What is the correct way to sleep

In this Article

  • Importance of Good Posture
  • What Is the Best Way to Sleep?
  • Pillow Posture and Finding the Right Pillow

You’ve probably already heard that having good posture is pretty important. Did you know that goes for your sleeping posture, too? Different sleeping positions have an effect on your shoulders, neck, and spine. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to finding the healthiest sleeping position for you.

Importance of Good Posture

Good posture is more than just about standing tall with pride and confidence. Your posture has several different effects on your health. Poor posture, even when you’re lying down or sleeping, can be the cause of unnecessary muscle or ligament strain.

Having good posture helps you to maintain balance when you move and walk. This is defined as having your weight centered over your feet. Having good balance helps you move more efficiently when doing everyday tasks, like going up and down stairs or turning around. Practicing goodВ posture also helps to reduce the risk of injury while training or doing sports.

Poor posture can be caused by:

  • Stress
  • Weak postural muscles
  • Inflexible muscles
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Muscles that are too tight
  • Wearing high-heeled shoes

What Is the Best Way to Sleep?

On average, you spend about a third of your life lying down or sleeping. As you get older, finding the right position becomes more important to accommodate everyday aches and pains. While there is no one best way to sleep, there are things to keep in mind about different sleeping positions.

On your side. Most adults tend to be side sleepers. In fact, studies show that adults spend more than half their sleeping time on their side. It’s thought that this becomes more common as you age as you lose flexibility in your spine. Sleeping on your side or with your legs curled up in the fetal position can help keep your airways open. This can reduce snoring and mild sleep apnea.

On your back. Sleeping on your back may be one of the best positions for improving your sleeping posture. It promotes better alignment and reduces the pressure on your arms and legs. People with neck or back pain, especially in the lower back, find it to be the most comfortable.

Keep in mind that sleeping on your back can cause other conditions to worsen, like snoring and sleep apnea. It can also trigger heartburn or gastroesophageal disease (GERD). Pregnant women should also avoid sleeping on their backs since there’s a possible link to stillbirths in the third trimester.

On your stomach. This is also called the front or prone position. Sleeping on your stomach causes a higher heart rate and more energy to elevate your body against gravity. You can help improve your alignment by putting a pillow under your stomach or pelvis.

If you sleep on your stomach, be sure not to bend at the waist when you move around at night. To keep your spine properly aligned, move your entire body at the same time. You want to try to keep your ears, hips, and shoulders aligned when you lie in bed.

Pillow Posture and Finding the Right Pillow

Pillow posture, or choosing the rightВ pillow to go with your preferred sleeping position, is also important. Pressure on your spine and neck is different with each position, so your pillow can help correct it.

When choosing a pillow, think about the curve of your neck in your favorite sleeping position. You want to choose a pillow that fills in that curve while giving your head enough ergonomic support:

  • Back sleepers: look for a pillow that fills the space between your neck and bed. If you can see your feet while you’re lying down, the pillow is probably too high for you. Your pillow needs to support your head, neck, and the natural curve of your shoulders. If you have a foam pillow, you can trim it down to lower the pillow.В
  • Stomach sleepers: you need a small, flat pillow to keep your head level and even. StomachВ sleepers can even sleep without a pillow if it’s more comfortable.
  • Side sleepers: you need a thicker pillow than back sleepers do. The pillow you choose should fill in the space between your ear and the bed. You can also place a pillow between your knees to align your spine and remove the stress from your hips and lower back.

Tips for good pillow posture.В There are other factors to keep in mind when buying a pillow. The fitness of your mattress can cause your pillow to sink or sit high on the mattress. A mattress topper can also elevate your pillow even more. You can also place pillows around your bed, not just your head, to fill in any gaps that form between the bed and your body.

Show Sources

DePaul: “Sleeping Posture.”

Harvard Health Publishing: “Why good posture matters.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Choosing the Best Sleep Position.”

Mayo Clinic Health System: “Proper posture is important for good health.”

Sleep.org: “What Is the Best Sleeping Position for Restful Sleep?”

University of Rochester Medical Center: “Good Sleeping Posture Helps Your Back.”

What is the correct way to sleep

By: Brian Rog and Todd Sayer, PT, MBA

A good night’s rest should leave you energized and refreshed. But if you are like many Americans, restlessness and post-sleep pain is a regular occurrence and can negatively impact your everyday life. The good news is that finding the correct sleeping position and implementing a few simple changes to your daily and nightly routine can make a substantial and positive impact on how well you sleep each night.

What is the correct way to sleep

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The Proper Way to Sleep

Use Pillows for Support

Your pillow is important: pillows help to neutralize and support your sleeping position. They fill the space that tends to displace joints from non-neutral positions. When used properly, your pillow will help to alleviate and even prevent consequential joint, back and neck pain.

When considering the types of pillows to use, we suggest cervical pillows. These types of pillows allow for the neck to be supported in the neutral anatomical sleeping position while on your back or side.

It’s also important to ensure your pillow fully supports your head. You know your pillow is doing its job if it fills the negative space from your head and neck down to the mattress. When your pillow is at this height, it will allow for the spine to maintain neutral alignment.

Correct Sleeping Posture for Neutral Alignment

Sleep positions play a key role in neutralizing your joints. But if you aren’t following the expert-recommended correct sleeping postures, the potential long-term damage to your body and health is greatly increased. Regardless of your position of choice, you must ALWAYS try to make spine alignment a top priority.

How-To: Properly Sleep on Your Back

If you already sleep on your back, you are in luck! Sleeping on your back with a pillow supported underneath your thighs is known to yield a good night’s sleep. This type of sleeping posture allows your head, neck and back to settle in the best neutral and natural position. If you are wondering about what to do with your arms, comfort preferences dictate what’s best. However, if you want the expert’s opinion – it’s recommended you keep arms at your side.

How-To: Properly Sleep on Your Side

Though not ideal, side sleeping, which is one of the more commonly used positions, is an acceptable alternative to back sleeping. Side sleeping still helps to elongate your spine, and you can minimize potential negative impact by using a pillow.

Simply add a thick and firm pillow underneath the rib cage/torso to fill the space between your hips and shoulders. This will help to alleviate compression from the downside shoulder. Doing this may also help to eliminate a contributing variable to the development of shoulder dysfunctions.

Why to Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach

Unfortunately, there is no real good way to sleep on your stomach. The only value stomach sleeping provides is lessening the likelihood of snoring. Stomach sleeping is extremely taxing and counterbalancing on the back, spine and neck.

Since most of our weight is in the middle of the body, stomach sleeping makes it difficult for your spine to sustain a neutral position. As for the neck, most stomach sleepers turn their head to the side to breathe. As a result, the head and spine are forced out of alignment and can lead to serious damage down the road.

If you are among the 17 percenters unable to break away from stomach sleeping, consider using a flat pillow to reduce the angling of your neck. We also recommend sleeping with a pillow under the abdomen to take some of the pressure off your back and spine.

Ensure Your Structure is Supported Throughout

As we mentioned, maintaining proper alignment of your spine is by far one of the most important things you can do for your body. But how can you tell if your approach is effective? It’s simple: fill spaces and gaps to help neutralize and support correct sleep positions. Doing this will help to preserve body alignment and relieve any pressure.

The Good and the Bad

Like most things in life, desired outcomes rest on the amount of effort you put in. When it comes to sleep and your daily habits, if you are willing to make a few simple changes – whether it be avoiding your phone before bedtime or looking after your sleep posture, you’ll be doing your body much good in the long run.

If you feel like you’ve tried everything to improve your sleep but post-sleep aches and pains still follow you through the day, it’s time to act. Get in touch with one of our experts to setup a complimentary screening at your nearest ATI clinic or call (855) MY-ATIPT.

Hey, everybody. My name is David Salinas. I’m a physical therapist here with Brooks Rehabilitation.

Today, I’m just gonna be talking to you about proper sleeping positions.

Sleep is so important to allow our mind and body to heal, but so many people have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night.

So I’m gonna just show you a couple of tips that you can use, and for the most part, really the goal of everything is trying to get your body in a neutral position, especially the spine. So I’ll show you some ways that you can do that.

Okay, so to start, we have a normal curve around our neck. So a lotta times, people have seen these towel rolls before. What you can do is just slip it right underneath the pillow. I’m gonna have Alyssa here just lift her head for just a second, and now lie back down. And what that towel roll is gonna do is take out some of the space where that curvature is supposed to be and allow it to stay in this normal position.

As far as using pillows to try to get that back in a more normal position, we can just stick a couple pillows underneath the legs. Allow her to rest her legs down. Just help try to get everything in a more neutral position. Sleeping on the back’s a pretty popular position, but another thing people typically will do is sleep on their sides. So I’m just gonna have Alyssa turn onto her side for me now.

Perfect, thank you.

So that towel roll can still be beneficial here. It may need to be just a little bit smaller ’cause it’s a little bit less space than when you’re lying on your back. But similarly, that neck roll can go right in that crevice, and then you can use the pillows in between the legs. So go ahead and lift that leg up for me and then back down, just to help take up some of that space and to bring that hip in a more neutral position. If you find that one pillow isn’t quite large enough, you can just use a second pillow and just stick it right in there. Go ahead and lift that leg one more time for me. Back down.

And then one other thing you’ll typically see lying on your side is that pelvis will fall down into a sideline position. So what you can do is actually stick a towel underneath the hip that’s facing the bed. We won’t do that right now, but that’ll help bring everything up into a more neutral position as we’re trying to do with the spine and pelvis.

Now, lying on stomach’s not typically recommended. It’s gonna put more strain on the back of the neck, but if you find that’s the only way you can fall asleep, something you can try doing is just placing a pillow underneath your stomach and abdomen.

That’ll help a little bit with some of the positioning, but overall, I would really recommend either lying on your side or on your back.

I hope this helps, and thank you for your time.

For more healthy living tips, visit our YouTube Playlist.

A good night’s sleep is a basic need and ergonomic sleep provides the best recovery of your body. To sleep ergonomically, you have to take some aspects into account. In this blog you learn why your sleeping position, your mattress and pillow and the height of your bed are important for sleeping both well and in an ergonomically correct way.

Sleeping ergonomically in which sleeping position?

In the first place, your sleeping position is important. Do you want to sleep 100% ergonomically? There are two sleeping positions in which you can lie ergonomically correct. This is the side position and the back position. In these positions, your spinal column can get total rest and recover from the strains of the day. However, you need a suitable mattress (or sleep system) and pillow to properly support your back and neck.

Lying on your stomach or half on your stomach and side (a somewhat twisted position), is not recommended if you want to sleep ergonomically. An incorrect sleeping position cannot be corrected even by the best mattress or sleep system (bed base + mattress). Sleeping on your stomach is not desirable for the neck and very often detrimental for the lower back.

In our experience, customers who start to sleep ergonomically reduce sleeping on their stomach as well.

What is the correct way to sleep

Best mattress or bed for ergonomic sleep?

The most difficult choice is definitely that of the bed or mattress. If you are single, this choice is somewhat easier. Couples must agree and preferably choose ergonomic sleep comfort tailored to each sleeper.

Choosing a bed or mattress to sleep ergonomically should be based on your sleeping position and your personal preference with regard to comfort. In addition, the weight and height of the sleeper play a part and any specific physical characteristics such as very broad shoulders.

Improve your sleep

A good night’s rest is essential to recover. Read more about the bed that prevents and reduces back problems.

Ergonomic sleep is about the right support

A side sleeper needs a soft shoulder zone and a smooth hip zone to keep the back in a straight position during the night. For a back sleeper the lowering of the pelvis is important to support the natural S-shape of the spinal column. However, both need a firm back zone to ensure that they continue to lie ergonomically correct and this during on average 10 years after which any mattress should be replaced.

What is the correct way to sleep

Dorsoo offers an ergonomic sleep system with the bed base offering active and dynamic support. The advantage of a dynamic sleep system is that it adjusts automatically to a changing sleeping position (during the night) and changing weight of the user (throughout the years).

Comfort of a mattress and personal preference

The personal preference for sleeping comfort depends on the sleeper’s history. On what type of bed and mattress have people slept well or poorly in the past? The comfort as such is not that determinant for an ergonomic night’s sleep. People can sleep anatomically correct on a firm, medium or soft mattress (depending on the weight of the sleeper).

However, if people choose a mattress that does not match the sleeper’s preference with regard to comfort, they will be inclined to lie in fewer ergonomic sleeping positions than the mattress was intended for. So, indirectly, the comfort of the chosen mattress is important for ergonomic sleep.

Which pillow for ergonomic sleep?

You have already more information about suitable sleeping positions and which sleeping solution may be most suitable for you. If you want to complete the picture, the pillow is worth some research. Your head and neck need the support 6 to 9 hours per night. A proper ergonomic pillow takes away the pressure at shoulder level when you sleep on our side. Choose the pillow that matches your sleeping position.

What is the correct way to sleep

Entry height of the bed

Finally, a good entry height has ergonomic advantages. When you get a little older and tend to feel a bit stiffer from working in the garden, getting in and out of bed easily will be a daily (or should we say nightly) comfort.

You now have all the information about ergonomics and a good night’s sleep. General advice do not make a hasty decision and get good advice from an expert. After all, it’s your sleep and health you are dealing with.

What is the correct way to sleep

Improve your sleep

A good night’s rest is essential to recover. Read more about the bed that prevents and reduces back problems.

Sleep position is a key factor in choosing the best pillow for both body alignment and comfort. Fortunately for consumers, many pillows are labeled for specific sleep positions.

Using a Pillow While Sleeping on the Back

When lying on the back, a pillow should support the natural curvature, or lordosis, of the cervical spine, with adequate support under the head, neck, and shoulders. Pillow height should be lower than for side sleepers.

Placing another pillow or two beneath the knees further alleviates any back strain. The pillows tend to flatten the lumbar curve, easing the pressure on the facet joints in the back of the spinal column.

This position is the best overall to help the back rest comfortably, and many people find this is the only way they can sleep during a severe bout of back pain or while recovering from spine surgery.

Using a Pillow While Sleeping on the Side

When lying on one’s side, a pillow should support the head and neck so the spine maintains a straight and natural horizontal line. A thicker pillow is needed for sleeping on the side than sleeping on the back.

Bending the knees and placing another pillow between the knees keeps the spine in the neutral position. When there is no support between the legs, the upper leg rotates downward, pulling the pelvis and distorting the natural line of the spine. A firm pillow between the knees usually prevents this downward rotation better than a softer pillow.

Adding support between the knees can prevent back pain and allow the back to heal and rest better while sleeping.

There is limited research on pillows for side sleepers. One small study found the latex pillow the most helpful of five types considered (foam contour-shaped, regular foam, polyester, feather, and standard latex. Study participants reported the most cervical stiffness upon waking after using feather pillows, with the symptoms continuing well into the day. 1

Using a Pillow While Sleeping on the Stomach

Sleeping on the stomach is the most stressful position for the back and neck. Patients may be advised by their doctors to avoid sleeping on the stomach if they have certain spine conditions, or following spine surgery.

If sleeping or resting on the stomach is preferred, the pillow should be relatively flat, or the head should rest directly on the mattress, so the head and neck aren’t strained. In this position, it is often best to place another relatively flat pillow under the abdomen or pelvis to help the lower back keep its natural alignment.

Pillows for Combination Sleepers

Individuals with varying sleep positions should look for a pillow that has higher areas for side sleeping and lower areas for back sleeping. A pillow with a mix of different fillers or a buckwheat hull pillow might be helpful as well. Using a single all-purpose pillow is likely to result in a pillow that is too high for sleeping on the back and too low for sleeping on the side. 1

Always put your baby on their back for every sleep, day and night, as the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side.

What is the correct way to sleep

You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side.

Sleeping your baby on their back (known as the supine position) for every sleep day and night is one of the most protective actions you can take to ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible.

There is substantial evidence from around the world to show that sleeping your baby on their back at the beginning of every sleep or nap (day and night) significantly reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Important things to remember

  • You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side (unless your doctor has advised you of a medical reason to do so)
  • Sleeping a baby on their front or side greatly increases the chance of SIDS
  • It is important that you always put your baby on their back as part of their regular sleep routine – the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side

If your baby rolls onto their tummy

Once your baby can move themselves from their back to their front and back again by themselves, they will be able to find their own sleeping position.

The first few times they roll onto their tummy, you might like to gently turn them back, but do not feel you have to get up all night to check. Give them some time to play on their tummy while they are awake to help their development, but make sure you supervise them while they are on their front.

The importance of routine in reducing the risk of SIDS

The best way to make sure your baby sleeps on their back is to do this from day one, and keep putting them to sleep on their backs for every day and night time sleep.

It is also important that you keep the same routine for your baby, as babies who are normally slept on their backs but sometimes slept on their fronts are at a great risk of sudden death.

The safest sleep position for your baby: FAQs

My baby was born prematurely and slept on her front in hospital, is it okay to sleep her on her front at home as well?

Some babies who were born very prematurely and spent some time in a neonatal unit may have been slept on their fronts for medical reasons. Remember that babies in neonatal units are under constant supervision. By the time your baby comes home they should be sleeping on their back.

Babies may find it hard to adjust from a sleeping position they have been used to, so persevere and do speak to your paediatrician if you are concerned. Front-sleeping should only be continued for on-going medical reasons on the advice of your paediatrician.

Is a baby sleeping on their back more likely to choke on their own vomit?

Some parents worry that by sleeping their baby on the back they will be at a greater risk of choking on their own vomit. However, no research has found this to be the case, and we now know that babies are far safer sleeping on their backs.

My mum says I was slept on my front and that was the advice then, why has it changed?

Many parents will have been slept on their tummies as babies, as that was the advice before 1991. However, research has since shown that the chance of SIDS is much higher when a baby is placed on their front to sleep.

We know that in the early 1990s, there were thousands of babies worldwide dying suddenly and unexpectedly every year. The reason the number of deaths is much lower now is due to the new advice being followed by parents, such as lying babies on their backs to sleep.

My baby loves sleeping on his front, how do we change to his back without him waking up?

We sometimes get calls from parents who say their baby prefers sleeping on their front. If a baby is given a choice, they may well prefer this position, but unfortunately it is not a safe one!

This is why we encourage all parents to follow back-sleeping from day one. Getting your baby to stick to sleeping on their back once if they have tried sleeping on their front might be difficult, but is made easier if your baby is always put down to sleep whilst awake rather than allowing your baby to fall asleep in your arms. Keep going, they will eventually get used to it.

Is sleeping a baby on their front better for babies with reflux?

All babies should be slept on their backs unless there is medical advice saying something different. If your baby has reflux, or any other on-going health condition, speak to your doctor about the best care for them.

You should not sleep your baby on their front unless you have been advised to do so by a medical professional.

Will a sleep positioner help keep my baby on their back to sleep and therefore lower the risk of SIDS?

There is no need to use any type of equipment or rolled up blankets to keep your baby in one position unless you have been advised by a health professional for a specific medical condition.

It is much safer for your baby to be in their cot with just the sheets or blankets, and no extras which could be pulled over their face or cause an accident. As babies grow stronger they learn to move and roll and this is fine. For more information, please read our clear cot advice.

Are you a back sleeper? Or trying to find the correct way of sleeping on your back then you are in the right place.

Very fewer amount people sleep on their backs globally. Sleep experts estimate that only 7 to 8 percent of people in this world are back sleepers.

What is the correct way to sleep

Also, some sleep experts say that back sleeping is the best sleeping position and there are several reasons why sleeping on your back could be a great idea.

As back sleeping provides health and cosmetic benefits but how can you train yourself to start sleeping on your back?

You may find it hard after years of side sleeping or stomach sleeping. But you can retrain yourself to start back sleeping with a little practice and dedication.

Following are some key steps that will allow you to start back sleeping correctly :

1. Lay down flat on your bed: for becoming a back sleeper, simply start laying down flat on your back. Put your head and neck in a neutral position and avoid any type of twisting of your body parts. Don’t allow your face and head to one side or move your legs to the right or left.

What is the correct way to sleep

Most probably, you will need to experiment with a few back sleeping positions to find out which one is best for you and make you feel most comfortable.

Goalpost position: In this position you need to raise your arms up towards your head to create a sort-of football goal post shape.

Soldier position: In this position, you have to place your arms straight down by your side.

Starfish position: in this position, you have to stretch your arms and legs in such a way that it creates a formation of “X”.

For the majority of people, the starfish posture is extremely comfortable but the only problem with this position is that it required a lot of bed space and if you share a bed with a partner, a queen size may not be large enough.

2. Your head should be slightly raised: Another crucial tip for comfortable back sleeping is to use a pillow while sleeping so that your head is slightly raised. You can also place pillows under your arms for more support and comfort to your body.

Note: Don’t elevate your head too high using multiple pillows and also don’t leave it too flat. Both can lead to unnatural spinal alignment, which can caused neck pain.

What is the correct way to sleep

3.Place a Pillow beneath Your Knees: for a beginner back sleeper, back sleeping can cause discomfort to your lower back and can result in some unwanted pain or pressure. For dealing with this problem, you need to simply put a pillow under your knees and experience the relief as it will feel much better and your discomfort will starting fading in a few days.

4. Mild stretching before going to sleep: Another way to alleviate your lower back pain or pressure is by doing light stretching before going to the bed. As a lot of people have a lot of sitting during the day which causes hip flexors and also can tighten their hamstrings.Practicing a yoga posture called the pigeon pose can help you get rid of this tight hamstrings a hip flexor.

It can definitely take some time for your body to adjust itself and comfortable for back sleeping.

Be persistent and keep trying. If you find yourself rolling over, just shift back to your back as quickly as possible and keep trying again and again. Eventually, you will get the habit of sleeping on your back and will master back sleeping.

Ayurveda’s Triad of Health includes aahar (diet), vihar (balanced living), and nidra (sleep). So much importance is accorded to restful sleep, and so, of course, Ayurveda has a lot of recommendations about how to get better sleep. Also there are lof questions like what should be the head direction while sleeping? Which is the best direction to sleep scientifically? Which direction is best for sleeping according to Vastu Shastra, Ayurveda? In which direction we should sleep daily? What is correct direction of sleeping for sound sleep? On which side should we sleep?

What science has to say about correct sleeping direction

The direction of sleep is meant to avoid geomagnetic interference. The earth is a huge (albeit weak) magnet; but its impact on human beings is statistically significant.

The earth’s magnetic positive pole is to the North, and the negative, to the South. A human’s head is the positive side of a magnet, and feet, negative. Positive poles repel, so I’m assuming if we lay with our head to the North, the repelling forces will cause exhaustion.

What is the correct way to sleep

What Vastu says about sleeping direction

Vastu , Ayurveda’s sister science, deals with directions; it is the ancient science of architecture and environmental harmony and well-being. The objective of Vastu is to create a congenial setting to live and work within by using the Panchamahabhutas, (the five great elements of ether, air, fire, water and earth), directions, and energy fields for enhanced health, wealth, prosperity, and happiness.

I asked Michael Mastro, a leading North American Vastu expert, about sleep directions, and this was his advice: “We never sleep with our head to the North, because positive magnetic energy comes from the North Pole, and our body is a magnet with a positive polarity in our head, so this is like bringing two positive ends of magnets together (hence!); they repel each other and disturb blood flow, circulation, and digestion, which does not give restful sleep. If you have health issues, sleeping in the south direction is very beneficial (these recommendations don’t change in the Southern Hemisphere).”

What our scriptures say about sleeping direction

What is the correct way to sleep

pracyāṁ diśī sthitā devastatpūjarthaṁ ca tacchiraḥ

The Suśrut saṁhitā recommends the eastward position of the head. Loss of prāna happens if you sleep with legs to the South. Streaming of organic energy (jaivik ūrjā) is from the North to the South. Entry of prāna in the body is from the feet and the entry of the soul in a foetus is through the head.

yatha svakīyānyajināni sarve saṁstīrya vīrāḥ siṣupurdharaṇyām agastaśastām (dakṣiṇām) abhito diśaṁ tu

śīrāṁsi teṣāṁ kurusattamānām ( Mahābhārata)

Lord Krishna advises Yudhisthira – Sleep with head towards the South and legs towards the North.

Sleeping in the North

North-facing sleep is not recommended at all. It draws energy out from the body, disturbing the body-mind-spirit integration. Medically, it is said that the iron in our body coagulates in the brain, causing issues with blood circulation, increased stress, physical and psychiatric issues, and insomnia.

Dr. Vasant Lad says, “Only dead people sleep facing north.” Indeed, the Hindu custom is to arrange a corpse with the head pointing northwards till the body is cremated based on the belief that the North is the route for the soul to exit the body.

Sleeping in the East

The Sun rises in the East, and it is considered a direction of positive waves, force of action, rejuvenation and energy. When we sleep with our heads towards the East, the energy of the Sun enters the body through the head and leaves through the feet leaving you with a cool head and warm feet. It is particularly beneficial for students, because it enhances memory, improves concentration, and is good for overall health.

It is also supposed to be good for meditation, and other spiritual pursuits. Sleeping in the East-West direction enhances creativity, is good for conception and balances all three doshas (Vāta, Pitta and Kapha).

Studies have shown that people who sleep in this direction have shorter REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep cycles and eye movement (compared to sleeping in the North-South direction), implying fewer dreams and sounder sleep.

What is the correct way to sleep

Sleeping in the West

Sleeping West to East is not advised. There are some who suggest that it increases Rajas, or ambition and restlessness while others consider it to be a neutral sleeping position. However, according to Vāstu, sleeping with one’s head to the West can lead to restless and disturbed sleep, nightmares, and a tendency towards violence.

Sleeping in the South

If one goes by the theory of magnets, a mutual attraction between the negative South and positive head creates harmony in sleep. According to mythology, the South is the direction of Lord Yama, and promotes heavy, deep sleep, like the restorative sleep of death. Vāstu practitioners consider this to be the best type of sleep for health, lowering blood pressure, and promoting positive energy, wealth, prosperity, and harmony.

For Vata people, who often have anxiety and cold hands, sleeping with the head towards the South or southeast is recommended.

People with Pitta aggravation can sleep towards the northwest (for a limited time).

Sleeping with the head facing west (for a limited time) may bring a Kapha vikruti back to balance.

In 2009, a study in India in the Department of Physiology at Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences was undertaken to observe whether sleeping with the head in a direction has any effect on heart rate, blood pressure, and serum cortisol during supine rest. It found that those instructed to sleep with their head in the South direction had the lowest SBP (systolic blood pressure), DBP (diastolic blood pressure), HR (heart rate), and SC (serum cortisol). These were statistically significant findings, though it was recommended that further studies were needed in different groups.

Modern science is reiterating what Vāstu and Āyurvedic treatises recommended centuries ago.

Let’s face it, it is no easy task to sleep when we are sick. Whether we are dealing with a cold, flu, or stomach problems, it can be so hard to close our eyes and drift off to dreamland.

While proper sleep is always important, it is even more important we are sick. This is because sleep boosts our immune system and allows us to heal more quickly and even stave off future infections and sicknesses.

Anyone who has questions about how to sleep when they are sick should keep reading. We are going to discuss the tricks to getting the best sleep when we’re sick!

What is the correct way to sleep

Sleeping With Heartburn

Most of us have experienced heartburn at some point in our lives. Simply put, heartburn feels is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest or throat. Heartburn is another term for gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and occurs when stomach acid or bile rises up from the stomach and enters the esophagus. If it occurs more than twice a week, it may also be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a much more serious condition.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, heartburn affects 60% of Americans every month. And, when all these people struggle with heartburn, it makes it much more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep.

What is the correct way to sleep

First off, if heartburn is an issue, medical experts recommend staying away from fatty, spicy, and greasy foods. Also, coffee, chocolate, beer, pizza, and others can cause and exacerbate heartburn symptoms. Besides that, it is also a good idea to stop eating two to three hours before bed. There are, of course, heartburn medications such as Prilosec, Zantac, and other quick temporary treatments such as Tums.

If someone is trying to fall asleep and they are struggling with heartburn at the time, they try sleeping with their head elevated six or eight inches. Gravity could help then keep stomach acid and bile from coming up from the stomach.

In addition, people can try sleeping on their left side. According to a 1994 study, when people sleep on their right side, they are more likely to deal with heartburn. Lying in this position, could relax the lower esophageal sphincter and makes it more possible for stomach acid to escape the stomach and move into the esophagus.

Sleeping With A Cold Or The Flu

Colds are associated with a number of symptoms that include but aren’t limited to a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, and coughing. It is not always easy to differentiate between the cold and the flu, but the latter is usually more extreme and can have other symptoms such as fever and body aches.

All of these symptoms can make sleeping a real chore, but there are steps people can take to make it easier on themselves. First off, those who are suffering from a cold or flu should try to clear their airways as best as possible. This could mean using nasal strips or spray or even taking a hot shower right before bed. A humidifier can also go a long way in keeping those airways open during the night.

What is the correct way to sleep

In addition, people with a cold or flu can sleep with their heads at an incline of a few inches. This can allow the congestion to drain out of their heads, reducing sinus pressure and making it easier to breathe.

If they struggling with stomach flu, there are also the added symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Anyone worried about getting sick during the night should sleep at an incline and on their side. This will reduce their chances of choking. Also, they should make sure to keep a bucket or some sort of receptacle within arm’s reach.

When dealing with a cold or flu, one cannot really go overboard in making the bedroom as comfortable and conducive to sleep as possible. This could mean using an eye mask, blackout curtains, or a white noise machine. Also, don’t forget to practice good sleep hygiene by keeping the bedroom cool, quiet, and dark.

Sleeping While Pregnant

When a woman is pregnant, her body goes through a number of changes, and this can make it hard to get comfortable and fall asleep. A woman who is used to sleeping in a certain position is going to find it very difficult to find that same level of comfort because of heartburn, back pain, and their growing child.

What is the correct way to sleep

That being said, most experts agree that pregnant women should sleep on their left side. According to the American Pregnancy Association, this will ensure that the placenta and child receive the most amount of nutrients. Experts recommend that women do not sleep on their back while pregnant, especially in the later trimesters. This can lead to serious discomfort and possible complications with the birth.

When it comes to getting the right amount of comfort, pregnant women can also invest in a pregnancy pillow. These can be placed between the legs, under their bump, or behind their back to help support areas of their bodies that are experiencing extra strain or tension.

Finally, if heartburn or breathing becomes an issue, pregnant women can prop themselves up with a pillow. As we mentioned above, this can cut down on acid reflux and also make it easier to breathe at night.

Final Thoughts

It is so important to get proper sleep when we are sick because we need to give our bodies time to heal. The ironic thing is, the sicker we are, the more difficult it is to fall asleep and stay asleep. Still, taking these steps above can make it possible we get that much-needed sleep and wake up healed and refreshed.

FAQs Regarding Sleeping While Sick

Now, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about sleeping while we are sick.

Does sleep help the stomach flu?

Yes, sleep can indeed help with the stomach flu. When we are sick with illnesses like stomach flu, sleep can boost our immune system, allowing us to recover more quickly.

How do you fall asleep when you are sick?

Those who are sick with a cold, flu, or heartburn could benefit from sleeping at an incline. Also, depending on what symptoms someone has, a humidifier can help open nasal passages and keep the throat from drying out. Lastly, keeping the bedroom dark, cool, and quiet can prime the body for sleep.

Is it okay to sleep all day when sick?

While it is not uncommon for people to sleep for a long time when they are sick, it is always good to check in with a doctor if they are experiencing extreme fatigue. People should just keep an eye on their symptoms and talk to a doctor if they have concerns.

Is it better to rest or be active when sick?

This is going to depend on what type of sickness someone has and their own personal health record. For many, rest is more important than being active because it boosts the immune system and encourages healing. However, people can speak with their doctor if they’re interested in being active while sick.

Is it bad to sleep with the fan on while sick?

Sleeping with a fan on won’t make you sick, but it could exacerbate your symptoms. The moving air may dry out your mouth, nose, and throat. This could cause your body to produce more mucus, which could lead to headaches, a stuffy nose, and a sore throat.

How should you sleep if you feel nauseous?

You should sleep elevated and on your side when feeling nauseous. While it does not matter which side you lay on, sleeping on your side can reduce your chances of choking if you were to vomit in your sleep.


What is the correct way to sleep

Have you ever woken up with a neck or back pain you attributed to sleeping poorly? We’ve all been there. It’s not necessarily a matter of sleeping wrong, but rather that you might not have maintained proper spinal alignment while sleeping (aka good posture.) Poor posture while sleeping can lead to disrupted sleep, increased tension, and poor circulation.

This can lead to neck, back, and shoulder pain the following morning. Unfortunately, this pain can stay with us throughout the day and may even lead to chronic pain going forward. So, what gives?

The fact is, sleeping posture matters. Of course we can make a co g nitive effort to maintain upright posture during the day, but what happens to our posture when we’re snoozing? Furthermore, are there healthy sleeping positions? Or ways to sleep that are better than others? The answer is yes, and the way we sleep influences our posture.

Let’s break down our sleeping habits and how sleep posture relates to our daily well-being.

How Does Sleep Affect Posture?

Good posture doesn’t only involve sitting and standing but also how we relax and sleep. Moreover, poor sleeping posture can cause back pain and muscle strain. While sleeping or resting, it’s important to maintain spinal alignment that’s conducive to the natural curvature of the lower back. The spine naturally curves in an S-shape, and it’s important to support the body along the length of this curve.

Doing this ensures that there’s no added pressure on the lower back or developed kinks. We know what you’re thinking: how can we control our bodies while we sleep? It’s a valid point, especially for those deep sleepers.

While you may doze off to sleep and lose control of your posture throughout the night, there are certain measures you can take to set yourself up for good posture while you sleep.

What is the Best Sleeping Position for Posture?

The best position to sleep in is on your back. While you’re falling asleep, try lying on your back with a pillow or cushion beneath your knees. This positions your body to provide support to your spine, even if your bed isn’t shaped to the curve of your back. If you absolutely can’t sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side with your knees bent. You can even place a pillow between the knees to keep your hips aligned.

To keep your body straight in either of these sleeping positions, think to align your ears, shoulders and hips on one flat plane. Any twisting that moves either your ears, shoulders, or hips out of line with the other two is causing strain on your spine. Even when you are getting into bed, repositioning to get comfortable, or getting up in the morning, you want to keep these three spots in line. If you concentrating on moving the trunk of your body as one unit, instead of twisting, you will better support your posture needs.

Ultimately, you’ll want to sleep either on your side or back with the spine aligned straight. Each one of these options are healthy sleeping positions that will gently support the natural curvature of the spine.

Sleeping Postures to Avoid

It’s best to avoid sleeping on your stomach as this position can create tension in the lower back. Sleeping on your stomach highlights putting strain on all the parts of the “s-curve” that need support. With a pillow under your head the weight adds pressure to the neck and spine. This is often the culprit to morning neck-aches.

However, a sleep study found that 17% of people prefer sleeping on their stomachs . If this is you, place a pillow under your waist to keep the spine supported. While this added support may take some time to adjust to, it will help your body in the long run.

Try to avoid sleeping in the fetal position, as this can add unwanted stress to the spine. When on your side, keep the knees slightly bent without pulling them up toward the chest. If you must bring your knees forward, keep the bend of your knees lower than hip level.

Maintain Good Posture Day and Night

Better posture while you sleep will increase the effectiveness of your sleep. Getting good sleep is vital to daily health and wellbeing. Now that you know the best sleeping position for posture, you can sleep soundly knowing your body is healthy and happy.

Combine good sleeping posture with daily posture training sessions to invite the incredible benefits of good posture. In fact, daily training sessions with UPRIGHT can quickly improve posture and create long-term health benefits. Improving everyday posture can teach your body the correct positions to maintain, and this muscle memory will transfer to your sleeping habits as well.

To summarize: sleep right and stay upright to maintain good posture day and night.

What is the correct way to sleep

One of the most frequent questions we get from our pregnant moms is about what sleeping position they should choose. All the reputable pregnancy books and websites state that you must sleep on your left side, lest you hurt your developing baby. Many of our patients tell us they are actually losing sleep because when they attempt this, they find they’re uncomfortable on their left sides. Then they end up lying on their right sides or waking up on their backs, terrified that they have harmed their fetus.

Our answer? Relax: It is highly unlikely that either of these sleep positions will acutely harm your baby. We do prefer that you sleep on your left, but don’t lose any more sleep if you can’t pull that position off for an entire night. Here’s a quick anatomy lesson that will help you understand why this sleeping position is recommended.

The vena cava is a large vein that begins around the area of your belly button. It is the vein that is responsible for bringing all the unoxygenated blood from your lower extremities to you heart. This blood is delivered to the right side of your heart, sent through your lungs to get oxygen, circulates back to the left side of your heart and expresses out to your brain and body. Specifically, it is sending blood to the uterus, which is providing all the blood and oxygen to your baby. Once the uterus and the baby reach a certain size, the vena cava can become compressed when you lay flat, delaying the return of the blood to the heart. If this occurs for a long period of time, it can potentially decrease the blood flow to your baby. However, if the compression is significant, it will also decrease the blood flow to your head and brain, resulting in dizziness symptoms.

In our practice, we’ve discovered that every patient’s body is different. In some women, the uterus is never heavy enough to cause dizziness, so they will be comfortable on their backs through much of their pregnancy and probably will not have any decreased blood flow to the baby. However, other women find lying on their backs almost instantly causes them to become sweaty and feel light-headed.

Our rule of thumb is: If you begin to feel dizzy, sweaty, nauseous or short of breath at any time while laying flat, turn on your left side. If you are one of these people, we strongly urge you to try to sleep in this position because your body is alerting you that you are experiencing significant venous compression. You can also lay on your right if your hips get numb on the left.

Newborns don’t yet have a sense of day and night. They sleep around the clock, and because their tiny stomachs don’t hold enough breast milk or formula to keep them satisfied for long, they wake often to eat — no matter what time of day or night it is.

How Long Will My Newborn Sleep?

Newborns should get 14–17 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Some newborns may sleep up to 18–19 hours a day.

Newborns wake every couple of hours to eat. Breastfed babies feed often, about every 2–3 hours. Bottle-fed babies tend to feed less often, about every 3–4 hours.

Newborns who sleep for longer stretches should be awakened to feed. Wake your baby every 3–4 hours to eat until he or she shows good weight gain, which usually happens within the first couple of weeks. After that, it’s OK to let your baby sleep for longer periods of time at night.

The first months of a baby’s life can be the hardest for parents, who might get up many times at night to tend to the baby. Each baby has a different sleep pattern. Some start to sleep “through the night” (for 5–6 hours at a time) by 2–3 months of age, but some don’t.

How Should Babies Sleep?

During the first weeks of a baby’s life, some parents choose to room-share. Room-sharing is when you place your baby’s crib, portable crib, play yard, or bassinet in your own bedroom instead of in a separate nursery. This keeps baby nearby and helps with feeding, comforting, and monitoring at night. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room-sharing without bed-sharing.

While room-sharing is safe, putting your infant to sleep in bed with you is not. Bed-sharing increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and other sleep-related deaths.

Follow these recommendations for a safe sleep environment for your little one:

  • Always place your baby on their back to sleep, not on the stomach or side. The rate of SIDS has gone way down since the AAP began recommending this in 1992.
  • Use a firm, flat sleep surface. Cover the mattress with a sheet that fits snugly.
  • Do not put anything else in the crib or bassinet. Keep plush toys, pillows, blankets, unfitted sheets, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, and bumper pads out of your baby’s sleep area.
  • To avoid overheating, dress your baby for the room temperature and don’t overbundle. Don’t cover your baby’s head while they’re sleeping. Watch for signs of overheating, such as sweating or feeling hot to the touch.
  • Keep your baby away from smokers. Secondhand smoke increases the risk of SIDS.
  • Offer a pacifier to your baby at sleep time, but don’t force it. If the pacifier falls out during sleep, you don’t have to replace it. If you’re breastfeeding, wait until breastfeeding is firmly established.
  • Watch out for other hazards, such as items with cords, ties, or ribbons that can wrap around a baby’s neck, and objects with any kind of sharp edge or corner. Look around for things that your baby can touch from a seated or standing position in the crib. Hanging mobiles, wall hangings, pictures, draperies, and window blind cords could be harmful if they are within a baby’s reach.
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep on a product that isn’t specifically designed for sleeping babies, such as a sitting device (like a car seat), a feeding pillow (like the Boppy pillow), or an infant lounger (like the Dock-a-Tot, Podster, and Bummzie).
  • Don’t use products or devices that claim to lower the risk of SIDS, such as sleep positioners (like wedges or incliners) or monitors that can detect a baby’s heart rate and breathing pattern. No known products can actually do this.
  • Don’t use weighted blankets, sleepers, or swaddles on or around your baby.
  • Make sure that all sleep surfaces and products you use to help your baby sleep have been approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and meet federal safety standards.

Helping Your Newborn Sleep

Newborns follow their own schedule. Over the next couple of weeks to months, you and your baby will begin to settle into a routine.

It may take a few weeks for your baby’s brain to know the difference between night and day. Unfortunately, there are no tricks to speed this up, but it helps to keep things quiet and calm during middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. Try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby. This will send the message that nighttime is for sleeping. If possible, let your baby fall asleep in the crib at night so your little one learns that it’s the place for sleep.

Don’t try to keep your baby up during the day in the hopes that your little one will sleep better at night. Overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping at night than those who’ve had enough sleep during the day.

If your newborn is fussy it’s OK to rock, cuddle, and sing as your baby settles down. Swaddling (wrapping the baby in a light blanket) can also help to soothe a crying baby. If you swaddle your baby and they start trying to roll over, that is a sign that you can stop swaddling. For the first months of your baby’s life, “spoiling” is definitely not a problem. In fact, newborns who are held or carried during the day tend to have less colic and fussiness.

When Should I Call the Doctor?

While most parents can expect their newborn to sleep or catnap a lot during the day, the range of what is normal is quite wide. If you have questions about your baby’s sleep, talk with your doctor.