Cervical Pillow

How to Fix Posture While Sleeping?

We spend a third of our day sleeping, but we often neglect our sleeping position. Incorrect sleeping positions, such as the fetal position or prone position, can lead to neck stiffness or pain.
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We spend a third of our day sleeping, but we often neglect our sleeping position. Incorrect sleeping positions, such as the fetal position or prone position, can lead to neck stiffness or pain.

Choosing the right sleeping position and using a supportive mattress and pillow can help improve your sleeping position. This article will introduce various sleeping positions and how to improve them.

Incorrect Sleeping Positions

Sleeping posture

Sleeping position refers to the position of your body when you sleep. When you sleep, you are in a static position. Even sleeping on your back can strain the muscles and ligaments in your back if you don't sleep in the right position. It's important to keep the natural S-curve of your spine. Common sleeping positions include sleeping on your back, side, and stomach.

Any incorrect sleeping position can lead to bone, muscle, or nerve damage. Here are some positions:

  • The fetal position, i.e. lying on your side with your knees bent to your chest, can reduce snoring and acid reflux. However, staying in this position for a long time can put pressure on the back and neck, leading to muscle and joint stiffness and pain.
  • Sleeping on your stomach forces the head to turn to one side, causing neck strain and spinal misalignment. This can increase pressure on the back and neck, leading to chronic pain.
  • Sleeping in a semi-recumbent position, such as on a sofa or chair, can unevenly distribute pressure on the lower back and neck, which can lead to spinal curvature problems and discomfort.
  • High-leg side sleeping involves bending and raising one leg while the other remains straight. This position often causes uneven spinal alignment and puts pressure on the lower back and hips.
  • Also, resting your head on your arms can compress nerves, leading to numbness and pain in the arms and shoulders.

Read more: bad posture back pain symptoms.

Bad Sleeping Posture Symptoms

Poor sleeping posture may cause the following symptoms:

  1. Neck and back pain
  2. Headache
  3. Shoulder stiffness
  4. Numbness in arms and fingers
  5. Deteriorated sleep quality
  6. Daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating
  7. Shortness of breath and worse snoring

Benefits of a Good Posture

There are many benefits to a good sleeping position, including:

  • Maintaining a correct posture supports the natural curve of the spine, preventing neck and back pain. It helps align the cervical spine and reduce discomfort after daily activities.
  • Good posture minimizes stress on muscles, ligaments, and tissues, reducing the risk of neck stiffness and injury.
  • Sleeping on your side or stomach can keep your airway open, reduce snoring, and relieve sleep apnea. A neutral back posture can also improve breathing efficiency.
  • Improving your sleeping posture can also improve your sleep quality, reduce the number of awakenings during the night, and prolong your deep sleep time so that you feel more refreshed and energized when you wake up.

Correcting your posture can take anywhere from weeks to months. It takes time and effort to build new muscle memory, and you can speed up this process by using supportive bedding.

Choose Your Sleeping Position

The best sleeping position keeps your spine aligned and comfortable. Here are some common sleeping positions:

Side Sleeping

Side sleeping means lying on your left or right side, usually with your legs slightly bent. One arm should be in front of your body with your elbow bent, and the other arm can be at your side or slightly forward. This is the position most people prefer, as it reduces back pressure and improves breathing. It is especially beneficial for pregnant women because it enhances blood flow to the fetus and reduces pressure on the lower back.

To maintain the correct position, you need a firm neck pillow to support your head and a pillow between your knees to keep your hips aligned. This can further reduce pressure on your spine and lower back. Let your sleep be more relaxed.

Supine Sleeping

Sleeping on your back means lying flat on your back with your head, neck, and spine in a neutral position. This position can relieve lower back pain by evenly distributing weight and reducing pressure points. It also prevents facial wrinkles and reduces acid reflux.

In the supine sleeping position, your arms can rest naturally at your sides with your palms facing down or slightly up, keeping your whole body relaxed; or cross your arms across your chest with your shoulders relaxed to avoid tension. The legs are naturally relaxed and stretched.

To further support the lower back, you can place a pillow under your knees, which helps maintain the natural curve of the spine and reduces pressure on the lower back. If there is a significant lumbar curvature, you can place a small pillow under your waist for additional support.

What Can Affect Your Sleeping Position?

Supportive pillows

Many factors affect your sleeping position, such as your pillow, mattress, age, etc. Here are a few aspects for you:


The right mattress should be firm enough to support the natural curves of the body, but soft enough to ensure comfort. A medium-firm mattress is usually suitable for most people. Memory foam, latex, and hybrid mattresses all provide excellent support and comfort. A good mattress has a lifespan of about 7-10 years, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.


You may also want to choose an ergonomic cervical pillow to assist, which can fill the gap between your neck and the bed and is firm enough to support the neck without tilting the head. People who like to sleep on their side need a higher and harder pillow to keep the neck and spine aligned.

If you don't know about cervical pillows, I can recommend one to you. The SKG P3E Cervical Pain Relief Pillow has an ergonomic design that provides customized neck support and adjustable sinking depth. Excellent ventilation and moisture-wicking fabric keep you cool and comfortable all night long.

learn more: Cervical Pillow: Benefits and Side Effects

Physical Factors

As people age, their posture loses some flexibility, causing the spine to become more curved and making it difficult to keep the cervical spine and neck aligned.

Psychological states can also affect sleeping posture. For example, people with depression are prone to having their spines bend inward or their shoulders sag.

Pregnant women need to adjust their posture to accommodate their growing abdomen. The recommended sleeping position is side sleeping, especially left-side sleeping. This sleeping position improves blood flow to the heart, fetus, uterus, and kidneys.

Extra weight affects the strength of the abdominal muscles and puts extra pressure on the spine. Overweight people may find side sleeping more comfortable and reduce pressure on the back and joints.

What is the Best Sleeping Position for a Pregnant Woman?

Most experts agree that once the abdomen starts to expand, the best sleeping position for a pregnant woman is on her left side with her knees bent. This position not only provides comfort but also promotes better blood flow for both the pregnant person and the fetus.

Sleeping on the left side helps improve circulation, which can enhance the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the baby and improve kidney function for the mother. This can reduce swelling in the legs and feet. If you find it uncomfortable to sleep solely on your left side, alternating sides or using a pillow to support your back and another between your knees can help provide additional comfort.

What is the Best Sleeping Position for a Baby?

For every sleep, whether day or night, place your baby on their back. This is the safest sleeping position for a baby and significantly reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side to sleep are at a higher risk for SIDS.

The side sleep position is unstable, and babies placed on their sides are more likely to roll onto their stomachs, which is the position most associated with the highest risk for SIDS. To ensure your baby remains on their back throughout sleep, consider using a firm mattress with a fitted sheet, and keep the sleep environment free of soft bedding, pillows, and toys.

Other Tips for Better Sleep

  • Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day helps regulate your body's internal clock. Consistency can enhance your sleep duration.
  • Make sure your bedroom is ideal for sleep. Keep it cool, dark, and quiet. Consider using blackout curtains, earplugs, or a white noise machine to eliminate distractions.
  • Caffeine and large meals can affect sleep. Try to avoid caffeine at least six hours before bedtime, and eat your last meal two to three hours before bedtime.


Improving your sleeping posture can keep your neck and spine healthy. Switching to a more supportive mattress and neck pillow can help you sleep better.

If you already experience neck discomfort or stiffness, consider using a neck massager. Neck massagers can provide pain relief and can also serve as a relaxation tool while you rest.