Sleeping Positions

I did post something about sex recently, but we are not headed in that direction right now, so if you were expecting the Kama Sutra, I'm sorry. Today's post is going to be much simpler than that.

I have many students and clients who suffer from neck pain. And lately, I have become a member of that club. I tried all kinds of yoga stretches and routines designed specifically for neck pain. I tried a series of E-sizes (designed by Pete Egosure, author of Pain Free.) I tried gentle and deep massage. I tried using this gadget my mother purchased which is sort of like a little tiny bed for your head to rest in. All of these interventions helped, but only temporarily. My neck would feel awesome after all the attention. Then I'd go to bed. And wake up the following morning just as stiff and tense as ever.

And the cause? Yes. (Duh!) My sleeping position sucked.

I have never been able to sleep on my back. When I was a young child, my mother told me if I slept on my back, I would get nightmares. Now, almost 50 years later, I am still afraid to sleep on my back. Yet, the back is probably the best sleeping position for your spine, including the neck, with a little support.

How did I finally discover some better sleeping positions? Mr. Balancing Act sent me a Youtube video created by Kelly Starrett (go to and search sleeping positions) which got me started. Kelly offers many great suggestions for positions and ways to use pillows to better support the head, neck, and shoulders. I borrowed his suggestion for rolling up a towel and sliding it into your pillowcase next to the pillow. This creates extra support for your neck. Instant orthopedic pillow!

Next, I clicked on a video offered by a chiropractor named Dr. Paul Rand. (This automatically came up at the end of watching Kelly's video.) This video described using 4 pillows in the shape of a square in order to sleep partially on the back. This is the position I am now attempting to replicate each night. My body still craves a different position (I was a stomach sleeper which is THE WORST position for the neck!!!) but I am training my body to embrace something new.

Lo and behold! Since I have reprogrammed my sleep position, my neck is NOWHERE NEAR as hideously tense. There were some days where I seriously thought I might have to have some of those twangy muscles amputated. Just to turn my head. The difference is HUGE!

So thanks again to my brilliant husband who always knows everything and is always at least one step ahead of me. Without him, I wouldn't be able to write this blog at all because I would never have anything to report. And the sex would be much less interesting as well. And no, I haven't been hacked.


  1. Experts say there is no one right way to sleep. But for people with certain types of pain and medical conditions, there are positions that can help keep problems from getting worse and may even alleviate them. In some cases, sleeping in the same position night after night can itself create pain, such as neck or shoulder problems.


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