A good night’s sleep is extremely important but if you have scoliosis, finding the perfect sleeping position can at times be a little difficult. Whether you wear a brace or not, your scoliosis may be preventing you from having a peaceful night sleep and a few changes may help make the world of difference!
Depending on your circumstances, you may have been recommended to sleep in a position by your clinician. Sleeping on your side and back is not harmful to those with scoliosis and it all depends on what each individual finds most comfortable. Lying on your stomach however is not encouraged as it can increase pressure on the lower back and can contribute to added discomfort.
Which ever position you find most comfortable, it ultimately up to you but as a general rule it is best to sleep on your back, in a neutral position. This allows your weight to be distributed evenly and causes minimal pressure on the back. A tip for sleeping on your back is to add a pillow to elevate your legs. If you’re sleeping on your side, a pillow between the knees can also take pressure off your lower back.
Sleeping on a good mattress makes a big difference. This doesn’t mean you have to go out and spend a huge amount of money on a mattress, but just keep in mind that a supportive and thick mattress often ensures a better night’s sleep. Remember to turn your mattress – most new mattresses do not need to be flipped, but they do need to be rotated ideally every 3-6 months. The Better Sleep Council recommends replacing your mattress every 7-10 years, but all mattresses are different, and you may need to replace it earlier if you are waking up sore or stiff.
Create your comfort:
There are many ways that pillows can enhance your sleep. You can use them as a barrier to help stay in the neutral position or you can use to support your neck, back or legs.
Another important thing to remember is to create a peaceful sleeping environment. Try to avoid using your phone or laptop or watching television in bed. This will allow the body to recognise when it’s time to go to sleep. Winding down is also important, read a book to relax , set your room temperature lower, and dim or turn off lights around the house well before heading to bed.
Sleeping tips for brace wearers:
The importance of night time wear.
If you’re wearing a brace, the above tips are helpful. Some of our patients have also let us know their tips for getting a better night’s sleep while wearing a scoliosis brace!
- Sleep with only one pillow under your head rather than two, this is generally more comfortable.
- Stay as straight as possible when lying down so that there is no added pressure on your back.
- Make your bed as comfortable as possible by putting pillows around yourself. This also supports you and trains yourself into a new position
- If you get hot in your brace, try putting corn-starch powder on before going to bed. This stops you from getting sweaty and waking up during the night.
- Try and get into a routine, once you find what works for you it will it easier to have a good night’s sleep.
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