Most people know how important sleep is for their bodies and mind. Getting healthy, restful sleep allows our bodies to repair and rejuvenate from the demands of the day.
But how much thought do people give to their sleep position? Does it even matter?
The short answer is yes — it absolutely matters.
Many of us have experienced morning aches and pains, like stiffness in the back or sore shoulders. Adopting a healthy sleep position can help relieve unnecessary stress on the body, especially your spine.
Thankfully, there is one sleep position that could help bring some relief. All you need is an extra pillow.
Your Sleep Position Matters
Healthy sleep is crucial for both your body and your mind. Lack of sleep can be a detriment to your overall quality of life. That is why sleep hygiene is so important.
Typically, sleep hygiene involves establishing healthy bedtime routines and cultivating a bedroom environment that promotes healthy, uninterrupted sleep.
But what happens when the lights go off is equally as important.
Types of Sleep Positions
Typically, the three most common sleep positions are on your back, stomach, or side. There are variations to each of these.
One sleep research study found sleeping on the side to be the most predominant sleep position among adults — approximately 54 percent.
Sleeping on Your Back
Back sleeping has been known to promote spinal alignment and help reduce pressure on the limbs. But it may not be ideal for everyone. Back sleeping can also make some issues worse, particularly snoring. Plus, mattress quality matters.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
Stomach sleeping, or sleeping in the prone position, is the least recommended position among sleep experts as it tends to strain the lower back. It also puts greater strain on the ribcage and can impact respiratory movement during the night.
Sleeping on Your Side
In addition to being a better option to reduce snoring, side sleeping helps promote healthy spinal alignment. It is the position that is least likely to result in back discomfort.
Also, since our flexibility tends to decrease as we age, side sleeping tends to be more comfortable for older adults. Some prefer a variation of side sleeping, with knees bent up (known as the “fetal position”). It is in this position where the extra pillow comes into play.
Benefits of Sleeping with a Pillow Between Your Legs
Side sleeping is already the most popular sleep position, especially among adults. But an extra pillow between the legs could provide some added benefits.
1. It Helps Maintain Spinal Alignment
In short, sleeping with a pillow between your legs helps keep your pelvis neutral while maintaining spinal alignment (e.g., not allowing it to rotate during the night).
Maintaining good spinal alignment while you sleep can help improve posture during waking hours.
2. May Help Reduce Lower Back Pain
Millions of people live with chronic back pain, and sleeping with a pillow between the legs could help alleviate that pain for some. Proper spinal alignment helps relieve pressure on ligaments and muscles that cause back discomfort.
This also has benefits for those who suffer from herniated discs in the back. Excessive rotation can put excess pressure on spinal nerves, leading to discomfort.
Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs can help keep your spine properly aligned and could help alleviate some of the discomfort caused by herniated discs.
3. Could Help Alleviate Sciatica Discomfort
One of the major sources of lower back pain is due to sciatica discomfort (i.e. impingement of sciatica nerve). Sleep positions that cause the lower back to twist can make sciatica symptoms worse.
Sleeping with a pillow between your legs can help reduce compression on the sciatica nerve by keeping the lower back aligned.
4. Keeps Hips From Rotating
Sleeping with a pillow between your legs also helps maintain the natural position of your hips as it aligns your knees and keeps hips parallel.
Over time, even a minor misalignment in your hips can cause hip pain, lower back discomfort, and affect posture.
5. Alleviates Stress on the Knees
While sleeping on your side provides many benefits, it can also stress your knees because the bed usually supports only one knee while the other is typically strained.
Placing a pillow between your legs can alleviate this stress on the knees by providing comfort for both. This is especially important if you deal with chronic knee pain.
6. Limits Muscle Cramps and Unnecessary Tension
Awkward sleeping positions put unnecessary strain and pressure on certain muscles, especially in the back and legs. Prolonged tension and strain can lead to cramps and even injury.
Keeping your body properly aligned and free of strain with the use of an extra pillow can help you avoid these issues.
7. Promotes Better Circulation to Lower Body
Circulation, i.e. the movement of blood through your heart and blood vessels, is extremely important to help deliver oxygenated blood and nutrients throughout the body. Poor sleep posture can sometimes hinder this process.
Have you ever woken up with a tingling sensation or numbness in a limb? This is typically due to poor circulation as your blood vessels get compressed because of your sleeping position.
Having a pillow between your legs can promote better circulation to your lower limbs as it helps alleviate pressure in your lower body and reduces the likelihood of compressing blood vessels while you sleep.
Sleeping With a Pillow the Right Way
Here are a few simple steps to ensure you’re sleeping with a pillow between your legs the right way:
- Lay on your preferred side, with your legs bent slightly and curled up towards your chest.
- Place a firm pillow between your knees, making sure they are high enough to keep your hips in a neutral position, parallel to one another.
Make sure your spine is aligned and straight, not curved. Your mattress will make the biggest difference here.
Bring a Pillow Into the Sleep Pod
Thankfully, the Sleep Pod was designed with the extra pillow sleeper in mind.
Through gentle compression, the Sleep Pod utilizes Deep Touch Pressure Stimulation to aid in relaxation come bedtime, helping to reduce feelings of anxiety.
Its cocoon-like shape and ultra-breathable four-way stretch material were designed to accommodate extra pillows.
So, whether you want to seize the benefits of sleeping with a pillow between your legs or you just like a pillow to hug during the night while the pod hugs you, the Sleep Pod can handle it.
Sleep position is an important aspect of sleep health that often gets overlooked. Most sleep experts agree that sleeping on your side is typically the most beneficial.
Adding a pillow between your legs could also provide some added benefits. One of the biggest benefits is its ability to promote proper spinal alignment, which could help alleviate some aches and pains.
The Sleep Pod was specially designed to promote better sleep — but don’t worry, there’s always room for an extra pillow.