Abled bodied individuals manage independent change of postures during sleep to ensure continued comfort.  Muscle weakness and/or muscle tone changes can limit an individual’s capacity to manage changes in posture.  Such individuals typically spend prolonged periods in limited postures otherwise known as habitual postures, which can lead to pain, discomfort, and limited movement around joints.  Other external forces acting on the body while in bed, include gravity and the support surface (mattress), which also influences positioning and quality of sleep. 

In the picture below, the hip, trunk and shoulder are supported in, side lying.  In the absence of the supports, gravity will act on the hip, pulling it forward and downward, causing a rotation in the trunk/spine and will pull the shoulder forward and downward toward the mattress, causing pain and discomfort.  Supports can be used in all preferred positions.  In the photograph below supports at the hip, trunk and shoulder reduces the downward pull and hence the stress and strain on the major joints: hips, spine, and shoulder, creating a comfortable sleeping position. 

ravity acting on the unsupported body will negatively impact changes in body shape.  In individuals with immobility, the ribcage is particularly vulnerable to change, leading to structural changes of the ribcage and causing compression of the organs within the ribcage such as the lungs, heart.  Supporting complex postures requires more specific supports at the pelvis, alongside the trunk and head.  When lying postures are supported and aligned, it is easier to achieve aligned seated postures.  Supporting postures during the night and day are therefore essential.

Sleep system components vary in size, shape, and pressure relief material make up.  Some are better suited to individuals who experience difficulties with temperature regulation than others.  Informal supports such as standard pillows and cushions may offer temporary solutions however are limited in pressure relief, hygiene, durability, and safety. 

We are available to assist you with sleep system components to best meet your needs.