How to coach your self to begin sleeping in your again

There are many advantages to snoozing in your again, somewhat than in your tummy (Picture: Getty /

Confession: I’ve tried sleeping on my back, on one side, on the other, and curled up in the foetal position. No matter what, I always revert back to my favourite position and end up sleeping on my stomach.

It’s the least popular way to fall asleep, and potentially the most harmful: by sleeping on your stomach and keeping your head turned in one direction for hours on end, you’re causing strain on your back and neck and risking chronic pain.

So, this week, I set myself a goal: night after night, I would attempt the impossible and try to start sleeping on my back. But what are the benefits? And more importantly, how hard is it to switch positions?

The benefits of sleeping on your back

Although side sleeping is generally the most common sleeping position, there is not one perfect sleeping position and a lot depends on your personal health needs. If you suffer from acid reflux, snoring, allergies or heartburn, for example, side sleeping is generally best, and in most cases, it’s ranked along with back sleeping as the best position.

The National Sleep Foundation considers sleeping on the back beneficial as it promotes ‘keeping your spine in alignment and evenly distributing your body weight, preventing any potential aches in the neck or back’. It can help support your spine and in turn, relieve pressure on the spinal tissues and enable your muscles to relax.

Dr Lindsay Browning, a psychologist, neuroscientist, sleep skilled and creator of Navigating Sleeplessness, says that moreover being nice for individuals experiencing again ache, the supine place (that’s the technical time period for mendacity in your again) can even assist anybody affected by hayfever or different allergy symptoms. This is as a result of ‘sleeping on your back with an elevated head position can help to encourage drainage of your nasal passages during the night, reducing sinus build-up,’ Dr Browning tells

Switching to sleeping in your again can even assist together with your magnificence routine: research present that urgent your face into the pillow or the mattress for hours on finish each night time can contribute to the formation of facial traces and wrinkles, in addition to unfold micro organism from the soiled pillow to your face. Sleeping in your again might assist clear up zits and pores and skin irritation, whereas lowering indicators of ageing.

woman sleeping on her side

Side sleeping is healthier than entrance sleeping, however again sleeping poses its personal advantages (Picture: Getty Images/

Who ought to keep away from sleeping on their again

There are some cases the place again sleeping shouldn’t be beneficial: individuals with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) ought to keep away from it, as it might make signs worse and trigger airway collapse.

Pregnant individuals must also sleep on their facet, somewhat than on their again, because the child’s weight can put strain on the mom’s organs and forestall blood from flowing.

‘If you sleep on your side,’ says Dr Browning, ‘then you can maintain a better spinal alignment by making sure that your pillow and mattress are giving you the right level of support to keep your spine and neck neutral during the night.’

Side sleeping can be most popular to again sleeping for people that suffer from acid reflux disease, as a supine place can worsen signs like coughing and chest ache.

How to coach your self to sleep in your again

Here’s the catch: it might take as much as 4 weeks to accommodate a change in place, and it’s not all the time simple to completely incorporate a change of their sleeping routine.

We often undertake our most popular sleeping place early on in life, and like all hard-wired behavior, this makes it tougher to desert it in favour of a brand new one.

But there are some tips and methods we will use.

Dr Browning says to begin by ensuring you’re utilizing the appropriate pillow: ‘You may find that sleeping with one less pillow or using a softer/flatter pillow will help your neck to be in the right position,’ she tells us, ‘which will help encourage you to stay in a back sleeping position during the night.’

If you go for eradicating a pillow, as an alternative of placing it away you can attempt inserting it beneath your knees, as this may assist assist your decrease again and preserve your legs flat on the mattress.

If you sleep alone and don’t endure from claustrophobia, you can additionally attempt to limit your actions throughout the night time by surrounding your self with pillows. This may make it simpler to stay to at least one place, and let’s face it – it may very well be enjoyable to attempt… like constructing a fort.

It’ll take some time to regulate (Picture: Getty/

Dr Browning additionally recommends ‘a heavier duvet over a light one, or covers that you can tuck yourself into bed with, as this could also help restrict your natural movements in the night and encourage you to stay in the same position that you fell asleep in’.

Lastly, you may suppose your bed room temperature would have little to do together with your sleeping place, however you’d be stunned: if you flip up the warmth, you can be extra more likely to get up all through the night time feeling scorching, and attempt to reposition your self.

Dr Brownings says: ‘Natural fibre bed covers and pyjamas can help keep you cool, since they allow air to flow and also can wick away sweat’ – this might assist to cut back the dreaded tossing and turning impact and preserve you in your again.

Should you wake at any point in the night, you can check to see if you are on your back, and if not, reposition yourself. It’s important to correct your position every time you have the chance to do so, as this will help you get used to the switch.

The results of my week-long experiment

I’ll be honest, the first three nights were a nightmare. I gave up on night one, stared at the ceiling for hours the following night, and spent night three tossing and turning in my makeshift pillow fort. I was too hot, I felt too restricted, and I was desperate to pick up my phone and stop scrolling since it was clear I was not going to fall asleep anytime soon.

On the fourth night, though, something incredible happened. I was so grumpy, and so incredibly tired, that I fell asleep the minute my head hit the pillow. I woke up refreshed and newly motivated.

From then on, it became easier. Not easy, per se (I gave up again on night six), but manageable. It might take me a little longer to get used to sleeping on my back, but I’m committed to learning: it might be uncomfortable and a little tedious, but it beats twisting my neck for 28 years and rendering my retinol useless.

The best sleep-boosting buys

Keen to improve your sleep? Try our pick of the best sleep-boosting products…

Spacemasks self-heating eye masks five-pack

(Picture: Amazon)

We know what you’re thinking: Can some warm eye masks really make that big a difference when it comes to drifting off?

The answer is yes. Yes, they can.

The warmth of these eyemasks plus their lavender scent is super soothing, while the small amount of weight on your eyelids helps to tell your brain it’s time to snooze.

Honestly, it’s tricky to explain just how great these are for times when you’re struggling to fall asleep. Buy a pack and try them. You won’t regret it.

Buy for £19.21 here

Weighted blanket

(Picture: Mela)

Are you being saved up by nervousness? A weighted blanket could make an enormous distinction in soothing your thoughts and physique.

Expect the deepest sleep ever.

Buy for £74.50 (down from £139.97)

Sleepy Body Lotion

(Picture: Lush)

One of our favourites – it is a tremendous soothing cream you can smother your self within the subsequent time you’re struggling to float off.

Buy for £10 from Lush

5-HTP+ by FutureYou Cambridge

(Picture: FutureYou Cambridge)

This complement makes use of 5-HTP, an amino acid produced by the physique by tryptophan, saffron, which some research recommend improves sleep high quality, B6, and lavender oil, all of that are claimed that will help you drift off.

You can get a free 28-day trial here, then a box costs £14.40 a month.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

deep sleep spray

(Picture: Amazon/

‘This stuff is like magic,’ wrote one reviewer. ‘Absolutely amazing, I’m so happy i purchased it.

‘I’ve had points with sleeping my entire life and tried practically every part beneath the solar to attempt to help my sleep.

‘I had my eye on this product for a while but was hesitant to buy because of the price, however I finally caved and it’s value each penny!’

Buy for £13.87 from Amazon

Knee pillow

(Picture: Amazon)

For side sleepers!

Buy for £16.95

This article accommodates affiliate hyperlinks. We could earn a small fee on purchases made by means of one among these hyperlinks however this by no means influences our consultants’ opinions. Products are examined and reviewed independently of economic initiatives.

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