Sleep Posture: An Accessible Intervention For Everyone
During the day, there’s a lot of focus on posture: we try to straighten up, sit in ergonomic chairs and are mindful of not bending our neck towards our phone too much.
None of that translates into night time, when arguably that’s when we could optimise our posture with the least effort, since we’re already asleep.
This is where sleep posture comes in: it’s the simplest, most accessible intervention and it’s suited to everyone, as long as you have a spine and sleep.
So, whether you’re a carer, being cared for, or are just looking to improve your spinal health…
How to optimise sleep posture
Sleep posture is concerned with two things: the position you lie in and the surface you lie on.
Step 1: Your sleeping position
You can optimise it whether you’re a front or a back sleeper in a few simple steps.
Side sleeping (The Dreamer):
1 Transition to sleeping on your side (either one is fine – we recommend alternating)
2 Select the right pillow height for you: not too high and not too low, but just perfect for your body shape and size
3 Stick your old pillow between your knees and ankles. This will help your hips remain neutral and help you achieve the optimum sleep posture
Back sleeping (The Stargazer):
1 Choose a low pillow for your head. For most people this will be around an 8cm height. If your pillow is too high, your neck will be pushed forward. That’s not good for your posture and puts the same strain on your neck as looking down on your phone does (imagine how you feel after doing this for 30 minutes, let alone a whole night).
2 Don’t throw your old pillow away. Place it under your knees instead. This will instantly take the pressure off your spine. It also ‘anchors’ you in place, so you’re less likely to move around during the night.
If you sleep on your stomach – please consider switching to side sleeping as the closest alternative. Front sleeping is impossible to optimise and not recommended at all (unless medically required).
Step 2: Your sleeping surface
Your pillow and mattress should address three pain components of an optimised night’s sleep.
Pressure relief – The weight of your body pressing down onto the surface you are sleeping on and the resulting force that acts against your body.
Postural management - Your spine has three natural curves – at your neck, mid back, and low back. Correct posture should maintain these curves, but not increase them.
Proprioceptive feedback - Your body’s own sense of where it is in space, enabling muscles to relax, heal and promote valuable sleep. When muscles are active the receptors, known as spindles, fire messages to the spinal cord and ultimately the brain with constant information on the bodies position – Levitex® calms this whole process down to give restful sleep.
Now you know what it takes to optimise your sleep posture, will you be utilising the intervention when it comes to your (or others’) sleep?