Comfortable Reading Positions

lauren hall 1
written by sleep expert Lauren Hall

Comfortable Reading Positions:

There’s nothing better than indulging in a good book with a good storyline, but your reading position and nagging aches and pains can make your reading experience feel like hell. If you’re an avid reader who enjoys reading for long periods, then learning a good posture for reading is important.

But what is the most comfortable position to read in?

There are a few tips to pop your body in the proper posture to ensure proper blood circulation around your whole body. After all, no one wants neck pain or back pain after delving into a good book, now do they? Sitting comfortably can make reading time that much more fun and enjoyable.

When delving into a good book, we often find that we put our body in compromised positions in weird postures; we often lose awareness of our sleep posture when reading, but it is super important to prevent back, or neck hurt.

Plus, being in a compromised position for a prolonged time can cause muscle fatigue and back pain.

I’m here to share with you the best way to read while maintaining an appropriate posture; I will be going through my top recommended reading postures while keeping comfort in mind. So you can venture off into a good book for hours, so all your life’s problems fade into the abyss.

Let’s jump in, gang!

comfortable reading positions

Best Reading Positions:

So let’s talk about the best reading positions in more detail. The best reading position should help keep your spine straight while promoting the natural curvature of your spine so you can read without putting pressure on these areas.

Sitting Upright In Bed:

Sitting upright is one of the best ways to read in bed comfortably. It is easy to read and delve deep into the fantasy world of your latest book adventure without letting your bed affect your comfort. Sitting upright is the best way to read in bed as it helps prevent backaches.

So the best way to read in bed while sitting upright is to place your back up straight against the headboard, use a reading pillow or a wedge pillow with pillows around you (for wedge pillow or sitting up against your headboard) to support your back and arms while you read.

It is also recommended that you hold the book around 30 centimeters away from your face, use a booked seat or bedside book caddy to hold your book while you read to prevent your hands from getting fatigued, and you switching position with poor posture to hold the book more comfortably.

You should also try to tilt your head down a bit to help relieve pressure in your neck, but not too much, as this can result in a headache, eyestrain, and neck pains when you sit upright. You can also either keep your legs straight or crouched, depending on what is comfiest.

Sitting straight up in your bed can help keep your spine in proper alignment, so you maintain good posture. This should help prevent neck and back pain when reading. You can even invest in a reading pillow which is a specially designed cushion that offers support in the right positions.

Read In A Supportive Chair:

Alternatively to reading in bed, you can also read in a chair or on the sofa. The best position would be to keep your spine straight so either sitting on a straight-backed chair or on a sofa with armrests. This should help support your spine and prevent back pain or neck pain.

I love this position with a comfy blanket over my legs.

If you’re reading on an armchair, then there may be a slight gap where the natural curve in your spine occurs, so you might want to pop a pillow behind your back to fill in that gap. This should provide some little extra support and relieve pressure in your lower back.

Place a large pillow to push your backrest forward if needed, as it will provide more back support.

Suppose you have a reclining chair than even better as you can bend your knees at a 90-degree angle easily. Sitting on a comfortable but supportive chair with armrests is ideal for engrossing into a good book as it will help keep you comfortable for a long period.

Try not to tilt your neck, though, as this can cause both neck pain and back pain.

Reading In The Supine Position:

The next popular position in order to read in bed comfortably in the supine position. It helps you relax and prevents neck and back strain. The only issue with this position is that you need to place the book appropriately to avoid eye strain.

But for reading in this position, you can use an adjustable tablet stand that can be mounted onto the headboard and use this to hold your book, or if you’re using an e-reader, then even better. You can also adjust the book or e-readers to make reading more comfortable while keeping the right posture.

Or, for reading in this position, you can even use prism glasses so you can read on your back without popping strain on your eyes so you can delve into a comfortable reading position, or just a little extra comfort for those lazy bookworms out there– I am one of them.

Reading On Your Side:

Reading on your side is another comfortable reading position as it allows you the flexibility to keep your legs stretched out or folded at the knees. Reading in this position is brilliant as it ensures proper blood circulation and helps to clear your airway. Using a book seat or table stand in this position is ideal for this position to make it even more comfortable.

If you do read on your side, then always read on your left side; there are some serious benefits.

However, this position is not recommended for long periods of reading, and if you do read in this position, then the book should be placed at least 20 centimeters away from your face to prevent eyestrain. You should also place your head on a firm pillow and keep your shoulders elevated.

Prone Reading Position:

This is an ideal reading position for short periods but not recommended for long reading sessions because you need to lay flat on your stomach, putting your spine in compromised positions. It can be the most comfortable way to read a book because you are lying down, but laying flat on your stomach is not recommended.

In this position, you’ll need to hunch your back a bit which can cause your neck and back to hurt. You can make this position a little more comfortable by popping a comfortable pillow under your chest, but it is still not recommended for everyone, especially if you suffer from back pain.

read in bed without disturbing partner

Final Thoughts:

So there you have the most comfortable reading positions for reading a good book. Whether you’re indulging in a whole new world or just relaxing before going to sleep, being in the correct position is super important for relieving aches and pains and preventing new ones.

The more support, the better; you need to have the right pressure relief and support all over your body so you can delve into a book for hours without having the nagging pain afterward. After all, if you’re an avid reader, there’s nothing that can stop you from your next read, so knowing how to read in bed properly will help.

We all deserve to be ache-free when reading a good ol’ book, so give these tips a go today!

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