When asleep our muscles relax and as a result unconsciously joints can be twisted into extreme positions causing undue stress. The posture we sleep in matters as well as the type of bed base, mattress, and pillow we use. They greatly determine our sleeping experience and indirectly have an impact on our daily life.
A well-known sleeping posture is lying on the back. Sleeping on the side is even more common and we consider it to be the best sleeping posture. The neck is in a neutral position (no rotation).
Side (1/2) 3/4 position Prone (1)
The problem however is that during our sleep our body tends to lean, and roll sideways, resulting in what we call the 3/4-position. The body is turned but the head is held back by the sleeping pillow, causing the neck to twist. This becomes worse as the body rolls further into the prone position. Therefore, the prone position is absolutely not an advisable sleeping posture.
Cause & Effect of Posture
It is not a coincidence that people are sleeping in a poor posture. Even when we start off well and go to bed lying on our side, without noticing it our body may gradually move into the 3/4 position or even prone position. Due to irritation of knees and elbow joints during our sleep unconsciously the upper leg is moved in front of the lower (scissored legs) and in the same way the upper arm is moved to the front. The weight of the arm and leg pulls the body forward, as illustrated in the picture underneath.
Poor sleeping posture (¾ position)
The effects can easily be underestimated. Without people so much realizing it, this poor posture may well be a major contributor to neck pain, neck stiffness and headache. Obtaining the 3/4 or prone position for a longer period of time can also result in back pain. Furthermore, the area between the shoulders is under strain as well.
The sleeping posture will also have an impact on the recommended height of the pillow. The distance between the head and the mattress is the greatest when lying on your side. In the 3/4 position the distance has become smaller, in the prone position it is minimal.
Obviously the pillow height will not change when you shift from one sleeping position into another. When moving from the side position into the 3/4 position and eventually into the prone position, this will result in a growing neck torque.
Pillow too High (3/4 and Prone position)
Not only because the neck is rotated, but also because the pillow has become too high for that position, resulting in lateral tension as well.
How to Avoid Sleeping in a Poor Posture?
The 3/4 and prone positions are not advisable. If you are accustomed to sleeping in these positions we recommend using the Mikoala® Body Supporter Pillow. Position the Body Supporter Pillow between your arms and legs as shown on the picture below. The Body Supporter Pillow supports your body and will bring relief to your lower back, shoulders and neck.
Sleeping on side with Body Supporter Pillow and Hi4 Pillow
Try to sleep on your sides as much as you can. In this 'Koala-like position' the Body Supporter Pillow provides excellent comfort. It supports the upper arm as well as the upper leg preventing your body from rolling over into a poor posture.
In addition use the comfortable and soft, memory foam Hi4 Pillow which can be adjusted in height to perfectly suit and support your body and posture.
Next to height adjustability several other qualities of a sleeping pillow are important to ensure a good sleeping experience, read more about a Good Pillow..
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