To learn how to stop sleeping on your back, you’ve got to show your body that it can be comfortable in another position. Once your body discovers that it can be comfortable in other positions, the urge to roll over to your back will disappear.
How to stop sleeping on your back
Switch over to side sleeping, the RIGHT way. Show your body that it can be comfortable on its side. Most people have a problem with side sleeping because when they do it, their body is out of alignment.
The correct way to sleep on your side is with your spine and hips fully supported. To do this, you need to sleep with a supportive neck wedge pillow, a side sleeper wedge, and a fully supportive leg separator pillow.
Your body wants to be in a position where its muscles and joints are relaxed. Putting it in this side sleeping position where it feels completely relaxed and at ease will give your brain positive feedback. Your brain will associate comfort and relaxation with this position and the urge for you to roll to your back will go away.
To elaborate on this a little more, once you support your joints and muscles completely and correctly, your body will pick up on the fact that its muscles and joints are at rest. It sends this feedback to your brain, which will in turn try to keep your body in this position.
If you do roll over to your back in your sleep, you will likely wake up soon after. When this happens, roll back over to your side and re-position. Doing this repeatedly will re-enforce to your brain where your body feels comfortable. Soon, the urge to sleep on your back will disappear.
Sleeping on your back isn’t the problem, sleeping FLAT on your back is
What if you enjoy sleeping on your back, but can’t anymore for some reason? Let’s go over a couple of back sleeping positions that you may find more comfortable!
First off, learn how to stop sleeping on your back the WRONG way. This could be causing your problems! Sleeping flat on your back is not a good sleeping position. It’s bad for your spine, back muscles, and hips. It can make snoring, sleep apnea, and morning sinus congestion all worse. This is just to name a few physiological downfalls of this sleeping position.
Instead, sleep on your back with a knee wedge pillow under your knees. Placing a knee wedge pillow under your knees re-aligns the muscles and joints that make up your hips and lower back. This re-alignment results in relaxation of your back and hips and will prevent you from waking up with stiffness and soreness in these areas.
If your upper back is the issue, try placing a triangle wedge pillow behind your torso. Elevating your torso decreases pressure on your upper back and improves circulation throughout your head and torso.
For maximum comfort, sleep with BOTH a knee wedge pillow and a triangle wedge pillow. This creates an anti-gravity effect that improves full body circulation and provides the maximum amount of muscle and joint relaxation.
Learning how to stop sleeping on your back is simple, if you know some tricks of the trade. Comfort is important while you sleep, so make sure you have the right tools to make it possible!
-Hillary Blare, Doctor of Physical Therapy