Is improving your posture so simple that you can do it in your sleep? That may be the case if you take the time to master the art of good sleep positioning! We tend to pay attention to how the ways we move during the day impact our posture. Many of us very wisely use intentional movements or supportive chairs to ensure that we don’t create unnecessary strain during the day. However, we may be overlooking a big part of the picture if we’re not paying attention to our sleep posture. What’s to gain from positioning your body smartly during sleep? The first benefit is that you’ll likely get better rest that leaves you feeling more refreshed in the morning! The second benefit is that you may actually display better posture once you wake up! Let’s talk about how to start improving posture during sleep!
Creating the Right Sleep Space for Good Posture
Start with an audit of your sleeping space. An ancient mattress with slopes and bumps may not be the ideal base for perfecting your nighttime posture. Can you remember when you purchased the mattress you’re sleeping on today? Most experts agree that it’s important to replace your mattress at least once every 10 years to avoid injuries.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when choosing the right mattress. This is really a case where you’ll need to choose a mattress that supports your body in a way that feels natural and comfortable. Generally, soft mattresses can help to keep your spine straight if your hips happen to be wider than your waist. A harder mattress might offer a better level of support if you happen to have hips that line up with your waist. The big thing to remember is that your mattress should be large enough to accommodate a wide variety of sleeping positions without allowing extremities to slip off the sides of your mattress!
Be sure to give your pillow a squeeze while you’re auditing your mattress. Pillows should ideally be replaced after about a year. Generally, you’d like to see a pillow that provides support for your neck’s natural curve. The goal of a good pillow is to keep your neck aligned with both your chest and lower back when you’re sleeping on your spine. You should also focus on finding a pillow that is labeled for supporting the specific sleep position that you tend to prefer.
What Is the Perfect Sleeping Position for Good Posture?
There’s no rule that says you have to sleep a certain way to maintain good posture. However, we do know that keeping your body aligned while you’re asleep is really the best way to keep your back in good shape while avoiding pain and soreness. What does that look like? Be mindful of keeping your ears, shoulders and hips perfectly lined up while you’re sleeping. This can be done pretty easily when you’re sleeping on your spine. However, it’s important to do your best to maintain this alignment regardless of which position you transition into during sleep. It may be helpful to place a pillow between your knees if you have difficulty staying in alignment when you turn on your side.
How do you keep your body aligned if you tend to switch positions during the night? It can take some practice to be mindful about how you move in the night. It’s also very important to be mindful about how you’re moving when you spring out of bed for a late-night bathroom trip or morning wake-up call. Here’s a cheat sheet for how to stay aligned in your sleep for back health!
How to roll over in bed properly:
- Tuck your knees toward your chest when you roll over in bed.
- You should be contracting your abdomen while focusing on moving the “trunk” of your body as a single unit.
- Avoid “twisting” your back in any way.
How to get up out of bed:
- First, bend your knees.
- Next, place your feet flat against the mattress.
- You can now roll on your side toward the side of the bed that you want to exit from.
- Use both of your hands to push up into a sitting position.
- Bend from the hips as you push your feet down to the floor. One foot should be positioned slightly in front of the other.
- Simultaneously straighten both legs as you stand up.
The key thing to remember when performing both maneuvers is that you should never be twisting or contorting your back in any way while adjusting positions or exiting your bed. A little bit of visualization can also be helpful when it comes to keeping proper alignment when you need to move in your bed. Always picture your body as a singular structure instead of several moving parts. Focus on moving the “trunk” of your body as “one” at all times. In fact, visualizing your spine as an actual tree trunk running down the length of your body can help you to maintain the rigidity needed to safely change positions or exit your bed without harming your body’s alignment.
Preparing Your Body for Proper Rest
Many people like to sit or recline while reading or watching television prior to bedtime. It’s important not to go directly from lounging to sleeping if proper sleep posture is on your mind! That’s because staying in the seated position for a period of time can cause your pelvis to be tucked slightly forward. Getting into bed without giving your body a chance to adjust positions first can lead to poor sleeping posture by default. You can prepare your body for proper sleeping posture by simply walking around for a few minutes prior to bedtime. This is a great way to loosen up your muscles before settling in for eight hours of sleep!
Perfect Posture May Be Just One Night Away
Yes, it’s very important to be mindful of posture during the day. However, there’s a chance that you’re undoing all or some of the benefits that are being achieved through things like stretching, exercise and chiropractic alignments if you’re sleeping improperly. Learning how to sleep to create better posture can change everything if you suffer from back pain, neck pain or poor sleep. Many people find that they are able to enjoy more restful nights once they commit to staying aligned while sleeping. That means that you can potentially wake up feeling more rested while also erasing back pain once you banish sloppy sleep positions forever. It’s very possible that proper sleep posture is the missing link in your path to better health and comfort if you’re experiencing pain that isn’t going away with daytime posture exercises!