Sleeping with your face upwards and your back to the bed might not be a very comfortable position for you. You may have heard about some of the health benefits of this sleeping position and how it can be healthier for you than sleeping on your side or sleeping on your stomach. Maybe you’ve given it a try before and felt that it wasn’t for you, having trouble sleeping in anything different from your regular position.
How to teach yourself to sleep on your back? There are some methods that I want to show you so that you can train yourself to sleep in a different position than what you’re used to. Before we get into that, though, I want to talk about some of the benefits of sleeping on your back.
Sleeping on your back can help with spine alignment, straightening your spine to its natural position and improving your posture. It also helps with some breathing difficulties, relieving buildup in the sinuses. By sleeping on your back, you’re less likely to have certain kinds of headaches, specifically tension headaches. This sleeping position can also help to reduce pressure throughout your body, and it helps your face look youthful, reducing wrinkles and creases. It’s also a good way to keep sensitive, easily agitated skin from touching any surfaces.
Now that you know some of the benefits, let’s talk about how to teach yourself to start sleep on your back. For some people, it’s going to be a long process, whereas for others it won’t be that painful and lengthy. Once you know some of the methods you can use to train yourself to sleep this way, it will be a lot easier to transition to the new sleeping position.
5 Tips for Sleeping on your Back
1. The Right Mattress Is Key
If you’re going to make this work and change your sleeping position, it’s mostly going to come down to the mattress you’re using. Many people who have tried to sleep on their back and couldn’t handle it for an entire night were probably uncomfortable because of the mattress they were using.
It may seem like a lot of hassle to go through just to change your sleeping position, but look again at all the benefits I just listed for you above. It might be worth it to you to change out your mattress so that you can sleep more easily on your back. Besides, it could be time to change your mattress, if it’s not giving you proper support or it was never good for your back in the first place.
I suggest picking a mattress that offers plenty of support and is somewhat firm. An overly soft mattress can feel very uncomfortable for those sleeping on their back. It can feel like your lower half is just sinking into it, which can make it awkward to try to sleep in.
2. Spread Out
There’s a lot of difference when it comes to sleeping on your side opposed to sleeping on your back. Many people when they sleep on their side will curl up into a fetal position. Or, at least they’ll have their body kind of scrunched together rather than being spread out. It’s simply a natural position for your body once you’re lying on your side.
You may have to learn to spread out a little bit to get comfortable sleeping on your back. Most people find that if they open up their arms and legs a little bit while they lie on their back, they are much more comfortable than if everything is kept closely, tightly together.
3. Make Yourself Feel Safe
Sleeping in a new position may cause you to toss and turn throughout the night. How do you teach yourself to sleep on your back when you’re scared that you will roll off the bed?
As silly as it may sound, you may want to put up some protection around the edges of your bed. You can put up a rail or bar on the side of your bed that you sleep on so that you don’t fall out. If you’re looking for a solution that doesn’t take as much work or money, you can put up a barrier of pillows at the edge of the bed.
This probably won’t need to be a permanent solution. You will likely get used to sleeping on your back after a while and be less likely to toss and turn and go back to your preferred position during the night. For the first few days or weeks, though, it may be necessary to put up a barrier on the side of your bed.
You may not even be in danger of falling off, but the barrier could still be a good idea. They can help you feel better about your movement during the night. Some people who think they are more restless sleepers than they are they may be afraid that they’ll fall out of their bed, even if that’s not a valid concern. Having a barrier by the edge of your bed can help you to feel better about your movement during the night and make it easier for you to fall asleep and sleep more soundly. In other words, it can be more helpful for your mental safety than your physical safety to have a barrier if you’re switching sleeping positions.
A pillow barricade can also have another benefit. It can actually keep you from rolling over onto your side if you sleep next to it. What happens is that when you roll from your back to your side, the line of pillows can stop you from completely rolling on to your side. You can end up sleeping on your back involuntarily throughout the night if you’ve positioned yourself and the pillows properly.
4. Get Proper Neck Support
Another reason why people struggle to sleep on their back when they are not used to it is because of how their neck is or is not supported.
Lying on your back to sleep can cause some next stiffness, if you’re not doing it the right way and especially if you’re not using the right kind of pillow that provides proper support. It’s important that you get a decent pillow that supports your neck and head so that you can sleep comfortably on your back.
What many find initially uncomfortable about sleeping on their back is that their head is too elevated. It may be useful to you to try a pillow that’s not as high and that lets your head rest closer to the ground. Sleeping on your back can be an unnatural position for you, so changing out your pillow for something that’s a little smaller might help ease you into sleeping in this new position.
5. Support Your Knees
There’s a little trick I want to share with you that may help you to sleep on your back more easily. You can take a small pillow and place it under your knees. This helps reduce some of the pressure off of your upper body when you sleep, and the slight elevation can make a big difference in how comfortable sleeping on your back feels.
If you tried changing up your sleeping position to your back and found it was kind of uncomfortable, then try putting a small pillow under your knees. See if it makes a difference, as many people have said it helps them finally make sleeping on their back comfortable.
My name is Ellis Francis and I have been a personal fitness trainer, sports nutritionalist and health and fitness advisor for over 25 years. I am the lead health and fitness advisor at https://ahumanbody.com.