When it comes to muscular, joint and bone pain, sleep may play an integral role. If you’re having trouble settling your body’s score with pain, you might want to consider a few pain-free sleeping positions. Depending upon your consistent morning ailments, a few positions might reduce pain—or strike it out, altogether. Take a look at the following sleeping positions experts believe reduce ongoing morning pain:
Sleeping On Your Back with a Pillow Under Your Legs
A lot of sleep studies suggest sleeping on your back, with a pillow situated beneath the crooks of your legs, can aid in maintaining your lower back curve. This might seem like a subtle aid, but it’s entirely conducive to a morning free of back stress. If you’re having trouble maintaining a position, or if your pillow “deflates” overnight, consider placing a small, rolled-up towel beneath the small of your back to hold your body in place.
Sleeping On Your Stomach
More and more pain-ridden individuals are sleeping on their stomachs to reduce morning back pain. Understandably, you’ll reduce pressure on your back by not sleeping on it at all. Place a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis, and add another beneath your head if you’re still experiencing strain. You’ll be surprised by the morning results.
Sleeping On Your Side with Leg Support
If you face back and neck pain constantly, you should try out sleeping on your side. More importantly: You should sleep on your side with leg support. In doing so, you can maintain your back’s naturally curved position. Rest on your side, keep your knees bent, slightly, and keep your hips straight. By letting your top hip flop a little, you’ll prevent lumbar rotation—and thus prevent nightly, and morning, pain.
Sleeping On Your Back with Shoulder Support
If you face rotator cuff pain—or shoulder pain, in general—try sleeping on your back with a small pillow nested between your shoulder blades. Often, morning shoulder pain is caused by your body’s flatness during nighttime hours. You may still experience pain from resting on your back alone, so don’t forget to enforce your shoulders’ natural bends by keeping the area between them raised.
Sleeping with a Towel Beneath Your Neck
If you face morning neck pain, you should consider giving your head a little more support. Neck pain, primarily, is caused by the cranium’s weight during nighttime hours. By rolling up a small hand towel beneath your neck, however, you can additionally support your head and prevent hourly stress. Neck pillows, too, are a good choice if you’re sleeping on your back. If, however, you’re still experiencing pain, you should alter the pillow beneath your head—or remove it.
Sleeping with a Flat Pillow
Speaking of pillows, you may be able to reduce neck and shoulder stress by lowering your head’s elevation. If you’re waking up with consistent pain in your upper back, neck, shoulders or collarbone area, try buying a flatter pillow. Or, buy an orthopedic pillow. Pillows with deeper depressions support the head better, and they’ll increase neck support over several nights—comforting persistent pain while reducing more stress.
When in Doubt, Sleep at an Incline
If you’ve tried everything, and if you’re still facing morning discomfort, you may need to sleep at an incline. A lot of people prefer sitting in a recliner, or upon an adjustable bed, to maintain healthy spine support while easing nightly stress. Don’t worry: You’ll get used to the slant in time.
Overall, you should maintain a healthy schedule of at least eight hours of sleep per night. Treat your body with care, and don’t give it a reason to toss and turn, needlessly, throughout the week. Additionally, it may be time to visit your physical therapist to further reduce pain. Often, a physical therapist can help relieve pain through hands-on treatment, and custom exercises to improve flexibility and strength.