Scoliosis Sleeping Tips and Best Sleeping Positions

Last updated on December 30th, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Scoliosis Sleeping Tips

When Leah LaRocco’s doctor prescribed a back brace to halt the progress of her scoliosis curves, sleep became a nightmare. This is an all too common complaint about people with scoliosis (and other medical conditions). Mattresses for scoliosis quickly become a popular topic for discussion.

“If I lay on my side, the pressure pads would dig into my body, leaving bruises,” she said of her teenage years, lying prone in a brace all night. “If I lay on my back, the top of the brace would dig into my neck. If I lay on my stomach, the front of the brace would constrict and pinch my skin. I couldn’t find a comfortable sleep position.”

It’s a problem many people with spinal alignment problems are familiar with, whether they wear a brace or not. If you’re an adult or child with scoliosis, sleep may be hard to come by.  Modern genetic research strongly suggests many of the sleep difficulties experienced by kids and adults with idiopathic scoliosis may be related to genetic problems related to neurotransmitter production and conversion. Scoliosis-specific nutrient therapies and a regular walking exercise program with the ScoliSMART Activity Suit may help you or your child sleep better. Additionally, the spine’s abnormal curvature can cause back pain at night and make slumbering difficult.

Best Sleeping Position While Having Scoliosis

Does scoliosis affect sleep?

Fatigue and sleeplessness are some of the most common scoliosis symptoms. While there are many causes of insomnia, the unique genetic deficiencies linked to idiopathic scoliosis and serotonin-melatonin production make sleep and scoliosis particularly difficult for many. In addition, several studies have also linked low melatonin levels to patients with idiopathic scoliosis. Keeping in mind, children growth when they are sleeping and scoliosis curve progression occurs during growth spurts, the connection between sleep and adolescent idiopathic scoliosis is undeniable. Often, a few simple modifications to your sleeping arrangements can make a world of difference for a person with scoliosis getting a good night’s sleep. Get a list of at-home scoliosis treatment options sent to your email.

Improving sleep for kids with scoliosis

Given the strong links between sleep and scoliosis patients, it is important for kids with scoliosis to establish and maintain normal and consistent sleep patterns and routines. This is often referred to as good sleep hygiene. This includes neurotransmitter management, having a consistent bedtime schedule, and limiting the use of blue light emitting electronic devices an hour before going to bed. Also, clinical testing and personalized nutrient therapies can also make a positive difference in your sleeping patterns. By addressing the whole body (and not only the curve,) these simple tests and treatments can help reduce pain and halt curve progression.

Scoliosis for Adults - Before and After Bootcamp

To learn more about how to treat the whole scoliosis condition and not only the curve, connect with our passionate providers at ScoliSMART. To explore a non-brace/ non-surgical treatment for your child’s scoliosis problem, you may schedule a no-cost Zoom or phone consultation with a ScoliSMART doctor. Please get in touch with us today!

Sleep and scoliosis solutions for adults

For those with scoliosis, deep sleep can be elusive. The previous sleep tips for scoliosis pain, along with the right combination of therapies, adults and children with scoliosis can achieve gradual pain reduction, improved function, and even potential curve stabilization. And most importantly, it helps relieve discomfort so you can get the rest you need. Stress is another key disrupter of sleep in adult life. Cortisol levels often spine in the mid of the night waking you up and making it impossible to fall back asleep again. Natural products like Renew are specifically intended to moderate cortisol levels throughout the night, so you stay asleep and fall back to sleep if you do wake up.

Follow these scoliosis sleeping tips to get a better night’s sleep:

Support Normal Neurotransmitter Balance

Kid and adults with scoliosis have numerous genetic markers and problems with neurotransmitter production and balance. The result is too little serotonin production (and therefore low melatonin by default), high histamine causing allergy symptoms, and elevated norepinephrine resulting in anxiety attacks. Any and all of these can make it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get into a deep sleep pattern. Scoliosis-specific supplementation has been developed (NT Support for kids & FOCUS for adults) using the most recent research on neurotransmitters problems associated with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. These nutrient therapies will increase neurotransmitter levels, as well as improve conversion leading to better brain chemical balance and normal sleep patterns.

Choose a Quality Mattress

When you have scoliosis, it’s crucial to sleep on a memory foam mattress that supports your back’s neutral position. Since even supportive mattresses tend to lose their upper layers over time, a high-quality firm or medium-firm mattress with a foam cervical pillow is ideal for back pain relief and patients with a spinal curvature depending on your body type. If you use a mattress topper for added comfort, make sure it’s no more than 3 inches thick. A mattress topper that provides extra thickness might feel good in the beginning, but it can deprive your spine of much-needed support and positions for scoliosis.

“”What is the best mattress for scoliosis?” Is one of the most common questions patients ask scoliosis specialists.”

Clayton J. Stitzel DC

Find the Right Sleeping Position

The strategic placement of pillows can help support your curves while keeping your spine neutral at night. For your head, avoid large pillows—they’ll push your spine out of alignment, compromising your breathing and augmenting neck pain.

Small pillows (or even rolled-up towels) are handy for supporting your spine in other places, as well. Depending on the type of your curve, you might want to try the following:

  • Double or S-curve — Most patients with this curve pattern have one curve that is larger than the other. In this case, sleep with apex of the larger curve down against the mattress. Sleeping on your back is the best option if both curves are about the same in size.
  • Thoracic curve—For scoliosis curves in the upper back, sleeping on your back with a thin pillow under your shoulder blades can help take the pressure off. If you prefer sleeping on your side, a pillow tucked between your legs helps open up the spinal canal. You can also place one under your upper rib cage to support your spine.
  • Lumbar curve—When scoliosis affects the lower spine (usually left side), you may need to experiment with different sleeping positions. Stick a pillow either underneath or right above your lower back for extra support. It might also help to add a small pillow beneath your neck (in addition to your regular pillow).

Before you start manipulating your spine with pillows or other devices, it’s best to check with your doctor, who can help make sure your sleeping position doesn’t restrict the flow of blood or spinal fluid in your body depending on your type of scoliosis.

Support Your Spine with Pillows

The strategic placement of pillows can help support your curves while keeping your spine neutral at night. For your head, avoid large pillows—they’ll push your spine out of alignment, compromising your breathing and augmenting neck pain.

Small pillows (or even rolled-up towels) are handy for supporting your spine in other places, as well. Depending on the type of your curve, you might want to try the following:

  • Double or S-curve — This very common curve pattern can be a bit tricky when it comes to supporting your spine curves with pillows. The conventional wisdom is to use 2 pillows, one for each curve. The upper pillow under the rib cage bump (usually on the right side) and the lower pillow under the apex of the lumbar curve while the you are laying on your back to keep you from twisting.
  • Thoracic curve—For scoliosis curves in the upper back, the best way of sleeping is on your back with a thin pillow under your shoulder blades can help take the pressure off. If you prefer sleeping on your side, a pillow tucked between your legs helps open up the spinal canal. You can also place one under your upper rib cage to support your spine.
  • Lumbar curve—When scoliosis affects the lower spine and pelvis, you may need to experiment with different sleeping positions. Stick a pillow either directly underneath or right above your lower back for extra support. It might also help to add a small pillow beneath your neck (in addition to your regular pillow).

Before you start manipulating your spine with pillows or other devices, it’s best to check with your doctor, who can help make sure your sleeping position doesn’t restrict the flowing of blood or spinal fluid in your body.

Treat Scoliosis without a nighttime brace!

Treat Scoliosis Without Brace

Back braces worn at night, are often prescribed to stop curve progression, cause a lot of pain and discomfort. Wearing one can make it even harder to sleep at night. What’s worse, bracing is largely ineffective for treating scoliosis in kids and adults alike.

The ScoliSMART Activity Suit offers a less invasive alternative. Instead of forcing your spine into a specific position for hours on end, our activity suit harnesses the energy of your natural movements to create new muscle memory and re-coordinates muscle firing. This helps reduce the risk of curve progression and provides long-term relief from scoliosis pain—both of which can help you or your get better sleep at night. Additionally, the ScoliSMART Activity Suit is only worn during activity during the day, so it won’t interfere with trying to sleep during the night.

Online consultation scheduling is available!

Now it’s even easier to connect with ScoliSMART. Schedule your no-cost, no-obligation phone or Zoom consultation online with a ScoliSMART physician. Visit the ScoliSMART BootCamp page and click the “Schedule Online” button at the top of the page. Then select the best date and time to connect with a physician. Schedule your consultation right here!

ScoliSMART Clinics is committed to treating the WHOLE scoliosis condition, not only the curve. Genetic & clinical testing with targeted nutrient therapies, expert in-office treatment programs, and the world’s only ScoliSMART Activity Suit provides patients of all ages with the most comprehensive, most effective, and least invasive treatment options available worldwide.

ScoliSMART Approach

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Dr. Clayton J Stitzel

Dr. Clayton J. Stitzel

504 W. Orange Street
Lititz, PA 17543
Dr. Mark Morningstar

Dr. Mark Morningstar

8293 Office Park Drive
Grand Blanc, MI 48439
Dr. Brian T Dovorany

Dr. Brian T. Dovorany

26940 Aliso Viejo Parkway, Suite 105
Aliso Viejo, CA 92656
Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

Dr. Aatif Siddiqui

34 w 119th st
New York, New York 10026