Best Sleep Positions For Health Problems


The optimum sleep position for anyone depends on their individual health and wellbeing. Therefore, when a medical professional was asked to detail how persons should sleep in order to relieve or try to prevent anything ranging from shoulder and back pain to heartburn, snoring, and more, they provided the information found in this article.

Back Pain

Major damage could occur to the spine if an individual is sleeping in the wrong position. The trick to preventing or at least decreasing the severity of back pain is trying to maintain the spine with its natural arch or curve. The best bets are lying on your side or back with a strategically positioned pillow to reduce the strain that will be placed on the lower back. Many times, the individuals are more comfortable lying on their backs when there is a pillow behind the knees, or between the legs once the individual is on the side. Using a large memory foam pillow could assist the individual in maintaining a sleeping position on the side.

Shoulder Pain

Lying on your side to sleep with the pain-free shoulder could assist, however, there is always the risk of turning on the other side during the night and placing extra pressure on the side that hurts. There are a few mattresses that give a bit therefore the pressure on the joints of the hips and shoulders is not as much, however, if the mattress is stiff or firm, it would resemble sleeping on the floor and very uncomfortable, resulting in positions being shifted. Begin by lying on the back or even the stomach in order to reduce the chance of ending up in a painful position.

Hip Pain

Lying on the back could assist in the relief of painful hips. Lying on the back will result in the curve of the spine being straightened out which would reduce the pressure on the hips, according to sleep medicine specialists at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. No one wants to increase the pressure on the region of the body that hurts due to the fact that it will result in additional pain during the night, which will lead to even lighter phases of sleep.

Neck Pain

There are several innocent things that individuals do innocently that hurt their necks, however, sleeping with the correct set of pillows will maintain the head in an even position with the shoulders, thereby lessening the pain in the neck during the night. Individuals must find a height to stack the pillows which will prevent the individual from placing additional strain on the neck in either direction. The individual must be cautious not to use too many pillows. In an effort to try and alleviate neck pain by finding the most comfortable position to sleep in, many people end up with a massive mound of pillows, on one huge, fluffy pillow. This might be comfortable; however, persons should consider the position of their neck in relation to their head.

Knee Pain

As individuals sleep, it might not be possible to recognize what is resulting in the pains to their knees. The majority of knee pains are a result of the legs being too close to each other and touching. Sleep experts recommend placing something soft such as a pillow or anything you could find that is suitable, between the legs in order to minimize the likelihood of them touching.


If individuals find that their sleeping buddy is complaining about the close-to-bear-like sounds coming out of their mouths during the night, then try shifting to a sleep position on the side. While on the back, there is gravity that is pulling everything back towards the airways and results in the air passage becoming constricted with instabilities in the airways. Try elevating the head with a few pillows in order to assist in the draining, which would flow downwards much easier.


If an individual suffers from TMJ or also referred to as temporomandibular joint dysfunction or any other kind of pain in the jaw, try to keep the side of the face or cheeks from the pillow by lying with your face up. Try not to place your face on the side as this could result in additional pressure on the joints of the mouth or on the cheekbones themselves and cause more pain.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Consult your primary health provider if you suffer from snoring or teeth grinding as you sleep in order to determine if these are symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. This disorder occurs when the upper air passage is entirely or partially blocked as the individual sleeps, making the person heave into being awake when they finally are able to breathe by gulping a good set of air. This condition is common as a result of lying on the back during the night allowing the tongue to fall backward naturally resulting in it becoming an obstruction. Try not to lay down on your back in order to stop the tongue from potentially blocking the air passage.


As the stomach muscles and valves relax during sleep, to the point that it allows the acids to penetrate their way up the esophagus, the individual may start having a sensation similar to the burning of acid reflux. Research has confirmed that lying on the left side of the body has to relieve properties for heartburn, probably due to the fact that it does not allow the valves of the stomach to open that easily. Also, allow gravity to be your friend, sleep in a position where your upper body is elevated with a pillow, this should allow the acid to flow downwards and not towards the esophagus. For optimal results use a pillow that tapers from roughly ten inches to eight inches, just piling up normal pillows will cause the abdominals to engage and place pressure on the stomach.