The best sleeping positions for pain


From time to time, people contact me with something they think my readers would benefit from knowing. I send a lot of thank-you-but-no-thank-you emails (consider me your very strict, no-nonsense gatekeeper) but, on occasion, someone sends me something golden.

When Amica got in touch with me, she said she had a list of the best sleeping positions for people with injuries and pain. I was intrigued; I don’t think I’ve ever given a second thought to my sleeping position. I get in to bed, wriggle around to try and find a position that doesn’t hurt, and hope for the best. There’s certainly no logic to my approach.

When Amica introduced herself to me she asked me,

What do these things have in common?

Buttered toast landing face-up,

not looking in other people’s shopping trolleys at the checkout line,

eating just one slice of pizza,

falling asleep when everything hurts.

The answer: They’re almost impossible tasks.

I couldn’t argue. But also, who the hell is trying to eat just one slice of pizza? Madness.

Amica explained that the correct sleeping position isn’t a cure-all by any means, but you can alleviate certain aches and pains by choosing the right position. Apparently, if you don’t currently own an arsenal of pillows, now is the time to stock up.

Flanking yourself with pillows can prove to be extremely helpful; especially if you find that you often rollover during the night and suddenly awaken in a fit of agony.

The following graphic, courtesy of Dromma Bed, outlines the different sleeping positions for managing site-specific pain. If you’re experiencing pain in your arms, feet, or ribs, you can still use the positions that they recommend for broken bones.

Before agreeing to share the graphic, I wanted to test it out. You know what? It actually helped. It’s a bit awkward because you’ve got pillows all over the place, but it’s really interesting to feel relief in parts of your  body when pressure is taken off other areas.

My neck’s been particularly bad lately, so I followed the relevant graphic and found that going to sleep was easier, and I woke with less pain.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Edit: Since I’ve been testing mattresses and sleeping with various pillows in odd places, I thought I would share this information from reviews.com.

With so many mattress company’s on the market and the current state of the mattress industry (hint: shopping for a mattress is definitely moving to be an online experience) it can be really difficult to navigate all the options and tell what is gimmick from what will actually improve your sleep quality. If you suffer from chronic pain, there’s no room for error or messing around, one bad night’s sleep can really do some lasting damage on your body. It never hurts to have more resources, and you can find more information put together by reviews.com on what to look for here.