Sleeping Positions and how they affect the body.

People often complain of pain in various body parts when they wake in the morning.  Common culprits are the neck, shoulder, lower back and hips.  Often these morning aches can be attributed to how we have slept during the night, and can be fairly simply addressed.


Are you a front sleeper?

Sleeping on your front puts a lot of stress through the neck and often results in difficulty and discomfort in turning your head in the morning.  Simply needing to breathe means front sleepers will always have their head turned one way or the other. Considering the amount of time you’re asleep that’s a big ask of your neck! 

Front-sleeping is usually considered the least-desirable option due to the  effect it has on the neck.  As in intermediate step, you could try placing a pillow under your chest to take some of the pressure off your neck. But the best thing in this situation is to try and train yourself to sleep in a different position (on either your side or back). 

Are you a side sleeper?

Sleeping on your side is a better option than front-sleeping, and is usually much better for your neck.  A good contour pillow (ask at Sustain Health if you need one!) is especially helpful to give side-sleepers adequate neck support.   Side-sleepers waking with shoulder pain may benefit from placing an extra pillow underneath their torso (just under the armpit). This creates a channel for your lower arm to rest it.  If you’re a side-sleeper that wakes with lower back or hip pain try sleeping with a pillow between your knees to take some of the weight off your pelvis and lumbar spine.

Are you a back sleeper?

Sleeping on your back is ideal, so great work if that’s you!  The most common complaint from people sleeping on their back is pain or tension in the lower back. This is usually caused by tight psoas muscles.  Try putting a pillow underneath your knees to take some strain out of the lower back.

Should you be experiencing any of the above and find that these measures don’t resolve the situation, massage may help to treat your symptoms. An assessment of your sleeping position can be beneficial also.

Glenferrie Sports and Spinal Clinic is located in Hawthorn. Situated conveniently near public transport and with convenient parking it is central to Camberwell, Kew, Richmond, Toorak and Malvern.

For appointments call 03 9815 2555, or book online here

Posted by Matt
On 09 Aug 2016


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