Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for our long term health. To ensure that we sleep comfortably every night, a good posture is extremely crucial. When we sleep, our muscle mass in our back begins to loosen up over time, and hence a proper sleep posture is all the more essential as misalignment while sleeping places stress on the spine.
Unfortunately, not many of us give much thought to our posture before going to sleep. We simply use a couple of pillows to relax our heads on and then doze off. But do you often wake up with an aching back or sore knees? Then, maybe your sleep posture isn’t right, and adding a pillow the right way can help you a great deal. You would be surprised to know, in fact, that placing a pillow between your knees can truly help your posture by keeping your pelvis in line and also improve your sleep quality. Read on to find out how tucking a pillow between your legs is so beneficial and how to do it right.
1. It improves blood circulation in your body
Poor blood circulation while sleeping can happen because of many reasons. It mostly happens when we end up putting pressure onto the vena cava - the main vein carrying blood to the heart and back. Sleeping with a pillow between your legs will ensure that your feet are slightly elevated and hence help in promoting blood circulation more naturally through your lower extremities - from the hip to the toes. Also, once you make this into a habit, you will notice that you won’t be waking up with numb legs or any tingling sensation between the feet as the blood circulation in that area would improve.
2. It helps reduce pressure and muscle tension on your lower back
If you are a sound sleeper and sleep on the side, it is more than likely that your knees knock together throughout the night. This isn’t particularly good for your body as your knees gravitating towards each other can cause a lot of muscle strain in your lower back and hips and eventually lead to back pain. This happens because your legs pull from your spine when your knees knock together.
Placing a pillow between your legs helps to maintain the knees on top of one another. This can help prevent your knees from gravitating together while keeping your hips aligned, thereby reducing muscle tension on your back. Furthermore, when you put a pillow between your knees, your hips and pelvis are aligned. Many people have also found a significant reduction in their muscle cramps, varicose veins, and sciatica pain through this habit.
Make sure, however, that the pillow stretches comfortably from your knees to your ankles. This will help keep them in line with each other.
3. It helps maintain normal spinal alignment and prevents your hips from rotating
Side sleeping can pull the spine out of alignment and the additional pressure on the sciatic nerves could leave you uncomfortable with pain all night. We must remember here that our spines are not a straight line and have a natural S-curve that assists flexibility and balance. As your hips rotate while sleeping, your spine can twist into an unaligned position. You can realign your back into a neutral position by placing a pillow between your legs. This will ensure that your back is neither flat nor arched and that your top leg doesn’t fall over your bottom one. Another benefit of this is that your legs and pelvis will be leveled together.
However, even with the pillow between your legs, your knees shouldn’t be too bent as that will tighten things across the hips overnight. Try and place the pillow between the knees in a way that it covers the whole lower leg, and supports the thigh. Basically, both your legs should be in a nice even position, with one on top of the other, and so should your knees and hips. (Look at the picture above for reference)
4. It's ideal for pregnant women
Finding a comfortable position to sleep during pregnancy can be quite a challenge. Placing a pillow between the legs or knees in that phase can help alleviate some of the pressure on their spine. This will be quite helpful given the extra stress a woman’s back has to endure during pregnancy. Also, the pillow in between the legs will help promote better posture for pregnant women as it aligns the spine and hips better and delicately redistributes their weight to ensure their body maintains good circulation. With the help of this, they can surely hope to have a more comfortable night’s sleep.
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