people
Experts recommend that sleep on their side with the knees bent Medline Plus MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends. The side sleeping position relieves the pressure of a growing belly, enabling the heart to pump and blood to flow easily throughout the body.
In particular, the left side is recommended because it prevents pressure on the liver and facilitates healthy blood flow to the fetus, uterus, kidneys, and heart. If you feel discomfort sleeping on your left side during pregnancy, you can switch to the right side now and then to relieve pressure on the left hip.
You can also relieve tension by placing pillows under the belly, between the legs, and at the small of the back. The best sleeping position for is on your side with a pillow or blanket between the knees. Side sleeping can also relieve symptoms for those with neck or,
- People with shoulder pain
- People worried about wrinkles
Side sleeping can lead to soreness or tightness in your shoulders National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
, so it’s good to shift positions occasionally and use the most appropriate pillow and mattress. Ensure your mattress has enough “give” to allow your hips and shoulders to sink in deeper than your middle spine. Side sleeping can also contribute to facial wrinkles National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
, since your face is pressed against the pillow, stretching and compressing the skin. If you’re already a side sleeper and want to go for that gold star, opt to sleep on your left instead of your right side. Sleeping on the right may increase pressure on your internal organs, which is why experts recommend the left for pregnant women and sleepers with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Lying on the back is the second most popular sleep position, with plenty of benefits to rival the side sleeping position. When you’re flat on your back, it’s easy to keep your spine in alignment and to evenly distribute your body weight, preventing any potential aches in the neck or back.
- People with lumbar spinal pain
- People worried about wrinkles
- People with neck pain
- People with nasal congestion
Lying on the back is the best sleep position for neck pain, as it prevents the misalignment that can occur in the side or stomach positions. To prevent neck pain, use a pillow that supports the neck while letting your head sink deeper. Memory foam pillows or pillows with a divot for the head are good options.
Alternately, you can roll a towel underneath your neck and use a flatter pillow for your head. When sleeping on your back, aim to keep your arms in similar positions. For example, having them both lie by your sides is preferable to having one rested on your forehead, as that causes unevenness in the spine that can contribute to shoulder or neck pain.
If you’re coping with allergies or a stuffy nose, use pillows to prop up your upper back so you’re in more of an upright position, without collapsing the spine. This positioning can enable your airways to stay open and may help drain your nose. Avoid lying flat on your back, as that may increase nasal congestion National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- Pregnant women
- People who snore or have sleep apnea
- People with some types of back pain
- People with GERD or acid reflux
- Heavier adults
- Older adults
Back sleeping is the worst sleeping position for people with snoring and because it leaves you susceptible to airway collapse. More than half of people have position-dependent sleep apnea, meaning that the severity of their symptoms increases when they lie on their back.
- Also, while some people feel relief from the back sleeping position, others find it increases their back pain.
- Depending on the firmness of your mattress, a small gap can form between your lower back and the mattress surface, which can lead to uncomfortable tension in the lower back.
- You can resolve this by placing a thin pillow in that area, or placing a pillow under your knees instead.
Either way, you’ll relieve pressure while supporting the natural curvature of your spine. You can also switch between back and side sleeping throughout the night. The back sleeping position is not recommended for pregnant women because a growing baby can add pressure on the heart and make it difficult for blood to flow easily.
- Theoretical postulation may suggest National Library of Medicine, Biotech Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information.
- That sleeping on the back during the third trimester can increase the risk of stillbirth, though conclusive evidence is lacking.
Individuals with acid reflux or GERD should also avoid sleeping on the back. GERD episodes become more frequent in this position, and can start as soon as one minute after switching to lie on the back. Finally, as we grow older or heavier, it becomes harder to breathe while lying on our backs, due to the pressure of gravity on the body.
Switching to a side sleeping position can be a better option for heavier and older individuals. The stomach is the least popular sleep position. Research suggests we spend less than 10% of our night sleeping in this position. does have some benefits, however. Namely, the position can help relieve snoring, by opening up your airway.
However, your ribs do have to work against gravity in order to breathe in this position, which may force you to use more energy and thereby make your sleep less restful. The stomach sleeping position comes with several drawbacks and is not recommended for most people.
- Pregnant women
- People with neck or back pain
- People worried about wrinkles
The stomach position provides the least back support of all sleeping positions and increases pressure on the spine, sometimes causing pain upon waking up. In order to sleep on your stomach, you must sleep with your head facing one side, invariably twisting your neck and head out of alignment with the rest of your spine.
If your mattress isn’t firm enough, your stomach and hips will sink into the mattress, uncomfortably stretching your spine out of alignment. This kind of asymmetrical sleep posture can negatively impact your spine over time. Also, sleeping on the stomach can contribute to facial wrinkles, since your face is pressed against the pillow or the surface of the mattress.
Without the right pillow and mattress, it’s easy for the stomach sleeping position to cause aches and pains. However, it is possible to sleep well in this position. If you enjoy sleeping on your stomach, try doing so with a very thin pillow, or no pillow at all.
This way, you can avoid tilting your neck back and up, creating further spinal misalignment and discomfort. Place a thin pillow under your hips to further even out the spine and relieve pressure. A firm mattress can also prevent some of the spinal alignment issues that come from sleeping on your stomach.
When your mattress is firm, you’re unlikely to sink deeply into the mattress surface and stretch your spine out of alignment. The best sleep position for you is whichever sleep position enables you to enjoy a restful night of uninterrupted sleep and wake up in the morning feeling refreshed, without any aches and pains.
If that describes your current sleep position, don’t feel forced to change it. If you think a new position might make sleep more comfortable for you, though, go ahead and try another position. Be patient and use the strategies named to help yourself adjust to the new position. Your sleep position plays a pivotal role in the quality of your sleep.
Changing it up is just one of many,
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- Zenian, J. (2010). Sleep position and shoulder pain. Medical Hypotheses, 74(4), 639–643.
- Anson, G., Kane, M.A.C., & Lambros, V. (2016). Sleep wrinkles: Facial aging and facial distortion during sleep. Aesthetic Surgery Journal, 36(8), 931–940.
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- O’Brien, L.M., & Warland, J. (2014). Typical sleep positions in pregnant women. Early Human Development, 90(6), 315–317.
: What Are the Best Positions for Sleeping?