How to Sleep with Scoliosis

It’s a question we get a lot (A LOT). Which means you aren’t the only one struggling. Of course, knowing other people are having same problem won’t help you to sleep tonight, will it? So here’s a video from our founder, Karena Thek. Following the video is a blog by Scolio-Pilates Practitioner, Meghan Klunk, DPT. Please let us know if this helps!

Sleeping and Scoliosis. Tips and Tricks
by Meghan Klunk, DPT and Karena Thek

The most common questions we receive from our clients surround sleeping.  What is the best position to sleep in?  Should I prop a small pillow here or there?  What is the best mattress if I have scoliosis?  In this post, we will address those questions and more.

First and foremost, it is most important that you get your sleep.  Our bodies heal and recover while we sleep.  Don’t sacrifice getting that shut-eye for stress over whether you’re in the correct position or not.  If you’re a professional sleeper then we can think about sleep position a little more.

What is the best sleep position?

Unless it’s being recommended for a specific pathology, lying on your stomach is not going to be a great sleep position.  Think about it.  To breathe and not have your nose smashed into the pillow, you must turn your head a complete 90 degrees right or left.  We want to minimize that excessive rotation as much as possible.  Also, if we lie on our stomach our spine falls into a little more extension adding a compressive force.

Lying on your back is best.  Additionally, lying on your side is ok as well, but which side?  Lying on the side of your primary concavity is optimal because gravity will help to bring the driving curve down into a more neutral position.  Placing a pillow between your knees helps to keep the spine in a neutral position and takes the pressure off your lower back. The video above demonstrates both of these possibilities.

I have wedges!  What should I do with them?

If you own Scolio-wedges and want to use them while you sleep, try it out!  Lots of our clients use them and have been able to achieve a more comfortable, restful sleep.  You will place them at your convexities while lying on your back just like when you do Scolio-Pilates exercises.

What is the Best Mattress?

This varies from person to person.  The firmer the mattress, the more supported your curves will be.  This prevents them from sinking into the mattress and keeps you in a neutral position.  Having said that, a firm mattress might not feel comfortable pressing on your curves.  That’s why it varies from person to person.

Hopefully, these tips and tricks for sleeping with scoliosis were helpful.  Circling back to our original point of getting adequate sleep, that is most important. Your body needs that rest to heal and recover from the activity of the day before! Need some tips? Here’s a great article from the Mayo Clinic on Sleep Hygiene. 

How to Sleep with Scoliosis