What are the Pressure Points for Sleep?

No matter what position you sleep in, the wrong mattress could leave you with discomfort in specific areas of your body. Many people commonly wake up with aches in their shoulders, hips, or knees, but the heels, ribcage, and tailbone are also pressure points for sleep. Finding the right mattress that relieves pressure on your body can help you achieve better sleep each night.

Pressure Points for Sleep

● Hips

● Shoulders

● Ankle Bones

● Tailbone

● Heels

● Ribcage

● Thighs and Knees

Pressure points for sleep are the areas of your body that cause discomfort when you sleep on them. The pressure points that cause problems for you may not be the same for your partner or your kids because they depend on your sleep position. For example, back sleepers tend to find their tailbone as a pressure point, while side sleepers experience more pain in their shoulders and hips.

The good news is that you don’t just need to deal with the pain that comes from your sleep; you can usually relieve it with a new mattress. In fact, your pressure point pain is telling you that your mattress either isn’t right for you or is due for an upgrade.

A mattress should work to cradle your pressure points rather than cause pushback on them that leaves you achy in the morning. The result of swapping your old mattress for a new one is usually better sleep quality and gentle pressure for a more restful sleep and refreshing morning.

Pressure Points for Sleep

Pressure points for sleep vary depending on the sleep position you choose. While there’s no concrete best sleeping position, some are certainly better than others when it comes to avoiding morning aches and pains. For example, sleeping on your back is one position that’s recommended more than others because it keeps your spine in its ideal alignment.

However, poor sleep can happen when you aren’t comfortable, and sleeping in a new position isn’t always conducive to comfort and quality sleep. At LOTUS, we want you to sleep in a position that makes you feel cozy and secure so that you can get an excellent night’s rest without feeling pained in the morning.

That’s why we offer some of the best mattresses your money can buy, and we let you try them for a full 100 nights to make sure they’re a good match for you. LOTUS mattresses are supportive, responsive, and designed with layers of comfort.

The following are common pressure points for sleep that come from sleeping in different positions, like your side, back, or stomach. Don’t worry—there’s a LOTUS mattress that’s ready to help, no matter how you choose to drift off to dreamland.

1. Hips

If you’re a side sleeper, we, unfortunately, have a bit of bad news: side sleeping is generally the worst for pressure points. When you sleep on your side, one side of your body needs to support the other. The supporting side of your body ends up taking the brunt of your weight, which puts a lot of strain on specific points of your body.

One of the most common pressure points for side sleepers is the hips. People with wider hips generally feel more pressure on them when they sleep, so women tend to have achy hips in the morning more often than men. Still, any side sleeper can wake up with hip pain.

However, you can still achieve restful sleep with the right mattress. The key to avoiding the pressure on the hips that could leave you feeling achy all day is to get a mattress that supports your body correctly to keep your spine in as neutral of a position as possible.

Your mattress should cradle your hips to support the natural curve of your body. When you lie down on a mattress in the usual position you’d sleep, you should feel enough support so that your neck is in a straight line with your spine.

That means that your pillow plays almost as important of a role as your mattress! A pillow that’s too high brings your neck up higher while more weight travels to your hip area. A pillow that’s too low can cause neck, back, and hip discomfort by throwing your spine out of alignment.

2. Shoulders

Another common pressure point for side sleepers is the shoulder. If you sleep on one side most of the night, the supporting shoulder could feel on fire in the morning. Even if you switch sides frequently, you may experience significant discomfort in your shoulders when you wake up.

Men tend to feel discomfort in their shoulders more than women when they sleep because their shoulders are wider, in general. Wider shoulders mean that there is more shoulder area that needs to be supported when you sleep.

Like your hips, your shoulder discomfort can be somewhat relieved by using the right pillow. Your pillow should prop your head up off the bed enough so that your shoulders aren’t smushed beneath you. Still, you want your spine to remain aligned, so it can be tricky to get just the right positioning.

That’s where a supportive mattress comes into play. The right mattress will work together with your pillow to offer your shoulders the best support when you sleep on your side. Your shoulder should sink comfortably into the mattress while the mattress continues to cradle your hips and body curves to keep your spine aligned.

3. Ankle Bones

Side sleepers may also feel pain in their ankles upon waking, depending on how they position their legs while they sleep. When you sleep with one leg on top of the other, your ankle bones may touch, leading to pressure at those points. Even if they don’t touch, you might feel discomfort on the boney area that touches your mattress from the pressure of the other leg resting on it.

What Can Side Sleepers Do to Relieve Pressure Points?

As you can see, there are a few areas of the body that could become irritated by side sleeping, but LOTUS has a mattress to calm the pressure and get you back to sleep comfortably.

For side sleepers looking to alleviate discomfort in their hips, shoulders, and ankles, try any of LOTUS’s supportive mattress options, including the LOTUS Mattress.

Try the LOTUS Original mattress if you are looking for the ultimate no-pressure-point experience at night. This mattress has two inches of Arctic Ice support foam for a weightless feel and enhanced pressure alleviation.

Until you decide on a mattress, there are some things you can do to help your body feel more comfortable and recover from the pressure you might feel. First, try using some extra pillows, like one to put between your knees and another to support your arm when you curl up on your side. They’ll help keep your spine aligned.

Then, take a few minutes in the morning to do some stretches. This can be especially helpful for hip and shoulder pain. Stretch your arms, legs, and back. Doing a quick yoga routine in the morning can help you stretch and move on with your day.

4. Tailbone

Back sleeping may be the “best” way to sleep in terms of waking up with less pain, but it still presents some challenges and potential achy areas. The most common body part for a back sleeper to feel pressure in is the tailbone. If you’ve ever had a sore tailbone, you know that it can be debilitating throughout the day, no matter if you’re very active or have to sit most of the day for work.

When you lie on your back, you need most of your mattress support to hover around the lower spine and buttocks area. Your buttocks are what sink into the mattress in this position, and it requires support to keep your spine aligned properly.

When you don’t get that support from your mattress, you can end up with a sore tailbone. Once you have a supportive mattress, you should still try to keep your neck level with your spine using your pillow. This will position your body in a way that doesn’t push your tailbone into the mattress.

5. Heels

Heel pressure isn’t something you typically hear about from sleeping, but it definitely can happen to back sleepers. Specifically, you might feel dul and achy on the backs of your heels, where they meet the mattress.

Heel discomfort shouldn’t be ignored if it’s consistent, especially after switching to a new mattress. In some cases, heel pain can indicate a more severe problem than pressure points, including Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis.

What Can Back Sleepers Do to Relieve Pressure Points?

Back sleepers tend to sleep more comfortably and have fewer pressure pains when they use a firm mattress, especially if they’re average to heavier in weight. However, some people may still prefer a softer mattress. The key is to find a mattress that’s super supportive and allows your spine to remain in a neutral position when you sleep.

The LOTUS Mattress can do that for you. It has incredible support without feeling stiff, so it’ll gently cradle your body without putting pressure on them. With just the right amount of firmness, most sleepers can get a good night’s rest on the LOTUS Mattress.

6. Ribcage

stomach sleeper often has different pressure points for sleep than other types of sleepers, and the ribcage is one of the more common body parts to feel achy upon wakening. The stomach sleeping position can put tension on your ribs, especially if your head is propped up high on a pillow.

If you do experience discomfort in your ribs from stomach sleeping, you might also feel neck and shoulder strain in the morning. This pressure often occurs at the same time because ribcage discomfort typically stems from the head and neck being elevated by a pillow. And where there’s neck strain, shoulder strain can easily follow.

7. Thighs and Knees

The legs don’t experience sleeping discomfort as commonly as other parts of the body in terms of pressure points for sleep. But stomach sleepers sometimes complain of tightness in their thighs and knees. This happens more often if you lie on your stomach with one leg crossed over the other, but it can also occur with both legs side to side.

You might not think of your legs as much as your upper body as you sleep, but the truth is that your full body—and your mattress—work together to distribute your body weight and make you comfortable. Without the right distribution, you end up with pressure points.

If your mattress isn’t providing enough support for your legs, you may end up with extra weight distributed to them, affecting the way your thighs and knees feel in the morning.

Knee aches don’t just come to side sleepers, though. It’s also a common occurrence for side sleepers who sleep with one knee on top of the other, similar to the discomfort they might feel in their ankle bones.

What Can Stomach Sleepers Do to Relieve Pressure Points?

A firm, supportive mattress is the most important thing a stomach sleeper can have for their sleep and pressure point relief. The mattress should support your body enough to keep your spine in a neutral position as you sleep, but without being so firm that it won’t conform comfortably to your body’s curves.

A contouring mattress, like any of the LOTUS mattress options, is what will hug your curves and allow you to sleep comfortably in your chosen position. The responsiveness of a LOTUS mattress will also ensure that your mattress moves with you as you reposition your head and body, ensuring that you never stop getting support.

Finally, use a thin pillow (or no pillow at all, if you prefer). As with other positions, you should feel like your head and neck are aligned with your spine when you lie on your stomach. Cushy, fluffy pillows may end up propping your head too high, causing your back to come out of alignment and leaving your body in discomfort when you wake up.

Acupressure Points for Sleep

In your search for a mattress that relieves your pressure points for sleep, you may have come across a similar topic: acupressure points. Acupressure points are not the same as pressure points for sleep that come from your mattress, but they do relate to sleep problems and sleep quality, so we want to mention them.

Acupressure treatment and points tie into traditional Chinese medicine’s practice of acupuncture, which seeks to treat discomfort through strategically-placed acupuncture needles. The idea behind it is to place the needles in specific areas of the body to relieve pressure in those areas.

In relation to pressure points for sleep, an acupressure point is one that you create with your body rather than needles. Using the same ideology as acupuncture, acupressure involves using your fingers to tap into your body’s natural trigger points to achieve certain results.

For example, an acupressure point on the chest, when massaged, may reduce stress or tightness that begins in the chest. For good sleep, acupressure experts name a few different pressure points for sleep that could reduce your sleep problems.

Common Acupressure Points for Sleep

There are a few pressure points you can use to target your sleep, according to those who practice acupressure. Some of the supposed best pressure points for sleep are also those that may reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, which makes sense when you consider how stress and anxiety relate to sleep.

First, let’s talk about one of the most common acupressure points for sleep: Nei Guan, also known as acupressure point 6, or P6. This point is typically for relieving nausea, headache, and upset stomach, but tends to have a calming effect on the body which could be conducive to better sleep. You’ll find it just a couple of inches past your wrist crease.

An Mian is another point that’s specifically for good sleep, even translating to “Peaceful Sleep” in English. You can find the point right behind the ear, slightly above where the jutting part of your mastoid bone sits. Massaging it is thought to improve sleep and battle insomnia.

Other acupressure points that may aid sleep include Yin Tang, located between the eyebrows, and Tai Chong, which lies between the big toe and second toe. However, some people find that utilizing a combination of acupressure points leads to improved sleep, especially for anxiety-caused sleep disturbances.

Does Using Pressure Points for Sleep Work?

Some research suggests that using pressure points as a part of acupressure treatment can combat common sleep issues. One study targeting menopausal women who experience insomnia regularly resulted in significant improvement in sleep quality—noted by a Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score—in the group of women who practiced acupressure massage and treatment.

Another study led by researchers at Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Department of Cardiology at Fujian General Hospital noted the effects of acupressure on men with high blood pressure. The study found that acupressure lowered systolic and diastolic blood pressure and improved sleep quality, according to PSQI scores.

Interestingly, acupressure may also be thought to fight fatigue on days that you don’t get enough sleep. One study that involved students listening to college lectures showed that acupressure helped keep them stay stimulated and alert during lectures on the days they used it.

Although experts are still developing more concrete evidence that acupressure can boost your sleep, several past studies do indicate a relationship between using acupressure and getting more rest and relaxation. When combined with a new mattress that supports your pressure points for sleep, it’s possible that acupressure can contribute to a healthy night of sleep.

A better night’s sleep often boils down to finding the right mattress. Support is necessary not just for comfort, but also for keeping your weight distributed evenly to avoid extra pressure on specific body parts. No matter what sleeping position you use most, a LOTUS mattress can help you achieve pain-free mornings and more restful sleep.

The LOTUS Original Mattress is a best-seller for all kinds of sleepers. Made with separate layers of foam and gel, the LOTUS Mattress gives support instantly as you move during the night. It’s always ready to support whatever areas of the body need support at the time. And its innovative Arctic Ice™ Gel Foam  is specifically designed to reduce pressure on the parts of your body that need support most.

Experiment with a LOTUS Pillow, too. The pillow is designed to cradle your head and neck to keep them in a natural position, however you choose to sleep.

When you try a LOTUS Mattress, you get 100 nights to test it out for free. That’s plenty of time to feel the difference in your usual pressure points for sleep and get the relief you’ve been looking for.