Side Sleep Positions and Pain

Side sleepIt has always been frustrating for me to wake in the middle of the night with back or neck irritation and pain . It doesn’t happen often, thank goodness, but many of my patients tell me they have this problem. Not only is it my task to help them with their daily pain, improve their function etc but to help them reduce some of these same symptoms when they sleep.


Many times I’ll suggest a medium hard bed and sleeping on your side since studies have shown most people prefer a medium hard surface and the side position is better for back support. Medium hard surfaces appear to help people get to a deeper sleep and help them stay asleep longer. Side sleeping reduces snoring and helps many side step sleep apnea.


Sleep positions, our tossing and turning on this medium hard surface and in a side lying position can either reduce our symptoms or increase pain. See the images below. So what has happened to us that we have lost positions of comfortable sleep. Look to the bed you sleep on as well as the pillow you use. Being conscious of your own sleep postures is very important as well.


The surface you sleep on is all important but just as important are the positions you lie in. Both the firmness of the bed as well as the shape and position of the pillow you use can make a very big difference for overall comfort and deep sleep.

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