Sleep Positions…. back to basics


While many people choose a different sleeping position, there are those that find sleeping on their back their preferred choice.  Practically speaking, there are some benefits, as well as some cons, especially if you don’t sleep alone. says that back sleeping is the best route to go because it gives your internal organs room to breathe and is beneficial if you have back pain.

Be sure to keep a pillow under your knees to take stress off your lower back and to help maintain the normal curve of your back.  This can help those with lower back pain.

According to, back sleeping is the best sleeping position if you raise your legs at the calves by nine inches. This causes your lower back to come in contact with the bed. Your back muscles can relax and the discs are able to re-expand. Lying in this position also enhances blood flow to the heart.

There are others that would say that sleeping on your back causes the weight of your abdomen, with the help of gravitational forces, to put pressure on your intestines and organs.

This is particularly the case in pregnant women.  According to Jodi Mindell, paediatric sleep expert, back sleeping is not recommended for women who are in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

She explains that this position puts the full weight of your uterus on your back muscles, intestines, and on the vein that transports blood from your lower back to your heart.  It can also cause hemorrhoids, digestion problems, backaches, and can interfere with circulation and breathing.

It’s also not the best position for snorers, since it will probably make the snoring worse on their sleeping partners.  However, it is the recommended position for infants.

In 1992, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended that infants should sleep on their backs, rather than on their bellies or side, to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It has been reported that back sleeping can reduce the incidence of SIDS by nearly 50 percent.

If you do prefer this position, there are ways to minimize the negative effects, and reinforce the positives.  Your choice of pillows, for your neck and or your legs can help dramatically.

“The pillow needs to support your neck while on your back, without throwing your head forward or letting it fall too far back.” – Dr Craig Benson.

Another way to achieve the proper position is with an adjustable bed.  You can raise either your head or your feet or both depending on your physical conditions and comfort.

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