What are the Sleep Positions Recommended by Physical Therapists?

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is to remain fresh the entire day and work to our full capacity. But have you ever wondered what the ideal sleeping position is? Well, this is something that physical therapists answer on a daily basis. The severity of the injury may influence the answer, the […]

December 5, 2022

Gagan Bhargav

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is to remain fresh the entire day and work to our full capacity. But have you ever wondered what the ideal sleeping position is? Well, this is something that physical therapists answer on a daily basis. The severity of the injury may influence the answer, the degree of recovery, individual sleeping habits and physical therapy rehabilitation advice.

However, whatsoever might be the reason behind your disturbed sleep, it needs your attention. Be it via in-clinic therapy or virtually through a physical therapy practice management system, getting enough sleep is vital for our overall well-being. Our health may be impacted, our disposition may change, and the quality of our lives will suffer if we don’t get enough sleep. When the body receives the appropriate amount of sleep, it heals much more quickly and effectively. So, why don’t we jump to the sleeping positions that can help you sleep like a baby?

What are the Different Sleep Positions?

Just like everyone has a different way of living, food preferences, favourite movie genres, and so on, their sleeping positions differ accordingly. However, we should know that our sleeping position has an impact on several bodily processes, including digestion, excretion, and even breathing. Furthermore, getting aware through physical therapy rehabilitation of which position you sleep in is the first step in improving the quality of your sleep.

The three most common sleeping positions are:

  • Side sleeping
  • Sleeping on the back
  • Sleeping on the stomach

However, you should keep in mind that most people keep shifting the positions they sleep in throughout the course of their sleep, so there isn’t just one sleep position you should consider while monitoring the same.

Also, note that the right sleeping position can significantly improve your sleep quality if you suffer from a medical condition like heart disease or sleep apnea by reducing some symptoms. Thus, finding your ideal sleep position is necessary for your overall well–being. You can perfect it by getting videos and pictures personalised for you through a physical therapy practice management system.

What are Some Healthy Sleep Positions?

If you have back pain

Several sleeping positions may be helpful if back pain keeps you up at night:

  • Your side: Place a pillow between your knees and let one side of your body, including your shoulder, touch the mattress. To properly align your hips, pelvis, and spine, if there is a space between your waist and the mattress, fill it with a small pillow to increase the comfort level.
  • Sleeping on your stomach: It can be comfortable if you put a pillow under your hips and stomach to relieve some of the pressure on your back.
  • Your back: If you put a pillow under your knees, sleeping on your back might be the best option for back pain.

Sleep positions for painful neck

If you are not able to have a sound sleep because your neck hurts, you should sleep in a way that supports your head and neck. Place your pillow very cautiously so that your head and neck are continuously reinforced. It’s much more important than you think, be it the pillow under your head or the one you’re snuggling with.

  • On Back: To support the back of your neck and the base of your head, get the pillow and place it under your shoulders. Your neck is not well supported by the bed alone when you lie flat on your back due to the shape of your head; therefore, the pillow fills this space and helps keep your spine in a more neutral and comfortable position.
  • Side Sleepers: Your head should be supported by a pillow that is in a neutral position. Your head may slant one way or the other if a pillow is too fluffy or too flat, which will put your neck in an uncomfortable position. Another suggestion is to hug the pillow in front of you as you sleep; that will keep your neck straight. Also, it will prevent your torso from rolling forward and your shoulders from hunching over, which can lessen shoulder and neck pain.
  • On Stomach: In this position, your neck is twisted to one side the entire time, as this can result in stiffness and discomfort the following morning.

Note: If you need clarification on too many instructions, you can have a visual representation by a physical therapy practice management system like SmartPT Online.

If your shoulders hurt

If your shoulder pain is the cause, try lying on your pain-free side while slightly bending your legs.

  • Hug a pillow to your chest while extending your bottom arm out and pulling it in with both arms. You can avoid rolling back onto your hurt shoulder by placing a pillow behind your back.
  • If you prefer to sleep on your back, elevate the affected arm off the bed using a few pillows, and keep your other arm at your sides.

Note: No matter which position you generally sleep in, avoid putting the pillows directly under your shoulder, which is where the pain is the worst.

The Bottom Line

This might be a lot to sink in at first, and changing the position that you have been sleeping in for quite some time might also be difficult in the initial stages, but getting rid of the pain, is a vital step. Try keeping a sleep diary for a few weeks to determine the ideal sleeping arrangement for your requirements. You can monitor any patterns in your sleeping patterns and sleep quality to understand better what is and isn’t working for you. You can also take the help of the physical therapy practice management system to get to know the exact positions to relieve the pain.

At the same time, you don’t need to overthink your sleeping position if it isn’t causing you any inconvenience in the first place. Sleep in the way you like and get the most out of the resting hours. All that matters is you sleep like a baby and get up with the energy to work at your best potential.

Receive updates, business advice, and easy-to-follow tips in your inbox with just a tap.

    Go-to Physio Blogs

    Does your Physio therapy business needs a boost? Access the ready to implement ideas & strategies.