VIDEO: Proper Sleeping Positions

Clinical Expertise

Jul 2, 2021

Medical Reviewer: David Salinas, DPT, AIB-VR
Last Updated: June 2, 2021

Video Transcript

Hey, everybody. My name is David Salinas. I’m a physical therapist here with Brooks Rehabilitation.

Today, I’m just gonna be talking to you about proper sleeping positions.

Sleep is so important to allow our mind and body to heal, but so many people have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep at night.

So I’m gonna just show you a couple of tips that you can use, and for the most part, really the goal of everything is trying to get your body in a neutral position, especially the spine. So I’ll show you some ways that you can do that.

Okay, so to start, we have a normal curve around our neck. So a lotta times, people have seen these towel rolls before. What you can do is just slip it right underneath the pillow. I’m gonna have Alyssa here just lift her head for just a second, and now lie back down. And what that towel roll is gonna do is take out some of the space where that curvature is supposed to be and allow it to stay in this normal position.

As far as using pillows to try to get that back in a more normal position, we can just stick a couple pillows underneath the legs. Allow her to rest her legs down. Just help try to get everything in a more neutral position. Sleeping on the back’s a pretty popular position, but another thing people typically will do is sleep on their sides. So I’m just gonna have Alyssa turn onto her side for me now.

Perfect, thank you.

So that towel roll can still be beneficial here. It may need to be just a little bit smaller ’cause it’s a little bit less space than when you’re lying on your back. But similarly, that neck roll can go right in that crevice, and then you can use the pillows in between the legs. So go ahead and lift that leg up for me and then back down, just to help take up some of that space and to bring that hip in a more neutral position. If you find that one pillow isn’t quite large enough, you can just use a second pillow and just stick it right in there. Go ahead and lift that leg one more time for me. Back down.

And then one other thing you’ll typically see lying on your side is that pelvis will fall down into a sideline position. So what you can do is actually stick a towel underneath the hip that’s facing the bed. We won’t do that right now, but that’ll help bring everything up into a more neutral position as we’re trying to do with the spine and pelvis.

Now, lying on stomach’s not typically recommended. It’s gonna put more strain on the back of the neck, but if you find that’s the only way you can fall asleep, something you can try doing is just placing a pillow underneath your stomach and abdomen.

That’ll help a little bit with some of the positioning, but overall, I would really recommend either lying on your side or on your back.

I hope this helps, and thank you for your time.

For more healthy living tips, visit our YouTube Playlist.

Medical Reviewer

David Salinas, DPT, AIB-VR

Physical Therapist
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