Transitioning from Stomach Sleeper to Back Sleeper

Posted on

As I’ve been on my own personal health journey this year, I’ve come to understand the importance of sleep. The amount and quality of sleep you get each night directly affects your mind and body the next day. I’m sure you’ve noticed this in your own life. If I don’t sleep a full 7+ hours a night, the next day I can barely function. This has become even more evident now that I’ve cut Coffee out of my diet, so I can no longer depend on high doses of caffeine to keep me going. With all of this said, I’ve started looking into how I can have the best night’s sleep. One big issue I found right away was my sleeping position. I have always been a stomach sleeper.

I have been making myself become a back sleeper. Why?

  1. Because it’s often considered the healthiest sleeping position for the spine
  2. It can help prevent wrinkles and skin aging

Changing your sleeping position is easier said than done. I have been a stomach sleeper my whole life. How am I going to change this lifelong habit?

I’ve incorporated a few tips and tricks that have helped me make the transition from stomach to back sleeper.

Gradual Transition

Since I was used to sleeping in a different position, such as on my side or stomach, I didn’t try to switch immediately. I tried gradually transitioning to back sleeping by spending a few minutes lying on my back before falling asleep. Each night, I’d increase the time spent on my back. Now it is starting to feel more natural to me.

The Proper Pillow 

I’ve noticed a big problem with sleeping on my back is the uncomfortable feeling on my neck and head. I’ve always liked a softer pillow, but I think that isn’t the best option for a back sleeper. I’ve tried stuffing my pillow up on the bottom to add in some neck support. I purchased this specific back sleeping/neck support pillow that I hope will help with my transition. UPDATE! It works, here’s an article about my back sleeping pillow experience.

Support with Pillows

I’ve started placing a pillow underneath my knees to help close the gap between my lower back in the mattress. I have seen a lot of added comfort from this trick. I also like putting pillows on either side of me near my shoulders and arms to help keep me from tossing and turning throughout the night. Sometimes, I’ll even put my arms on top of the pillows for more support. Adding supporting pillows has made it easier to settle into bed on my back. 

Patience is Key

Making the transition isn’t going to happen overnight so be patient with yourself. I’ve had many nights where I’ve given up falling asleep on my back and flipped over to my side or stomach. In the long run, I know I will be thankful for the time and effort I’ve put into making this change.

I’ll be interested to see how much my sleep improves once I’ve mastered the back sleeping. I believe this could also help solve a lot of the neck and shoulder pain I get from time to time. I hope any of my back sleeping tips make it into your own nighttime routine.