Tips for good posture when lying down

When we think of posture, we typically think of standing or sitting correctly. But it is also important to think about posture when you are lying down, resting or sleeping.

Lower back and neck pain, leg spasms or leg pain can all be aggravated by the way you lie. With careful use of pillows, you can be more comfortable and get a better night's rest.

Try to change your position regularly to minimise problems from staying in one place too long.

How to improve your posture when lying down

You're aiming to keep your 'spine in line' when lying down. The role of the mattress and pillows is to help support the natural curves in your spine.

Firstly, think about your head position. Too many pillows under your head when lying on your back or side can push your head up, straining muscles and joints in your neck.

Ideally, your pillow should only be under your head and not under your shoulders as well. The pillow should fill the gap between your head and shoulder, keeping your head in line with your spine. This creates the least amount of strain.

If you have neck pain or arm weakness, putting a pillow under your arm can help. This takes the weight of your arm off your neck.

Good posture lying side example

When lying on your back, think about your leg position. Rather than lying with a twisted pelvis or with your legs to one side, try and lie symmetrically.

If your legs don't naturally stay straight, due to spasms, and tend to twist to one side, try placing pillows under your knees to keep them in line with your spine. If you're lying on your side, putting a pillow between your knees can also help.

Finally, avoid lying on your front. It is impossible to keep your spine in line in this position and may cause neck pain as your head is permanently turned to one side.

Good posture lying back example

For a visual representation of the information covered in this text, please view the video at the top of the page.

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