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How can I learn to sleep on my back?

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  • How can I learn to sleep on my back?

    Iíve been a stomach sleeper for many years despite it causing me to wake up every night with neck pains. I tried the long lay method Mark mentioned in his sleep post last night and it felt great to not have my back hurt when I tried to sleep on my back, but I still couldnít resist the urge to roll onto my stomach to fall asleep.

    How do I stop that?

  • #2
    The issue is reversed for me. Whenever I wake up after sleeping on my back, I wake up with sharp pain in my ribs. the proximal cause is my wife elbowing me to stop the snoring.

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    • #3
      tell wife to "pet" you instead. if i rub my DH's head or his back or arm, he'll stop snoring very quickly.

      to the topic, i can't say. i slept on my back (and in pain) for the first year after DS was born because he likes to sleep ON me. so, i made a nest and slept in that. there are some interesting articles out there about different ways that humans sleep (without beds) that explain a fair bit, and how a specific side-sleeping pattern (which i do naturally -- it's my preferred sleep position) is the most common among humans and other great primates like us.

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      • #4
        It could be a pillow issue, do you sleep on any? I sleep on a single, low pillow and sleep on my stomach (or eventually end up there) but have no neck pain.
        I don't know if you can "learn" to sleep any one way, but when I sleep with my girl (who is a freaking octopus) I've "learned" to sleep pretty still and on my back so I would suggest putting a pillow at your sides to prevent you from rolling, or sleeping against the wall and having your wife sleep closer to you which is what my girlfriend does, not on purpose, but because she's all over the place while she sleeps.
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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        • #5
          Causality might run in the opposite direction. As I've begun to sleep better, I usually wake up stretched out sleeping on my back. Sometimes I go to sleep that way, but usually I fall asleep curled up on one side or the other. But I almost always wake up after sleeping well, stretched out on my back.

          Good luck!
          "If man made it, don't eat it." ..Jack LaLanne
          "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are.
          If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." ..Richard Feynman

          beachrat's new primal journal

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          • #6
            I have serious neck & upper back problems from to many years of getting checked into the boards playing hockey. I would always sleep on my stomach and wake up with a crick in my neck or a stabbing pain in my upper back. I then snapped my clavicle playing soccer and was forced to sleep on my back. I ended up wearing shorts to bed and putting a tennis ball in each pocket and pillows on each side of me. Helped quite a bit training my body to not roll over. My body still REALLY wants to go to my stomach when I sleep though. Probably some mammalian instinct to protect my junk

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            • #7
              I also urgently need to learn to sleep on my back. It's a vulnerability thing no doubt. I feel safer curled up on my side. But that mashes my ears and eyes. I only have 2/3 of my eyebrows. My eyes look messed up. And I have back trouble that would benefit from back sleeping. Years ago, I was having back trouble. When I started sleeping on my back, it was greatly reduced. Then I got in a relationship where we were sleeping in a bed too small for us to sleep on our backs. That relationship is long gone.
              Ancestral Health Info

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              • #8
                I prefer to sleep on my stomach, but it kills my lower back. I use only one thin pillow, but end up with an arch in my lower back. Same thing happens when I sleep on my back. There's a space between my lower back and the mattress, and after 10 minutes or so, I can't take it anymore.

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                • #9
                  I have trouble understanding how anyone could sleep on their stomach, it gives me stomach and neck pains. I can only sleep on my back or sides. For the past 5 or so years though I have woken up almost daily with mid to lower back pain which would only ease if I sat upright for a few minutes, but I think since I have started the exercises this has stopped. Further personal research will confirm

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                  • #10
                    For me it started years ago when I got an AWFUL sunburn on my back, and I had to sleep on my stomach for a whole month. Since then I can't revert back.

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                    • #11
                      Tempurpedic makes some really good pillows. If you have the money they make a great bed too but even just the pillows would help. They are contoured to keep your neck lined up so that your airway stays open for side and back sleeping. Helps with the snoring issue too.

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                      • #12
                        Back-Sleeper Training Pillow

                        Thy this: www.back-sleeper.com - Home

                        It helps to train you to sleep on your back and it's super comfy. It made me a permanent back sleeper and my cleavage wrinkles are no more!

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                        • #13
                          I can lie on my back if I'm just resting, but if my intent is to sleep, I get dizzy and feel ill if I try to stay on my back. As soon as I roll over I feel fine.
                          I've always wondered why.
                          "Wait! I'll fix it!"
                          "Problems always disappear in the presence of a technician."
                          "If you can't improvise, what are you doing out in the field?"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JenCat View Post
                            I prefer to sleep on my stomach, but it kills my lower back. I use only one thin pillow, but end up with an arch in my lower back. Same thing happens when I sleep on my back. There's a space between my lower back and the mattress, and after 10 minutes or so, I can't take it anymore.
                            I sleep comfortably on my side these days, but you might try putting a pillow under your hips when sleeping on your front. It takes the edge out of the lower back arch.

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                            • #15
                              I used to sleep on my stomach, but yes, it's awful for your lower-back. My chiropractor challenged my boyfriend and me to not sleep on our stomachs. We had a few weeks of grumpiness, because we would wake each other up when we'd roll over and think sleepily "Heehee, well he's asleep, so he won't know and wake me up...", but with going to the chiro regularly during that time, we got used to it. Now I find sleeping on my stomach incredibly uncomfortable.
                              Depression Lies

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