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Best sleeping positions for scoliosis

Hi and welcome back to yoga Barre your yoga for scoliosis community, my name is Christine Jerry Barry and I’m a yoga teacher. I specialize in yoga for scoliosis. I also have scoliosis myself and I have worked with hundreds of people over the last three years that suffer from scoliosis, and today’s topic is a sleeping position, so Best sleeping positions for scoliosis. Now I don’t typically sleep on my yoga mat, but I wanted to demonstrate it here for you and I have a lot of props around me and it all will become clear in a moment what we’re going to do with those. So let’s talk about the worst sleeping position for scoliosis.

First of all and in my opinion the worst sleeping position is lying on your front. So if you lie on your belly, which I will demonstrate for a moment, push all my stuff out of the way. If you lie on your belly, probably even supporting the upper body and yet have your head turned out turn to the side so far so good, but I’m lying on a yoga mat. Remember that if you are lying on the soft surface, on a on a mattress, you’re, probably going to be sinking into your mattress and you’re, probably gon na end up with a really awkward backbend here in your lower back now, if you have scoliosis as well, you’re Doing a backbend – and you have a twist in there – probably even you end up doing something like this, so you might have one leg to the side. So it’s just as you can see, it’s a really really awkward position and then imagine that you’re lying like this.

For eight hours, probably not a very good idea and you might end up with pain around the back. So in my opinion, that is the the one to kind of avoid now there’s two other sleeping positions, so one of them would be lying on your back. The other one would be lying on your side. The best one opinions differ here. The best one is probably lying on your back for scoliosis, just because gravity in general is not your friend for scoliosis, depending on what you do.

But if you are lying on your back, you are in a kind of the most even position to the ground, so gravity is just kind of pulling you evenly down and your back. If it’s in a neutral position, probably the best supported position – and I just show you just it’s a couple of things to look out for so first of all – you want to make sure that your head is not too high, so that your cushion is not too High that you end up with the chin kind of down and compressing the throat here that brings an awkward positioning for the neck and then also it could be really nice to support the backs of the knees. So I have a yoga bolster here, but you could, for example, use a cushion underneath the backs of the knees and that could be really comfortable. So if, for example in my bed, I have two of these and you could put a one of them underneath the backs of the knees, so let’s just see what this looks like. So if you lie on your back now, let’s see now the kitchen looks really high, but this is a memory foam one.

So you can see I kind of just sink into this cushion and it’s really really nice and comfortable and then my head kind of ends up in a quite a nice position. So if I was up here, this would be too high and if it’s too low lower is probably better than higher. But this feels comfortable for me and then the backs of the knees are supported, which brings the back in a much more neutral position. If I didn’t have this, this would probably kind of pull my my pelvis slightly further forward. So it’s a little bit more comfortable with the cushion underneath the backs of the knees.

I can’t get it back now, but you you get what I mean so lying on. Your back a really really good option. Now, the only problem with lying on your back is that your head, my roll over to the side, obviously once you start to relax and that brings in a twist into the into the neck so again. This is why I don’t sleep on my back, because it’s just is not comfortable for me and I can’t actually go to sleep like that. So I think what is most important is that you are comfortable and that you actually get a good night’s sleep now.

Let’S talk about lying on your side and you can see. I have changed my shirt for this, because this top shows an s-curve scoliosis and it will show you much more clearly what is happening when you’re lying on your side and gravity starts to work and you’re. Just kind of sinking into your mattress now we have to keep in mind. This is a hard surface, so this will look obviously different when you are lying in your bed. So let’s look at this curve.

This is a left, lumber and a right thoracic curve, which is my curvature as well. However, my lumbar curve is bigger than the thoracic curve. It doesn’t really matter. But, let’s imagine I sleep on my left side, sleep on my left side. What is happening here to the curve, so my lumbar curve is kind of exaggerated here.

If I lie on my left side because the convex side is down now, this is good for my thoracic curve, so the the right ribcage kind of gets pulled down a little bit. So if you have a bigger right, thoracic curve, it’s probably a good idea to sleep on your left side now, obviously I cannot avoid one or the other curve will always be affected. So if I lie on my left side, what I can simply do is I can support the waist and I have one of these. This is a foam, a foam roll, not a foam roller, not the hard ones, but it’s quite soft and it’s quite quite squishy. You could also roll up a hand towel and use that, so these are kind of the two things that would work.

So this works really nicely for me. I bring it underneath the waist and then let’s see what happens so you can see the the lumber curve gets much more support here, so I’m not just kind of dropping into the ground. So that’s one of the things to do now when you’re here some people really enjoy having some support in in between the legs as well. So you could use another cushion or I’m just gon na demonstrate with my yoga bolster, which does the same thing. Have it in between the legs, this helps to keep the pelvis much more stable, because if I didn’t have it pushing it away, my pelvis might start to roll forwards, and then I get problems again in my lower back.

So, just having that little bit of support underneath the legs underneath the waist makes all the difference good. So, let’s talk about what happens when you sleep on the other side good, so I moved everything over to the other side. Now now, with my right service, a curved right, thoracic left lumbar. I now AM on the other side. So let’s have a look on what happens now you can see now the thoracic curve is exaggerated, as it will be and again, let’s imagine this is a mattress.

So you’ll be sinking into it, even more that we be will be exaggerated and the left lumbar curve for this. It’S nice to sleep on the right side. So let’s just hang out here for a moment. So what do I need to do? I need to support that thoracic side a little bit more, so I’m gon na use my little roll again this time now it was very different on the other side.

On the other side, I had to bring it underneath the waist here. I brought it much higher up underneath the thoracic curve and then half that little bit of support here, and then we can do the same as we did on the other side, with the legs much more supported and comfortable. If I have this roll in between the legs, then you can imagine even if that is sinking into the bed a little bit more. You can see that sarasu curve is nicely supported here and then you can get a good night’s sleep now. The other thing that is really important to get a good night’s sleep with scoliosis is that you don’t go to bed with back pain.

Obviously so, if you had a really long day and maybe you’ve been standing up or you’ve been sitting down for a lot, do a little yoga practice and I have a fabulous evening yoga practice up here, which you can watch. It’S a really really nice way to just prepare the body for sleep just to release any muscle, tension that might still be in the body and you’ll find it much easier to go to sleep good, so feel free to. Let me know if you have any questions or maybe some tips. Maybe you have a particularly good pillow or a mattress or anything that you can recommend. It is a community.

So we like to share what works for us feel free to join the Facebook community. Obviously, and in the description below, you will also find lots and lots of links to some fabulous free resources for yoga for scoliosis. So thank you so much for watching and I’d see you soon for the next video [ Music ]

Read More: Scoliosis, How to Self-Mobilize at Home to Improve Posture

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