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Correct Sleeping Posture

by
author image Sarka-Jonae Miller
Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.
Correct Sleeping Posture
Set yourself up for correct posture while sleeping by getting into position on your side or back before conking out. Photo Credit baby sleep image by Dor Sela from Fotolia.com

There are two approved methods of sleeping recommended by the American Chiropractic Association: sleeping on your side and sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your stomach is not only the least desirable position to sleep in, but it could damage your spine and nervous system. Sleeping on your back is the preferred position for good sleeping posture, but sleeping on your side is acceptable if it doesn't cause back pain. However you sleep, the ACA recommends you sleep on a firm mattress unless it feels better for your back to sleep on a softer mattress.

Sleeping on Your Back Correctly

Step 1

Roll up a sheet or towel. Tie the towel around your waist to provide support for your lumbar spine. A lumbar support allows your spine to retain its neutral and proper alignment.

Step 2

Lie on your back on a comfortable and supportive mattress. Place a pillow or small bolster under your knees. Bend the knees slightly. Relax and let your thighs and feet turn out.

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Step 3

Place a buckwheat or sobakawa roll under your neck in lieu of a pillow, as recommended by chiropractor Chip Abbadessa of Kaneohe Family Chiropractic in the Midweek.com article, "Sleep Posture." Use a roll that is the same thickness as your neck.

Sleeping on Your Side Correctly

Step 1

Lie on either your right or left side. Rest your head on a standard pillow that is the correct thickness so your face points straight ahead. Avoid a thicker pillow that will cause your neck to rotate up or a thinner pillow that would turn your face toward the bed.

Step 2

Bend your knees slightly and place a pillow between your knees to keep your pelvis stable. Do not twist your pelvis or your spine will not be in the correct alignment. Keep your knees away from your chest and avoid sleeping in the fetal position, warns The Cleveland Clinic in its "Posture for a Healthy Back" article.

Step 3

Switch sides occasionally so that you do not always sleep on one side during your lifetime. Sleeping on one side causes your chest and spine to eventually shift to one side, warns Abbadessa.

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