Sleeping Posture

(pictures to be uploaded soon)


Sleeping is an important part of our lives. Most of us tend to spend anywhere between 5 and 11 hours in bed per night, with the average near the 8 hour mark. When anything is done for that period of time, with such frequency, technique becomes important. Good sleeping position is vital, as it allows you to have a good restful sleep, but also it will help you recover from the stress and strain of the day. The night time exists precisely for this reason, to allow the body a chance to repair and to regenerate (the rotation of the earth and its orbit around the sun are merely convenient coincidences).  ;)


Most people tend to lie on their side. Yet by side they generally mean semi-prone, as in mostly on their front. One leg is characteristically extended straight, with the other one bent up to a certain degree. Usually people combine this with lying either on the tip of the shoulder or slightly more on the front of the shoulder, with one arm in front of the face and the other behind the back. Some like to have a pillow under the chest. Usually people have one to three pillows under the head.


If you recognise yourself from the example above, or confess to sleeping on your front, please read the following carefully.


There are generally speaking two very good ways to sleep. Either on your back, or CORRECTLY on your side.


When sleeping on the back, you must arrange yourself in a comfortable manner on to the mattress. You should place a couple of cushions under your knees, to allow the legs to be slightly bent. This will eliminate the strain from the legs, the hips, the tummy as well as allow the back to rest on the mattress. As you rest your head onto the pillow, grab a hold of the corners of the pillow and gently drag them down, so that they rest on top of your shoulders. This will create a cradle for your head, that will stop any jerky movements of the head if you are dreaming, as well as a slight roll under your neck that will support the normal curve of your neck. Arrange your arms either by the sides or on your chest - avoid the tummy as the weight of the hands may become uncomfortable.


When sleeping on your side the best position is the so called foetal position. Here you draw your knees fairly high up, with a pillow or a thick cushion between them, which allows your legs to remain parallel and your pelvis stays square in relation to the legs easing the sprain in the sacro-iliac joints. As your pelvis is square and your back also lies straight, the rotation that often tightens up the quadratus lumborum muscles in removed. As you position yourself onto your shoulder blade (!) not on the tip of the shoulder, you will have a larger contact with the mattress and therefore more stable position which allows the muscles of the shoulder girdle, upper back, and neck to relax. This also removes one of the potential causes of shoulder impingement syndrome, or supraspinatus tendinitis from the equation. As the distance from the head to the mattress is reduced, you will again feel more comfortable with one pillow.


Sleeping on the back or correctly on the side not only has a biomechanical advantage over any other way, but seems to improve sleep quality as well. It is a natural progression  that as the body is more comfortable, the mind is more at ease. Learning to sleep in a different position is not the easiest task in the world, but rest assured, that all it takes is practice.  After a while replacing the pillows into their respective places if they have moved during the night becomes second nature and you may not even fully waken to do it.


At Shepperton Chiropractic Clinic we regularly advise our patients about their sleeping habits, as they may have a pivotal role in the recovery from various problems relating to the back, the neck, certain types of headache, sports injuries, and even some types of neurological injuries.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the clinic by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or by telephone: 01932 - 429584


Follow us on


Find out why your body suffers from pain and how to get rid of it forever without medication

Dr. Mikas Blog

mikas blog


I was in so much pain last week I couldn’t imagine that I would feel this much better in 7 days
Heather Penncock

I first went to Mika About 2 months ago. I could not walk straight line or very far. I was also in pain as I have had two knee replacements. After about 3 weeks I can now walk upright and in a straight line. Also a lot of pain relief. I cannot recommend this practice enough.
Frank Whittington

I have been working with Dr Mika Janhunen of Shepperton Chirorpactic Clinic for four years. During this time he has not only been able to help me overcome various niggling injuries and to enjoy better health, but has been able to improve the performance of a number of my golf coaching clients as well. His detailed knowledge of the human body and the complexity of the golf swing movement pattern is virtually unrivalled in terms of results that I have ever seen. I will continue to refer my players to see Mika, and would encourage anyone to do the same.
Rob Watts, PGA Golf Professional