Sleep Posture - Part 1

Dr Timothy Lim

Jul 21, 2015

Have you woken up with a sore neck or back? If your answer is yes, then you’ll want to follow our series on sleep posture to find out the best way to give you a better night’s sleep.

What are the DIFFERENT TYPES of sleep posture?

There are basically 2 sleep postures: lying on your back (supine) or facing up and sleeping on your shoulder on the left or right. Never sleep on your belly/stomach face down. The reason is if you sleep face down, you will have to keep your your neck turned sideways for extended periods of time leading to ligament or muscle strain.

But why do I sleep in only ONE sleep position?

Some of my patients will tell me “Doc, I have been sleeping face down since I was a kid!” We all have our preference to sleep sideways or supine facing up. If you have neck or back problems regardless of the presence of pain, you will find that you have limited sleep posture option. For example your body may only allow you to sleep comfortably sideways.

What is BEST sleep posture or position?

For practical purposes the best sleep posture is the one that helps you get the best quality of sleep. Assuming you CAN sleep well in any of the above sleep posture, the best sleep posture to improve your cervical spine in my opinion is to sleep on your back on a foam pillow.

In other words, you should be able to able to alternate between both side lying and supine sleep postures. Next, find out:

Is your sleep posture or pillow giving you neck pain?
How to know if your sleep posture is ergonomically correct?