Depending on the type of disabilities that any particular person may have, it may not be an option to sleep on their back but for anyone who can manage to sleep on their back, not just those with disabilities, it can bring a lot of benefits in most cases.
We all have different positions that we like to sleep in and those positions can vary from people curling themselves up, to lying on their stomach and any other way that they seem to like, but although many of these positions can feel comfortable for the person and help them to drop off at night, they can often find that the next day they are experiencing tension in muscles, especially in the neck and shoulders, sometimes even in the chest or an uncomfortable feeling in their back and even headaches that they wake up with.
Of course for a person with disabilities and for those without disabilities too, there can be all sorts of reasons for people waking up with tension, aches and pains and there could be a long term health problem that the individual has learned to live with from day to day, but if you find that you are getting tension and stiffness and pain where you feel you should not be experiencing it then it may be down to the position that you are sleeping in.
A lot of the problems mentioned above can be eradicated or at least minimised by sleeping on your back if your body and health allow you to.
The one challenge with sleeping on your back, unless you have never had difficulty sleeping on your back is to actually get your body used to it, for a lot of people there is a strong urge to roll onto their side as they feel themselves getting sleepy or as soon as they get into bed they may instantly move onto their side and this can take a little bit of practice to change.
You may feel that you can’t get to sleep while lying with your back flat against the mattress or that it takes longer for you to get to sleep in this position, but it can be worth the perseverance and if you are determined enough and sleeping on your back does not introduce any new problems for you then the benefits that you will begin to experience can really make a difference, not only to the quality of your sleep but how you feel when you wake up the next morning and throughout the following day.
Ideally the position you are aiming for is your back flat on the mattress, your legs straight and your arms down at your sides, or if you prefer, maybe your arms resting on your stomach or something like that, you want to have your shoulders relaxed and your pillows not too high, because if the pillows are too high they can force your chin downwards which puts stress on the muscles in your neck, especially at the back, as well as the back of your head and it prevents you from being able to relax the muscles properly.
If you feel that your neck is not supported enough them you can consider providing extra support in that area by rolling a face cloth and placing it so that it will support the back of your neck or anything similar that will support this area, though it should not be pressing into the back of your neck, it’s only there to stop your chin from pushing down and putting strain on those muscles at the back of your head and neck.
While trying to sleep in this position, you may find that you have naturally rolled into your side again throughout the night, tucked yourself up, got your one arm wrapped inwards underneath your neck maybe and totally not in the position that you went to sleep in.
This is natural though and will take some time, patience and practice, especially if you have been sleeping in a less than ideal position your whole life, in most people there is a noticeable decrease in the amount of tension and pains experienced and most people will get much relief from this when they get used to sleeping on their back.
You may find that after trying it for a while that you are just not able to sleep in this position and if you begin to lose sleep then I would definitely not recommend forcing yourself to sleep on your back, but if it does work for you and you don’t mind sticking with it until it becomes natural for you then there is a great chance that you will see much improvement in how you feel when you wake up each day and how you feel overall.
Good luck with it. 🙂