If You’re Not Sleeping In These Two Positions, A Chiropractor Says You Need To Change That

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Sleeping positions vary from person to person depending on what’s most comfortable for you and what you’re used to. However, a sleep expert on TikTok suggested you should just be sleeping in one of two specific positions to get the best sleep. 

In a TikTok video that, as of publication, has earned over 2 million views, the Levitex Chief Sleep Posture Expert, James Leinhardt, explains which two sleeping positions you should be in when drifting away to sleep. (1)

He starts the video by showing the sleeping position known as “the soldier.” He points to a diagram that shows a figure laying on his back. But there is a twist. There is a pillow underneath the figure’s knees.  

“If you pop a pillow underneath your knees you’ll find that you slightly tilt your pelvis and more of your back is now touching the bed,” he said in the TikTok. 

With this, he said the pillow makes a huge difference because your body will be better supported. 

The next sleeping position he suggests is the “the dreamer,” which involves sleeping on your side. He said that clinical research supports that when you sleep on your side, you put the least amount of tension on your spine. 

The pillow serves a dual purpose, not only in the initial sleeping position but also in the “dreamer” stance. In this position, the pillow is positioned between the knees and ankles, providing support to the left leg and reducing the pressure on it.

Adopting a side-sleeping position is also beneficial according to Leinhardt, as it guarantees proper alignment of all body segments, creating an even stack.

“You want your ears, your hips, your shoulders, your hips, your knees, your ankles all stacked on top of each other,” he said. 

Wait, what about the stomach sleepers? Leinhardt unfortunately doesn’t add that position to his list of best sleeping positions. 

One user definitely was not too happy about this, posting, “The clinical reason is I physically can’t sleep unless I’m on my stomach.” 

Other users expressed their fear of the sleep demon coming their way when they sleep on their back. One user said “The sleep demon comes when I lie on my back,” and another commented, “My sleep demon said no, sorry.” 

So are these two extremely specific sleep positions that include the help of a pillow recommended by the experts? Let’s see!

Another Chiropractor Weighs In

Looking to try the “dreamer” or “soldier” sleep position? We wanted to speak with someone who truly knows if these positions are worth the try. 

We spoke with Dr. Sherry McAllister, DC, M.S. (Ed) CCSP,  and the president of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. 

McAllister said the first sleeping position, the “soldier,” can truly help alleviate any tension or pain you might have on your body while sleeping. She said when you place a pillow under your knees, it can take any pain away you might feel in your low back.

She said it allows for full support from one’s neck to their back. It can also prevent anti-aging and reduce pain in hips and knees. 

“The most common scenario for sleeping on your back is to aid in neck, back and hip pain,” she told Sleepopolis. “Others may be for sinus issues and even jaw aches or headaches.” 

On the other hand, with the “dreamer” sleep position, the pillow helps prevent one from rolling over and switching sleeping positions while sound asleep. 

Even though many people enjoy sleeping on their stomachs, Dr. McAllister confirmed that the best two sleeping positions are in fact on your side and back. 

“The side lying position allows your spine to rest as it mimics the natural curves, relaxing the muscles and relieving tension,” she said. 

Do you notice you fall asleep in one position and wake up in another? Dr. McAllister suggests putting a pillow between your legs to prevent yourself from rolling over to different positions that might cause sleep apnea or snoring

Sorry in advance to all the stomach sleepers because this position is not supported by McAllister. She said it affects the natural curve in your spine and could cause the aches and pains to feel even worse. 

“Stomach sleepers may unknowingly contribute to decreasing mobility and flexibility by chronic stress to joints, ligaments and muscles,” she said. 

If you are looking to switch up your sleep positions, it might be worth trying these two sleeping positions. But, as always, if you are experiencing pain, McAllister recommended that you see a specialist or chiropractor to improve your sleep health. 

  • McAllister, Sherry. Personal Interview. August 9, 2024.

  • 1. Levitex on TikTok. TikTok. July 24, 2024. Accessed August 9, 2024. https://www.tiktok.com/@levitex/video/7259444791069461787?_t=8ehCOnAueWE&_r=1.

Ava Girardi

Ava Girardi

Ava Girardi is an Editorial News Intern for Sleepopolis. She loves writing about all things sleep from viral bedtime routines on TikTok to studies on sleep quality that will help you get the most helpful information to achieve that perfect bedtime routine. Ava is currently studying at Elon University where she is a double major in journalism and media analytics. When she is not writing, Ava is spending time with friends or family, running, or trying new yummy foods.

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