Don’t you find it unfair that only 8% of people sleep on the best sleeping position ever? No matter how hard you try to sleep on your back, you end up waking on your stomach or side. I get you.
Sleeping on your back has great benefits to overall health. It elongates the spine and it keeps it neutral – giving you a restful sleep. The kind you need if you work early in the morning.
It can even prevent wrinkle and acne formation from too much contact with pillows. (or you could wash them regularly, up to you!)
But how do you do it right? How do you do it at all?
People need to work hard for great things such as this! For us to reap the benefits, we ought to TRAIN for it.
Why can’t you sleep on your back?
Finding out why you can’t do it can help in training yourself. You need a long-term cure, not a band-aid solution!
Here are the most common reasons why:
1. It is generally uncomfortable/back is hurting when lying flat.
2. Your neck hurts.
3. You feel the acid reflux coming up.
Often the case, it hurts or is uncomfortable for a reason – not necessarily because of the back-sleeping position per se.
How exactly do you learn to sleep on your back?
The first thing to do is look around you. Are there things that prevent you from sleeping comfortably on your back?
Is your mattress still in good shape?
Your mattress can make-or-break your sleep experience – especially if you want to sleep on your back. Imagine having a significant dipping in the middle of the mattress curving your spine the entire night! Yikes.
The trick is to keep your spine in a neutral position. Just like this:
If your spine does not look like that at night, it’s high time to replace your mattress! There are so many things to factor in when getting a new one – with the firmness level being the most important for back sleepers.
Generally, a medium-firm mattress is best for back-sleepers. They’re best-rated for people with chronic back pain. So, if you sleep on your stomach because your lower back is hurting – a medium-firm mattress may be the answer.
Does your pillow support your neck?
Another reason for uncomfortable back-sleeping is because of an unsupportive pillow. You want your mattress to support your back, and a good pillow to support your neck and shoulders.
Neck support should look like this.
If it’s your neck that feels weird in the morning, your pillow could be the culprit.
Training to Sleep on Your Back
Should your mattress and pillow be fine (ie., they keep your entire spine aligned), follow these tips accordingly to train yourself.
Prop yourself up or surround yourself with pillows
To avoid tossing and turning at night, experiment with the number of pillows and/or pillow height! Some people vouch for adjusting the pillow height to a level that makes it feel awkward to turn. Others put pillows on their sides underneath each arm, so they stay put in the centre.
When you know for sure that pillow height improves your sleeping, investing in an ergonomic pillow is always a good choice. For instance, the Ecosa pillow is not only
Spread your legs out a bit
If you’re not digging the pillows, you may find spreading your legs a bit comfortable. It somehow anchors your body – preventing movement. It can also remove the feeling of ‘stiffness’ when lying on your back.
Elevate your knee
Elevating your knees is another trick to keep your spine aligned. You can do it with a rolled towel or pillow underneath your knees.
Some sleepers recommend both spreading your legs AND placing pillows underneath. It’s comfortable and can help ease
Stretch your back before sleeping
If you sit at your desk eight hours a day, chances are your hip flexors are tight. This can cause an uncomfortable pressure on your hips – making you want to bail out on this training.
You can never go wrong with a few basic yoga stretches such as the cat, cow, and child’s pose. Don’t forget to be in sync with your breathing while doing this!
Don’t eat near bedtime!
The acid reflux you feel may be a result of eating too close to bedtime. It is advised that you eat heavy meals three hours before bedtime to avoid any discomfort and indigestion during sleep.
Sleep on your back in no time
It takes people an average of three weeks to shift their sleeping position. But all of them say it’s worth it. They’re now sleeping and working better as a result.
Great things take time, and you’ll conquer this training soon enough!