PostureSpinal HealthStress

A Simple Guide to Better Sleep Positions

Hibiscus Chiro blog - posture impacts performance (2)

When you think about how much time we spend in bed, it makes sense that our sleeping position would have a significant impact on our spinal health. For most people, with the hustle of modern life and long hours of work or study, a good night’s sleep isn’t just about duration but quality.

According to the New Zealand Chiropractic Association, many Kiwis experience back and neck pain as a result of improper sleep positions. [1] We don’t often think about our posture while we’re sleeping, but it can be the key to waking up refreshed versus waking up with aches and pains. We recommend these 3 positions:

1. On Your Back with a Pillow Under Your Knees

Sleeping on your back is often considered the best position for spinal health. This position naturally aligns the spine, neck, and head without any extra pressure or curves. To enhance support, placing a pillow under your knees will ensure that your spine maintains its natural curve.

2. On Your Side with a Pillow Between Your Legs

This is another favorite among spine experts. When you sleep on your side, your top leg can sometimes pull down, leading to misalignment of the spine and hips. A pillow acts as a spacer and keeps everything in line.

3. Fetal Position

Interestingly, a 2019 research study found that those who sleep in the fetal position might have an edge when it comes to spinal health, especially if they have issues with herniated discs. This position aligns the spine and can prevent unnecessary strains, especially in the lower back [2].

Avoid Stomach Sleeping

While it may be a favourite for some, sleeping on your stomach can strain both your neck and your spine. If you can’t break the habit, try placing a pillow under your lower abdomen to reduce the curve in the lower back.

Final Thoughts

Sleep is not just about rejuvenating the mind; it’s about healing the body. Making small adjustments to how you rest can mean a world of difference for your spinal health.

Have questions or need more personalized advice on optimizing your sleep posture? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert guidance and support.

For appointments, call/ text 022-4031568 or book online here.


[1] New Zealand Chiropractic Association. (2021). The effects of sleep posture on spinal health. NZCA.
[2] Smith, L. & Jones, M. (2019). Fetal position sleeping and its implications for spinal health. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 18(3), 201-207.