Sleeping and Scoliosis

How do I sleep with scoliosis?

Boy, do we get this question a lot. It just goes to show you how important sleep is and how much we value it. The question also tells you just how much scoliosis can interrupt sleep. Is it not being able to find a good position? Or is it pain? Let’s dive a bit deeper and see what we can learn. 

First. Our first response to this ubiquitous question is: You should sleep — that’s obvious. We need sleep for brain and body restoration as well as for chemical regulation throughout our bodies. Have you ever noticed that you are more hungry (hangry even?) on days when you haven’t slept well the night before? Yes, that’s because there’s a link between high blood sugar and poor sleep. 

Sleeping position

Isn’t there a sleep position that could help my scoliosis? Well, yes.  And no. Ideally, we would all sleep in our corrected positions. The positions you learned that help your spine move toward a more physiologically normal position. However, you and I know those positions are a LOT of work. So, to simultaneously sleep and hold our corrections? That’s a no-go.

How about stomach, side or back sleeping? If we had to choose of those three, our least favorite is stomach-sleeping. Our curves tend to stressed in prone if we aren’t using a K-Wedge or some other lift, like beach towels to support the spine. And even if you were, it wouldn’t be recommended.

Our most favorite sleeping position would perhaps be side-lying on the side of the upper back hollow/concavity. Or perhaps, if you are familiar with the Scolio-Wedges, you might lie on your back with the wedges in place.

I have wedges!  What should I do with them?

You might try using your scolio-wedges while sleeping — many of our clients swear by them. They lie down and use their wedges to support the scoliosis sand dunes/convexities. This support can make great headway in allowing the spine to find a position that is a bit more physiologically normal while sleeping. 

Since you are sleeping while using the wedges, the hope is that the spine will be relaxed, the tension gone, and the rotations will be eased a bit because of the wedging. This is the ideal. However, be cautious that you aren’t doing too much too soon. No one likes an abrupt change, least of all your spine.

How do I sleep with scoliosis? The short answer, is however you want to sleep. You won’t make your scoliosis worse while sleeping. The best thing you can do for your spine is to get adequate rest, remember, this is when healing happens. Need more info? Try these two articles:

Are you ready to start today? Whether you are someone living with scoliosis or a professional helping those with scoliosis, join our Scolio-Pilates On Demand here. You will have two weeks of free scoliosis-specific exercises with a live class every Thursday at 3 pm ET (New York, USA) and access to over 100 classes. It’s time to take control. Be a Scolio-Mover!” 

Looking for help for your own scoliosis curve?


Sleeping and Scoliosis