Are you getting neck & pain from how you sleep

Sleep is a necessity. It is while we sleep that our bodies recover from the day. It is recommended that adults get at least 6 hours of sleep. While some may or may not meet these sleep recommendations, our sleeping position is just as important. If our neck and/ or back is not supported we can put more stress on our bodies.

Improper side sleeping position
Improper side sleeping position

The purpose of this article is not to endorse a specific brand or type of pillow. In fact,  individuals will have different preferences. For example, a contour pillow may feel great and provide the proper support for some individuals. However,  the same contour pillow may not feel comfortable for another person. The best way to find the pillow that works may be by trial and error.

Improper supine sleeping posture

Pillow for knees 

Probably one of the most overlooked places to place a pillow while sleeping is the knees. When an individual sleeps on his/ her side a pillow between the knees will help to keep hips and pelvis supported and aligned. For individuals who prefer to lay on their backs a folded pillow or a roll should be placed under the knees. The pillow should be thick enough to flex (place a bend) in both the hips and knees. A thirty degree bend in the knee is the position that places the least amount of pressure on the knee joint. A bend in the hips decreases the amount of pressure on the lumbar spine / lower back.

Proper Sidelying Sleeping Position
Proper Sidelying Sleeping Position

Pillow for head/ neck

The pillow under the head needs to fully support the head and neck. It should be tucked so that the entire neck is support all the way to the top of the shoulders. The head should also remain in a neutral position. If the pillow(s) are too high the head will be tilted placing a strain on the neck. However if the pillow(s) are too low there will not not be enough support which could lead to the muscles of the neck and shoulder tightening. These muscles will involuntarily try to still hold/ support the weight of the head because the head is not fully supported.


Proper Supine Sleeping PosItion
Proper Supine Sleeping PosItion

Protecting our body while we sleep is important. Correct sleeping position will eliminate unnecessary stress to the body. Furthermore, adequate support to our joints will allow for better rest and recovery.

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