Many people have unusual sleeping positions that they feel comfortable in, but those sleeping positions aren’t necessarily good for their mental and physical health in the long run.
In this article, I will discuss the Tiger Knee Sleeping position, its pros and cons, whether you should be sleeping in this position, and everything you need to know about this sleeping position.
How Sleeping Positions Affect Your Health?
Some people think that sleeping position doesn’t matter much when it comes to health, both mental and physical, but that’s not true.
In fact, many sleeping positions that people quite commonly adopt because they feel comfortable are creating problems.
There are a lot of elements in your daily life that your sleeping position can impact on.
Let’s take a look at some areas that your sleeping position that can create long-term effects.
- Posture – The first and foremost element of your physical appearance your sleeping position can cause an impact on is posture. Your posture is affected by the way you sleep. If you sleep in a fetal position, your spine is bent, and you might develop a hunch, whereas if you sleep on your back or your side, your spine remains straight, and you won’t face any back problems.
- Muscle and Joint Health – From your trapezius to your neck muscles, arm muscles, shoulder joint, and other parts of your body, all are directly affected by your sleeping position. For example, if you sleep with your head elevated, it can cause back pain or neck pain.
- Digestion – Sleeping on your left side aids digestion. Sleeping on your back or your right side might increase the risk of acid reflux.
- Mental Health – Medical sciences around the world claim that your sleeping position directly influences mental health along with feelings of anxiety, depression, and many disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
- Energy levels – Your sleeping position can affect how energized you feel during the day.
What is the Tiger Knee Sleeping Position?
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The tiger knee sleeping position is a popular sleeping position where the person is sleeping on his/her side, and the upper leg is bent. The knee is brought forward in the motion of a kick.
It is considered one of the healthiest and most comfortable sleeping positions among all the different sleeping positions,
The name Tiger Knee is a pop-culture reference to a Street Fighter character called Sagat and his Tiger knee move.
Despite the unusually funny naming convention, it is a great sleeping position for your body and mind, and you might want to give it a try.
Which Tiger Knee Sleeping Position Variant is Unhealthy?
Now, bear in mind that the Tiger knee sleeping position is only healthy and comfortable for your muscles, bones, and mind in the side sleeping position.
Some people use this sleeping position while sleeping on their bellies.
When you’re sleeping on your belly, all your pressure is on your chest, stomach, and neck, which needs to be bent to make sure you’re sleeping comfortably.
This could lead to many potential physical problems that can lead to trauma.
So make sure you avoid sleeping on your belly.
Benefits of Tiger Knee Sleeping Position
Here are some incredible benefits and advantages that come with the Tiger Knee Side Sleeping Position:
1. Keeps your body in a natural position
When you’re sleeping on your belly, either your head is elevated too much or your neck is bent in an uncomfortable way which might show its effects the next morning.
If you choose to sleep in the Tiger Knee Position, you’ll be able to keep yourself in a completely natural position where your head will be in its natural resting state, your back will be calm, and your legs will be resting perfectly without any sort of stress or pressure.
2. Might reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea
When you sleep on your back, gravity is working against the muscle of your airways.
Those muscles become relaxed during sleep, so the back part of your tongue might collapse backward and block the airways.
As a result, apneas (chokes or gasps) may occur.
Sleeping on your side may minimize gravity’s effect on the muscles of your airway.
Therefore, side sleeping can reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea.
Researchers found that side sleeping can decrease the number of apneas (chokes) by up to 50%.
Millions of people who suffer from sleep apnea are not aware of it.
All they know is that they sleep enough but still feeling tired during the day.
If it sounds like you, I highly recommend you to read this article about sleep apnea.
It goes more into depth about the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and how to handle it by changing your sleeping position.
And of course, consult your doctor.
3. Reduces neck and trapezius pain
We know side sleeping is great for reducing trapezius pain.
And since you sleep in the tiger knee sleeping position on your side, you can decrease the tension on your neck and trapezius muscles.
4. Improves Breathing
Sleeping on your stomach or in some variations of side sleeping like the fetal position, restrict your breathing.
If you sleep on your back, it might increase the severity of sleep apnea.
When you sleep in the tiger knee sleeping position there is less chance that your breathing will be compromised.
5. Reduces acid reflux and improves digestion
When you eat and lie down right away, sometimes the food you ate doesn’t get digested well and shoots up to the esophagus.
This process is known as acid reflux.
If you want to reduce the risk of acid reflux and improve your digestion process at night, try switching the tiger knee sleeping position.
Make sure that you sleep on your left side and not on your right side, so gravity will help the gastric juice stay in your stomach.
6. Keep you cool
Sleeping on your left side is great.
However, it requires you to put at least one pillow between your legs to prevent rotation in the hip and to stabilize the spine.
It means that the leg at the top is smashing the pillow on the leg at the bottom.
During hot summer nights, it can make the leg at the bottom feel hot and sweaty.
But when you sleep in the tiger knee position, you put the pillows between the knee you move forward and the mattress (more on that in a minute).
Therefore, the leg at the bottom stays free and cool.
If the leg at the top feels hot, you can place a Bamboo Cooling Pillow below the leg.
It keeps you cool in 2 ways:
- The bamboo memory foam is very breathable and soft.
- It contains a cooling gel, which from my own experience, keeps you cool for about 20 minutes. Since I usaully fall asleep in less than 20 minutes, the cooling gel is great for me.
7. Strengthens your back and spine
If you sleep in a completely side position with a tiger knee form, your spine won’t only be comfortable but also strengthens the back and spine.
How to Make Your Tiger Knee Sleeping Experience Even Better?
Here are some of the best tips and tricks you can use to make your sleeping experience healthier:
- Use a Memory Foam or Gel Mattress – If you want to make your sleeping experience even better, you should go for a memory foam mattress. If you suffer from night sweats, go for a gel-infused memory foam mattress or mattress made of a breathing material such as latex or innerspring. You can get 10 more proven techniques to beat the night heat in this article.
- Keep your Head Elevated to Resting Position – Keeping your head elevated when you’re side sleeping with a tiger knee form is extremely crucial. This is because if the pillow under your head is too small, your head will fall on the side, whereas if it is too big, your head will be elevated too high, which might cause neck pain.
- Put a pillow below your upper leg– When you’re sleeping on your side in a tiger knee position, your hips can develop pain because of the upper leg falling on the lower one and not being in a resting natural position. To tackle this, you can place a pillow or two below the knee of the forward leg (the leg at the top). The upper leg should be parallel to the mattress.
Problems with Tiger Knee Sleeping Position
Tiger Knee position might be more comfortable than the others, but it’s not perfect.
There are problems even with the Tiger knee position that can be solved, but they still exist.
Let’s take a look at these issues:
Wrinkles on the side of the face
As we said, the tiger knee sleeping position is effective when you’re sleeping on your side.
But the problem with sleeping on your side is that there is pressure on one side of your face.
It may cause wrinkles on the side of your face when you wake up.
Those are temporary wrinkles, but with time, might become permanent.
In order to reduce the pressure of the pillow on the face, I use the YourFacePillow.
It alleviates the pressure on your face, so you don’t have bold pillow lines on your face when you wake up in the morning,
If you don’t use a pillow below the knee of the upper leg, your hip will feel pressure, and since your legs won’t be in a natural position, your hip might develop some pain which can cause issues in the future.
In a natural setting, if you’re using a basic mattress, when you’re sleeping in a tiger knee position on your one side, you’ll be putting tension on the shoulder at the bottom.
This can lead to the shoulder feeling stressed and getting overnight pain.
Especially if you already have issues with that shoulder.
Should you be sleeping in the Tiger Knee position?
Finally, the million-dollar question is, should you be sleeping in the Tiger Knee position?
In my opinion, you should give it a try.
I believe that the benefits outweigh the cons for most people, and you can deal with most of the issues by using the tricks mentioned above.
However, in some cases, you better avoid sleeping on your side. For example:
- Don’t sleep on your side if you have shoulder pain on the same side.
- Avoid sleeping on your left side in case you suffer from congestive heart failure.
- Avoid sleeping on your right side in case you suffer from acid reflux.
For many, the tiger knee sleeping position is one of the best and most relaxing positions.
If you choose to sleep this way, make sure you apply the required adjustments mentioned above.
With the help of the tiger Knee Sleeping position, you should be able to keep your spine and muscles relaxed.
So give this sleeping position a try,
Good night 🙂