In order to find the best sleeping position, you will need to sleep on your side, using a firm mattress and adjustable pillow. You will find lots of other advice telling you that the best sleeping position is on your back, but that is wrong. Read on to find out exactly what to do and why.
This advice is based upon the principles of Advanced BioStructural Correction™ (ABC™). You can learn more about ABC™ here.
When patients are undergoing ABC™ care the improvements to their body mechanics and unwinding of twists in body structure mean they will benefit from a very firm mattress.
The aim of the best sleeping position is to support your head and body perfectly so it will not move at all when you relax.
Most mattresses on the market are too soft and allow your body to fall into positions that reinforce patterns of misalignment. When the mattress is firm and the pillow height just right, your eyes will close effortlessly, your
entire body will relax and you’ll sleep the entire night without moving.
ABC™ practitioners seem to be the only ones who realize that your head and neck need to be aligned with YOUR spine, not some ideal version of what someone thinks your spine should be like. As a result, your pillow might need to be quite a bit higher than you think, or quite a bit lower — the explanation for why this is true will follow below.
For human bodies, the best sleeping position is on the side with the head and neck aligned with the rest of the spine. Therefore, if you have a twist to your spine, the neck and head need to be aligned with that twist. The good thing is you need not measure it or even know about it to get your body aligned.
Given a firm bed and a pillow that is the correct height, your entire body will relax, eyes will close and you will be asleep in less than a minute. Not only that, you will likely wake in the same position and be wide awake almost immediately. NO KIDDING!! You really will probably not move all night — no matter what you have been told by everyone else — and, you really will awaken without noticing your body.
Keep in mind that the important thing is to experiment and find out for yourself so you know it is true for you. Like with everything else in ABC™, you don’t have to believe what we say in these instructions. You need to physically do the testing to determine
a) if you have the correct pillow height while sleeping on your side and,
b) if all these things that go with having a good bed and correct pillow height are true.
Important note on memory foam
Firstly, if you want to find the best sleeping position, you will need to avoid using a memory foam mattress. Although this type of mattress may feel comfortable to begin with, the material will not be supportive enough and will cause you problems which you will notice upon waking. Extended use of this type of mattress will cause your body structure to worsen and can cause big problems. Replacing this type of mattress will be a priority if you want your body to relax properly.
Some people actually find memory foam mattresses comfortable (even though they make your body condition worse). In my experience, this means that these people have very poor body biomechanics and cannot tolerate a normal, firm mattress. Memory foam also makes your body hot and sweaty which also is not ideal for sleeping comfort.
Why are memory foam mattress so popular? Very good marketing!
Fact: Over the last two years, every one of our patients that came to us with a slipped disc and sciatica had been sleeping on a memory foam mattress for some time!
Other mattress types to avoid
- Air beds
- Water beds
- Soft beds
- Lumpy or sunken mattress
- Any mattress that makes you roll
You will need a firm, completely flat mattress. When I say firm, I mean much firmer than you think. This is because your body is seeking a supportive, stable surface on which to rest. (This is one of the reasons why it is often recommended that people with back pain sleep on the floor.)
The mattress should have some give (without sinking in) so that it does not hurt your shoulder, hip or ankles. It should also immediately return to its normal, flat shape once you get off it.
ABC Europe Mattress (The only choice we recommend)
The Advanced BioStructural Correction Europe association oversees the training, accreditation and support of ABC™ throughout Europe. Using the same materials and construction as the American ABCI mattress, they have created the perfect mattress to support the alignment of their patients.
The support of latex meets the cushioning comfort of wool to create the Rolls Royce of bedding! This mattress will provide your body with the support it needs for the best sleeping position, helping you to sleep the whole night through. 6” of extra firm latex topped with an organic cotton cover on both sides. The mattress is designed using top quality materials and should last 20+ years, making it great value compared to most mattresses which lose their firmness within a few years.
The mattress is manufactured to order and takes between 4-5 weeks to be made and delivered. Delivery includes help with installing the mattress in your chosen room.
Prices start at £1099 and it is exclusively available at the ABCE website shop. It is the best mattress for supporting your body through the unwinding process bar none.
Best sleeping position
We recommend the best sleeping position to be on your side.
Sleeping on your front makes you twist your neck in order to breathe, it also puts pressure on the face and can make your lower back arch, all of which are not good for you.
Sleeping on your back can cause most people physical stress (especially in the ribs and lower back) and it is difficult to maintain this position all the way through the night.
The aim here is to align your head and neck with the rest of your spine whilst sleeping on your side.
FACT: Contrary to what it shows in advertisements and instructions for other pillows, this is rarely a straight line!
In order to achieve the correct pillow thickness/height, you need to be able to add and remove thin layers of support and build up your pillow so that it is exactly the right height FOR YOUR BODY.
When the pillow is too low it can cause and worsen pain in your body. When the pillow is too high, it can cause headaches and neck pain. If you want to learn more about why this is the case please watch this video. Normal pillows are generally too thin and soft and adding extra pillows often makes the pillow too high.
There are generally two ways to achieve this…
Using towels (better than a normal pillow)
Towels are a good way to try out if this method works well for your body to be in the best sleeping position. If you are using towels for a pillow get a bath towel and fold it several times. Start with the towel height approximately the same as your spread fingers, thumb tip to pinkie tip.
Lie on the floor on your side and try out your folded towel. Make sure you exhale a few times and completely relax. If your body wants to roll onto your front, add another fold of towel. If your body wants to roll onto your back, eliminate a layer of towel.
One layer could make the difference.
If you cannot quite get that feeling, try using a dishcloth as the final layer (it is thinner than a towel so useful for that last bit of fine-tuning.) When you have the correct height, your eyes will close almost automatically, and you will feel like falling asleep.
Now try it out in your bed. Because the bed is slightly softer than the floor you may need to experiment a little to find the height that’s right for you.
“To accommodate your particular set of issues, the height may not look level to an outside observer.”
The correct height of towels will change over the months as your body unwinds and changes shape. You can redo the above if you wake up with issues in your body. You will usually find that you need to add or subtract some layers to be comfortable again.
You can also place the towels in a pillow case for added comfort but be aware that this will change the overall height so may need to remove a layer of towel to compensate.
Using the ABC Adjustable Pillow (the best pillow)
The ABC Adjustable Pillow is specially designed to allow you to align your head and neck with the rest of your spine. You can purchase one of these amazing adjustable pillows from the ABC Europe shop.
SO HOW DO YOU SET IT UP?
First, you need a bed with a firm mattress.
Next, the pillow.
Read to the point where it says “start testing!” before you start testing.
Start by unzipping the outer pillowcase and remove all the individual layers. The thickest layer is the top layer that you will lay your head on. It comes in a washable zip cover.
The second layer with a zip cover is a memory foam layer. Put this to one side for now. You will be able to identify it as it is squashier than the other layers.
To know the difference between too high and too low, you have to physically test it and notice the difference. As mentioned the best sleeping position is on your side so test in that position.
Therefore, start low, way low. Lay your head on the layer that is about 1″ thick and note how that feels. Close your eyes. Then, let your entire body relax including your eyes. Because that will be too low, your eyes will open when you relax. The reason is that the twist of not being properly aligned will pull on your eyelids and they will open.
If you eyes just flutter, well, that is your eyes trying to open while you try to keep them shut. You must not be holding them shut very much or they would not flutter but when you feel them opening many people tend to try to keep them shut and so they flutter.
This is a key point. When your pillow height is just right your eyes will stay closed. As a matter of fact (yes, a real fact), when your pillow height is just right if you lay there trying to read, your eyes will keep trying to close even if you are wide awake. That is because with the bed stiff and the pillow just the right height your body is held in alignment and every muscle relaxes, including your eye muscles.
Okay. That is what too low feels like.
Now, put all the layers down and lay on that. Unless you are very tall, that will feel quite different and still not be right. Do the same procedure, closing your eyes and then letting your entire body relax, including your eyes. Again, if the pillow is not just right they will open or flutter.
Now you know the difference in feeling between too low and too high.
Okay, now that you understand that, try just the large (top) section. If it is too low it will feel similar to the other too low. Then shut your eyes and relax your body. If the pillow is not just right your eyes will pop open when you shut them and then relax your entire body.
If the large section is too high (which happens) you will have the distinctly different too high feeling and your eyes will also pop open.
(You can also use the following video tutorial to help you too.)
Test those three (too high, too low and just the large section) right now and then return to these instructions.
If the large section was not too high you want to raise it up section by section until it is.
You are not going for just right at this point. You are going for too high.
So, using the 1-inch sections add one at a time until it is distinctly too high.
When you have distinctly too high you want to lower it to the distinctly too low point and raise it up using smaller pieces until it is distinctly to high again. Then lower it to distinctly too low until the layers you are using are very small.
When you have it just right you will not feel comfortable. You just will not be able to tell if too high or too low AND, YOUR EYES WILL STAY SHUT when you relax. Not even a flutter.
That is your correct pillow height.
The rules are, if you awaken at night and cannot get back to sleep — the pillow is too high and you need to lower it a small layer. It is a small layer because if it was a large layer you would not have fallen asleep to begin with — pillow too high. If you awaken with a stiff neck or headache — pillow too high. Remove a small layer.
If you awaken rolled on your belly, pillow too low. Raise it a small layer.
If you cannot get it right on your bed, odds are the bed is too soft. Try it on the floor and it will work better, though an uncarpeted floor is usually too hard to make the SMALL accommodations needed for your body, so you will not last the night on it. Try a thin pad (camping pads work well) or thick blanket on the floor with the pillow just right. These will give you an idea of what will get your body to relax and get the support it needs to be in the best sleeping position, although this will not feel the same as a very, very firm mattress.
Summary for the best sleeping position
The best sleeping position is on your side. However, you do need a VERY VERY firm bed and an adjustable pillow.
If you think you cannot sleep on a very, very firm bed, you either need to recheck with your head in the correct position (that is what the pillow is for) – it makes all the difference in the world. Or, you need to get treated with Advanced BioStructural Correction™, so your body actually works and then recheck with your head in the correct position.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how comfortable a firm surface can be when these factors are handled.
If that works, visit www.abc-europe.org to order an ABC mattress. They sell mattresses that are not available in mattress stores and yet are very comfortable. This mattress has been designed to be firm enough, yet yields underneath you just enough to accommodate the small curves in your body. People are almost always astonished when they get the mattresses that everything I said above happens.
They get the pillow just right. They lay down, are asleep in seconds (not even minutes) and awaken with no thought about their bodies at all.
Let us know how you do with our instructions for the best sleeping position. Oh, as always, if you have any difficulty, ask your certified ABC™ practitioner.
You can use pillow cases with these pillows but be aware that thick cases can affect the overall thickness of your set up so adapt it accordingly. You will also find that as your body unwinds, you will regularly need to make adjustments to the pillow height to remain comfortable. Use the guidance above to work out whether you need to add or remove layers.
You can also store unused layers in the large zip cover.
What is the best sleeping position?
The best sleeping position is on your side but equally important is the mattress and pillow. The mattress needs to be a very firm material like latex (avoid memory foam) and the pillow should be exactly the right thickness to support your head and neck properly.
Short Guide To The Best Sleeping Position
How to find the best sleeping position
10 minutes 10 minutes
Start with a very firm mattress
The best mattress is the ABCu003cstrongu003eu0026#x2122;u003c/strongu003e mattress exclusively available at the u003ca href=u0022https://abc-europe.org/postural-support-products/u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022u003eABCE website shop.u003c/au003e
You will need an adjustable pillow
This type of pillow is designed to be the exact height needed to support the curves and twists in your spine. Sleep on your side using the u003ca href=u0022https://www.uprightposture.co.uk/articles/the-best-sleeping-position/u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022u003eABC pillow instructionsu003c/au003e to set up the pillow height correctly.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eThe pillow is available at our clinic or online at the u003ca href=u0022https://abc-europe.org/postural-support-products/u0022u003eABCE website shop.u003c/au003e
Sleep on your side
We recommend sleeping on your side as sleeping on your back can cause your body problems. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSleeping on your front makes you twist your neck in order to breath, it also puts pressure on the face and can make your lower back arch, all of which are not good for you. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eSleeping on your back can cause most people physical stress and it is difficult to maintain this position all the way through the night.
Finding the best sleeping position
The rules are, if you awaken at night and cannot get back to sleep — the pillow is too high and you need to lower it a small layer. It is a small layer because if it was a large layer you would not have fallen asleep to begin with — pillow too high. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf you awaken with a stiff neck or headache — pillow too high. Remove a small layer.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf you awaken rolled on your belly, pillow too low. Raise it a small layer.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eu003ca href=u0022https://www.uprightposture.co.uk/articles/the-best-sleeping-position/u0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022u003eThe full instructions for adjustable pillow are hereu003c/au003e.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eu003ca href=u0022https://youtu.be/ks3kKJ5gpzUu0022 class=u0022rank-math-linku0022u003eYou can also use the following video tutorial to help you too.u003c/au003eu003cbru003eu003cbru003eIf you cannot get it right on your bed, odds are the bed is too soft. Try it on the floor and it will work better, though an uncarpeted floor is usually too hard to make the SMALL accommodations needed for your body, so you will not last the night on it. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eTry a thin pad (camping pads work well) or thick blanket on the floor with the pillow just right. These will give you an idea of what will get your body to relax and get the support it needs although this will not feel that same as a very, very firm mattress.u003cbru003eu003cbru003eYour body changes over time so you may find that now and again, you need to repeat the adjustable pillow instructions to get the best height.