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Question - sleeping position

edited October 2014 in Learning
I am a musician who enjoyed one to one Alexander lessons for about 8 years (for the last 3 with the wonderful Karen Wentworth). I stopped a while ago and have since developed some bad upper back pain after sleeping. It's been going on for 6 months or so now. I've bought an expensive new mattress and am practicing Alexander Technique and yoga more regularly than I was, which of course helps, but it continues. I'm pretty sure it's to do with awkward sleeping posture. In my Alexander lessons we covered an awful lot of ground, but not sleeping positions! I have trouble falling asleep lying on my back and prefer sleeping on my side, but my spine tends to get twisted like that. What would be the 'Alexander approved' sleeping postures? Advice gratefully received because this is affecting my sleep and thus my entire life!!


  • I'm not aware of there being any recommended sleeping position. In fact, sleep as a subject is barely touched on in the Alexander literature I've read. I think it is simply assumed that as you progress with ypur understanding of the Technique, you will naturally adopt the best sleeping position for you.

    This is obviously not happening in your case, but I can't suggest anything other than continuing trying to sleep in different positions, to see if your upper back problem persists. I'm not sure there is such a thing as a fixed sleeping position, anyway. I saw a speeded up video once of someone's eight hour night, and they shifted position upwards of forty times, sometimes quite dramatically. The body seems to know it needs to move, and it more or less pleases itself when we're unconscious as to what movements it makes.

    Age might be relevant. I used to be able to sleep comfortably in any size bed but I find I need something much bigger as I advance in years. I move around a lot more, too. I also prefer a much harder mattress than earlier in life. One other factor that definitely interferes with my sleep is a normal sized pillow. You could try using something much smaller - mine is barely bigger than a pin cushion, and this has a big influence on the relative position of my head to my trunk.

    The other thing to consider is whether the upper back pain is the result of how you're sleeping or has some other cause.
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