Proper Sleep Posture

by Kathy Gleason

About Kathy Gleason

Kathy Gleason is a freelance writer living in rural northern New Jersey who has been writing professionally since 2010. She is a graduate of The Institute for Therapeutic Massage in Pompton Lakes, N.J. Before leaving her massage therapy career to start a family, Gleason specialized in Swedish style, pregnancy and sports massage.


We all know how important it is to get our beauty sleep, but did you know that the wrong sleeping posture directly affects your well-being? According to the Cleveland Clinic, good posture decreases stress on ligaments, keeps the bones and joints aligned correctly so the muscles can work best and prevents or reduces backaches. Practicing good posture is a matter of habit, and one of the easy ways to begin improving posture is to work on the right posture for sleeping.

Step 1

Choose a firm mattress for good support. If you can't afford a new mattress or don't want a firm one, you can put a board underneath your mattress for a bit of extra support. Another option is to put your mattress directly on the floor for a similar supportive effect.

Step 2

Position your pillow under your head only to keep your neck at a correct angle. Avoid putting your pillow under both your neck and your head. Use a pillow of a medium thickness.

Step 3

Place a pillow behind your knees if you like to sleep on your back, recommends the American Chiropractic Association. This will ensure that your body is aligned in the right posture. If you prefer to sleep on your sides, put a pillow between your knees. There is a small type of pillow known as a lumbar roll that some people may also find useful when sleeping on their back. It's used underneath the low back, known as the lumbar area.

Step 4

Sleep on your side or back and aim to maintain the natural curve of your back. According to the American Chiropractic Association sleeping on your side or back is best for back pain. Avoid pulling your knees into your chest while lying on your side -- just keep them slightly bent. Also, don't sleep on your tummy, because this can cause back and neck strain.

Step 5

Avoid bending deeply at the waist when getting out of bed in the morning. Instead, roll to your side, pull your knees up and swing your legs over the side of the bed before slowly getting up.

Items you will need

  • Board
  • Pillows
  • Firm mattress


  • If you have chronic back problems, consult your doctor about wearing a lumbar support to bed. These supports can be found online, or in many pharmacies and medical supply stores.


  • Before making drastic changes to your sleeping posture, consult your doctor about what the best sleeping position is for you.

Photo Credits:

  • sleeping woman #6 image by Adam Borkowski from

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or