If you have been reading this blog you know that I am very interested/obsessed with sleeping positions. While sleep might not cause injuries (though it might), it can definitely exacerbate them as the sleeping body can happily give in to misalignments and take on shapes that while comfortable, only increase our problems.
A classic example of that is sleeping on your side with one knee hiked up towards your chest. This accommodates the tight psoas on the hiked knee side but it also torques the pelvis for the duration of your sleep. No good can come from that.
That was me about five years ago. Since that time I have moved my knees together and actually straightened my legs, most of the way, while I sleep. I also have been sleeping with a pillow between my thighs for the past couple of years simply because it is recommended by a lot of people. Hey, I’m easy.
But lately I have been noticing that my left knee feels a bit tight when I wake up. The tightness dissipates fairly quickly but it is there every morning upon waking. In the back of my mind I have always been a little skeptical of the pillow between the legs as separating the legs throws off the natural alignment of the skeleton. Anatomical neutral when standing has the knees right next to each so the shin bones can move straight down to the feet in a parallel position.
Putting a pillow between your thighs separates the legs and I am wondering if it separates them too much. The IT band on the outer thigh tends to be tight in a great many people. If that is the case the pillow between the legs is a gift to that tightness because it allows the tight TI band to relax. But this might not be a good thing. It is just like accommodating the tight psoas with one knee higher than the other. It might actually make sleeping easier but it might also increase its tightness.
I’m not sure. It has been two night without a pillow and I’d like to think my knee feels different but I won’t know for a couple of weeks. Check out the way you sleep and how you feel when you wake up. Changing your sleeping positions, if necessary, is one of the best ways to help your body.