A good sleeping position can prevent complaints

A good sleeping position can prevent complaints

Everyone knows that good sleep is important, but what role does the sleeping position play in this? And does it matter which pillow you sleep on? We consulted Mikoala SleepingWise a website that specializes in this topic and spoke to Jan Willem Elkhuizen, a movement scientist and previously working as a physical-manual therapist.

Sleeping position

A poor sleeping position often leads to complaints. About 25 years ago, Elkhuizen noticed in his practice that neck, back and other complaints often improved as a result of the therapy, but came back after a while. That was frustrating and he went to investigate underlying causes. He experimented with body pillows and adapted the pillows of his patients with an electric bread knife. He gradually discovered the most important factors for sleeping well and waking up without any complaints.

As a movement scientist, he now says: “The body must relax during sleep. But when the neck or back is turned, the tension in the fibers of the bands and intervertebral discs is higher. This reduces elasticity and may cause stiffness and pain in the back and neck. "


The stable side position

The most common sleeping position is on the side, that seems no problem to us. But Elkhuizen nuances: “People think that they are neatly on their side, but in reality they are somewhere in between the side and the prone position. This position is known as "stable lateral position". This is accompanied by a rotation in the spine and in the neck ”. In this position the neck is also often crooked. The combination of rotation and lateral tension in the neck can lead to neck pain and headache. Elkhuizen, who did research into "headache from the neck" and published 3 articles about it, says: "Presumably this position is responsible for a large part of the misunderstood tension headaches".

The best sleeping position

It becomes clear to us what the problem is, but we are also curious about the solution. This turns out to be surprisingly logical: with a body pillow you remove the rotation from the back and neck, and with an adjustable ergonomic sleeping pillow you ensure that the head and neck are optimally supported. For this, Mikoala designed the 8-position adjustable Hi4 Deluxe pillow and the thickness-adjustable Mikoala body pillow, which is available in two lengths.


Two studies have been conducted into the effect of both pillows, including by the UMCG in Groningen(The Netherlands - Europe). The conclusion is that the combination of both pillows causes a significant reduction in neck, back and headaches. It also appeared that people wake up less often at night and that sleep quality improved. A large-scale follow-up study is being prepared.