Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by theworldofsleepstaff
Did you know that having an anterior pelvic tilt is fairly common? However, because many people with this condition do not actively show symptoms, it is not widespread knowledge.
According to a December research issue by ScienceDirect, about 85% of men and 75% of women who do not show symptoms have an anterior pelvic tilt.
The anterior pelvic tilt is just one of the few forms of a pelvic tilt; there are other forms such as lateral pelvic tilt ( which is sometimes called uneven hips), posterior pelvic tilt, left pelvic tilt, and right pelvic tilt.
While these conditions aren’t life-threatening, they can affect quality of life and may necessitate you making some lifestyle changes in order to adapt to them.
They can also lead to other symptoms that may cause some measure of uncomfortableness.
Right here, we’ll go over some helpful ways on how you can sleep with an anterior pelvic tilt so you won’t be subjected to other associated symptoms like discomfort or back pain during your slumber.
Disclaimer: Although we share tips here, as always, you must consult your doctor and ask their opinion about what is right for you, as every individual case differs.
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But First: What Causes Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Just as the name implies, an anterior pelvic tilt is simply a condition in which your front pelvis is protruded, causing your spine or lower back to curve or become arched. It is when the front of your pelvis protrudes more than the back.
APT can sometimes be hereditary, i.e., it’s just how your pelvis is. That is, your hip flexors are short, and your hip extensors are long. Hip flexors are used for physical activities such as running, kicking, or bending, while the extensors help to extend the hips.
However, APT can also be caused by other activities such as:
- Sitting in one position for long
- Having weak stomach muscles
- Lack of exercises, especially those that stretch or strengthen the hips
- Wearing high heels for long
- Sitting or exercising with bad postures
Symptoms Of APT
Most often than not, people with APT do not show visible symptoms; hence they might not even know they have the condition.
However, in the rare cases that the condition is evident, here are some symptoms that may be noticed.
- Having a curved spine and a protruded stomach
- Having weak stomach muscles
- A feeling of tightness in the pelvic or thighs
- Sometimes, lower back pain or pain in the hips or knees may be felt.
How Can You Know If You Have An Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
It is easy to know whether you have an anterior pelvic tilt or not by observing the shape and posture of your spine and stomach.
To fully confirm if you have this condition or not, you can take the following steps to perform the so-called Thomas Test – however it’s best to do this under the guidance of a physio.
- Lie on a table with your legs hanging off the table at the knee. I.e., the table should not take your full length (be careful!)
- Pull both legs towards your chest (one at a time), bending them and holding them at the knee.
- If any leg is raised off the table, it means you have an anterior pelvic tilt.
How To Sleep With An Anterior Pelvic Tilt
If you have this condition and you sleep with bad posture, you won’t be doing yourself any good because it may make the hips tilt further, thus worsening the condition.
However, if you sleep with good posture, you’ll be helping yourself and helping to correct this condition.
Let’s say you sleep in a good position for 7 hours daily; this means that you’ve managed to successfully engage in 7 hours of corrective training for your pelvic.
Below are some ways to sleep f you have an anterior pelvic tilt:
1. Sleep On Your Back
Sleeping on your back is one of the best positions to sleep in with or without having an APT. Compared to other sleeping positions, sleeping on your back helps to align your spine and reduce pressure on your back.
Sleeping in this position will ensure that your spine isn’t arched and that your stomach is in a flat, rather than in a protruded, position.
What’s more? Sleeping on your back will position your spine in the natural way it should be, thus reducing the stress on it.
Sleep in this position for a few months, and you should notice some positive changes, especially in your posture.
2. Don’t Sleep On Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is arguably the worst position to sleep in if your hips are anteriorly tilted.
This is because sleeping in this position will not only put pressure on your spine and make it more arched (something you are trying to avoid), but it will also encourage your muscles to tighten more, which you definitely do not need, given your condition.
Additionally, sleeping on your stomach will cause back and neck pain, squeeze and contort your spinal nerves, and restrict blood flow.
Basically, sleeping on your stomach is one of the worst ways to sleep, whether or not you have an anterior pelvic tilt.
3. Do Some Exercises Before You Sleep
Doing some exercises – especially those that involve stretching your hamstrings and strengthening your abdominal muscles – before you sleep can further help align your hips and make sleeping easier.
Here are some exercises you can engage in before you go to bed.
Squats help to strengthen both the abdominal muscles and the hamstrings. By strengthening these muscles, you’ll be correcting your posture.
- Place your feet the same width as your shoulders and ensure your toes are pointing outward.
- Breathe in and lower your hips like you’re about to sit down. Continue with this position until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Ensure your heels are on the floor, and remember to squeeze your stomach muscles.
- Breathe out and move back to your originally standing position.
You can start the exercise slowly, say just 5 every night, then increase it gradually as your muscles become accustomed to it.
This is for strengthening the abdominal muscles.
- Get an exercise mat and lie on it, facing upwards.
- Bend your legs and make your toes point outwards.
- Tighten your hips and pelvic muscles and push them upwards towards the ceiling.
- Do it in 3/5 sets and repeat as much as you can.
This exercise helps to tighten the hamstrings and buttocks muscles.
- Get into an upward-facing position and bend your knees.
- Place your feet away from each other, about hip-width.
- Tighten your stomach muscles, then lift your hips until your upper body and thighs are in a straight line.
- Hold the position for some seconds
- Lower yourself to the floor and repeat.
Doing these exercises 20 minutes before you go to bed should improve your sleeping experience.
Planks target the muscles in the stomach and the spine.
- Lie down on an exercise mat with your face downwards.
- Place your hands on the mat and keep it directly under the shoulder.
- Push your upper and lower body off the mat. Tighten your stomach and thigh muscles as you do so.
- Hold your body in that straight and rigid position for as long as you can.
4. Don’t Raise Your Leg When You Sleep On Your Back
You can render the effectiveness of sleeping on your back useless by raising one of your legs while sleeping.
The whole point of sleeping on your back is to ensure that your whole body is properly aligned during your sleep; raising your leg by using a pillow or covers will make that impossible
5. You Can Sleep On Your Side
Some people find it more comfortable to sleep on their side or in a fetal position. These positions are also fairly okay.
However, there are some certain quirks to them; quirks such as ensuring you don’t use a very elevated or deflated head pillow and so on. We’ll discuss more of those quirks in the point below.
6. Use Pillows When Sleeping On Your Back Or Side
It is not enough to just sleep on your back or side, especially if you have an anterior pelvic tilt. The best practice for sleeping in these positions is to use pillows in strategic areas.
For those who prefer to sleep on their backs: If you use a pillow beneath your head anytime you sleep, then it is vital you use knee pillows to elevate your knees. This is because if you use a pillow beneath your head, it will cause your head and neck to be in an elevated or flexed position, which could inadvertently cause pain.
To correct this, you can put the pillows at a lower angle, like your shoulder areas, rather than putting them high up beneath your head.
If you’d rather put the pillows beneath your head, then the best practice would be to put pillows beneath your knees and a slightly elevated pillow at your spine curve in order to balance your sleeping position.
For side sleepers: It is recommended that you sleep with a pillow between your legs to keep your hips aligned.
If you sleep with a pillow beneath your head, ensure that your hands are not placed on the pillow, as this can make your head slanted and give you neck pain. Rather, keep your hands beneath your pillows.
Below are some other tips that you can use to manage anterior pelvic tilt.
Other Tips To Manage Anterior Pelvic Tilt
1. Ensure You Sleep And Sit In A Correct Posture
Depending on your posture, you can worsen or improve an APT.
We’ve gone over the ideal sleeping positions: sleeping on your back or side with pillows placed in strategic areas.
When sitting down, ensure that you are not slouching over your desk or contorting your body in a weird and uncomfortable position.
2. Regularly Engage In Physical Activities
When you don’t exercise regularly, your muscles get stiffened up, which may worsen the pelvic tilt.
By regularly engaging in strengthening and stretching exercises, you will be able to correct the tilt.
3. Get Comfortable Heels
High heels that are not properly balanced can further shorten the hip flexors and worsen the tilt.
If you must wear high heels, wear comfortable and balanced ones that won’t put too much stress on your pelvic.
4. Don’t Sit Down In One Place For Too Long
As discussed earlier, this is one of the major causes of APT; therefore, you should try your best to avoid it.
If you have a job that requires you to sit at a spot for long durations, try to schedule regular breaks where you can stand up and walk around.
You can even set reminders for it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Can Anterior Pelvic Tilt Be Corrected?
Yes, anterior pelvic tilt can be fixed.
There are several stretching and screening exercises, and lifestyle changes you can engage in that will help you correct and strengthen your pelvic and hip muscles. Ask your doctor for details/
How Long Does It Take To Correct An Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
Everyone has different body systems; thus, there isn’t a set time for long it will take to correct the condition.
However, a 2021 study concluded that the effect of a particular training to correct APT was evident after about 6 weeks.
How Do I Correct Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
You can effectively correct this condition by engaging in certain exercises, stretches, and lifestyle changes, such as not sitting too long and avoiding high heels. Your doctor will guide you.
Do Planks Help Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
Yes, in addition to other stretching and straightening exercises like squats, glutes bridge, and so on, planks can prove effective in correcting anterior pelvic tilt.
How Do I Know If I Have An Anterior Pelvic Tilt?
One of the easiest and medically recommended ways to check if you have an anterior pelvic tilt is by doing the Thomas Test, as we described above. It’s best to do it with a physio.
Final Thoughts On How To Sleep With Anterior Pelvic Tilt
Anterior pelvic tilt is a fairly common condition; however, while it is not life-threatening, it can lead to other unfavorable symptoms such as bad posture, back pain, and so on.
When it comes to how to sleep with anterior pelvic tilt it is important to practice good sleeping habits and postures, such as sleeping on your back or side and adding pillows to strategic areas such as your knees or lower back.