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  • Writer's pictureLachlan Cogan

Sleep soundly without soreness

If you sleep 8 hours a night, then you spend a third of your life asleep. Considering you spend a significant amount of your life asleep, it’s probably a good idea to try to sleep in a good position. People who sleep in a bad position can end up with pain in their lower back, hips, shoulders, upper back and neck. Here are my three tips to help you wake up feeling great instead of waking up feeling stiff and sore;

1. Pillow height

2. Use one pillow

3. Never sleep on your stomach

1. Pillow height

While you’re asleep you want to try to keep your spine in a neutral position. This and the position you sleep in is what can determine the height of your pillow. If you sleep on your side your pillow should support your head and neck. You don’t want the pillow to push your head up too much, you also don’t want to be falling into the pillow. You will need a pillow with more height if you sleep on your side as the pillow needs to be similar to the size of your shoulders. When sleeping on your back you may not need as thick a pillow as you only need the pillow to be the height of the curve of your neck.

2. Use one pillow

It’s best to use only one pillow while you’re asleep. If you use two pillows there is the possibility that if you move around in the night, the pillows may move around as well. This could result in your head being partly on one pillow and partly on two, which can lead to your neck being in a bad position.

In the first tip, talking about pillow height, you may think that using two pillows is a good way to get the right height. If you decide to use two pillows to get the right height, use should put them both in to one pillow case so they stay together.

3. Never sleep on your stomach

The worst position you can sleep in, is on your stomach. There are a few reasons why sleeping on your stomach is bad for your body. Firstly, it forces you to turn your head to the side so you can breathe. If you spend 8 hours with your neck and head turned off to one side this will cause the muscles on one side of your neck to tighten up, while the other side has to loosen and stretch all night. This can lead to neck pain.

Secondly, it forces your lower back to hyper-extend which over time loosens your abdominals and tighten the muscles in the lower back. A lot of people will flex their hip to bring up one leg to reduce the amount of hyper-extension of the lower back. This then forces the pelvis into a rotated position and can lead to lower back pain.

The best positions to sleep in are on your back or side. If sleeping on your side, try to lie on the point of your hip and shoulder to best keep your back in a good position.

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