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Back Safety: Sleeping Positions

Good posture protects your back when you sit, stand, and walk. It is also important while sleeping. Keep your ears, shoulders and hips in line. Try the tips below. Also, be sure to follow any guidelines from your healthcare provider.

If You Lie on Your Back

Woman lying in bed on her back. Pillows are supporting her head and legs.
Place pillows under your legs from your thighs to your ankles.

Safe Sleeping

  • Ask your healthcare provider how firm your mattress should be.

  • Find a position that keeps your back aligned and comfortable.

  • Fill gaps between your body and the mattress with pillows.

  • Never sleep on your back without bending your legs.

  • Minimize sleeping on your stomach.

If You Lie on Your Side

Woman lying in bed on her side. Pillows are supporting her head, arm, and top leg.
Support your upper body and top leg with pillows.

Turning in Bed

  • If you change positions, you will need to move your pillows. This can become so natural that you hardly wake up.

  • When you turn in bed, move your whole body as one unit.

  • Tighten your stomach muscles. Bend your knees slightly toward your chest.

  • Roll to one side, keeping your ears, shoulders, and hips in line.

  • Be careful not to bend or twist at the waist.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 5/15/2011
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
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