Best Sleeping Position For Your Health

A good night’s sleep will not be determined by how comfortable your bedroom is or how nice your blankets and sheets are. Sleeping positions are the key players of the quality of your sleep. Although there is no perfect sleeping position you will be amazed at how much the sleep position you choose will affect your overall health.

The three general ways that people sleep is either on their back, stomach or side. The reason why you need to understand the best sleeping position for you is to understand your health. It is good to know each sleeping position as well as its pros and cons. This way you are able to choose your preferred sleep position for your overall health.

Back Sleeping Positions

People who sleep on their back have probably done so all their lives. This is the best sleep position when it comes to promoting proper spine and neck alignment when the muscles in these areas are at rest.

When sleeping on the back, people tend to use less pillows for too many can lead to neck strains and also hinder proper breathing. It also helps to prevent the appearance of wrinkles on the face as it is not being smooshed on the pillow.

check in on how your body and mind feels

The different ways of sleeping on your back include:

  • Soldier: This is when you sleep on the back and rest your arms against your hips. The hands face down close to your body. Those who suffer from snoring and sleep apnea most likely sleep in this position.
  • Starfish: This is when one lies on the back with their arms and hands raised over the head. It does little to reduce the gravity pulling around the neck.

Pros

  • The spine and neck are well aligned on the mattress. This reduces the chances of neck and back pain.
  • It reduces the chances of getting wrinkles on the face as it is not smooshed against the best memory foam pillow.
  • If you are sleeping with a waist trainer, sleeping on your back is the most comfortable position.

Cons

  • There are increased chances of sleep apnea and snoring. This is because the tongue is forced to collapse at the base due to gravity. This blocks the airway, which obstructs breathing.
  • A study also shows that those who sleep on their back tend to be poor quality sleepers.

Side Sleeping Positions

This is the position that is preferred by most people. This is easy to explain why. Pregnant women have better circulation to their heart when they sleep on their sides. For others, sleeping on the side reduces pressure on the lower lumbar region as compared to sleeping on the back. Sleeping on the left side also eases digestion as there are no chances of acid reflux or ingestion. If you suffer from heartburn, it may be because you have the wrong sleeping position.

However, sleeping on the side forces all the body weight to one side which may put pressure on the stomach and lungs. It also causes the legs and arms to be deprived of circulation. Sleeping on the side can also cause pinching of the nerves and pulling of the neck and shoulder muscles.

Sleep Apnea: Why Do You Have Trouble Breathing While Sleeping

The different ways to sleep on the side include:

  • Fetus: Most people prefer this position. This is where one is curled up with the knees toward the chest and the elbows towards the chest as well. When you keep a pillow between your legs so as to align the knees and hips to prevent pulling any of the back muscles, this sleep position will lead to fewer pulled muscles and hence better sleep. Note that it will not eliminate all the risks.
  • Log: This is when one sleeps on their side and the legs and arms are fully extended at the side. This leads to fewer chances of pulling muscles on the arms and legs, but you run the chance of cutting off circulation and pulling muscles of the shoulder and arm on which the body weight is resting on.
  • Yearner: This is almost similar to the log, but the arms are extended out to the front of the chest. This might make it easier to breath at night, but you run the risk of cutting off blood circulation as well as pulling muscles on the side which your body weight is lying.

Pros

  • Sleeping on the left side improves circulation to the heart for pregnant women. This benefits both the mother and the baby. It also takes off pressure from the back, which can cause fainting.
  • For others, sleeping on the left side eases digestion and reduces the chances of heartburn and indigestion which allows for comfortable sleep.

Cons

  • It puts pressure on the stomach and lungs, which leads to organ strain.
  • Sleeping on one side for long can lead to numbness as blood circulation is not adequate due to body weight lying on one side.
  • It may also lead to constricting of the neck and shoulder muscles as well as cause rubber pain as the nerves on one side are pressed down.

Stomach Sleeping Positions

This sleeping position is the best known to reduce the chances of sleep apnea and snoring.

These are the major benefits. When you sleep on your stomach, you disrupt the natural curve of the spine, which can later cause back pain. The neck muscles are also vulnerable. For you to sleep comfortably on your stomach, you need a number of pillows and the perfect mattress or mattress pad so as to train your body to relax the muscles.

stomach sleeping position

The only way you can sleep on your stomach is:

Freefall: This is the only way that most people sleep on their stomach. One lies face down with the arms stretched over the head. This is because sleeping with the arms resting on the side may lead to straining of the shoulder and neck muscles. Any position you take on your stomach requires additional pillows.

Note: The only comfortable way to sleep on your stomach is by adding pillows to train the body to sleep on one side. You can also place a pillow under the hip and lower abdomen to give the bottom spine a boost.

Pros

  • It contributes to ease snoring and in some cases, the chances of sleep apnea are also eliminated.

Cons

  • It flattens the natural curve of the spine, which can lead to lower back pain.
  • It also caused straining to the neck as the head is turned to one side.

Conclusion

It is important to note that all the sleeping positions have advantages and disadvantages. In many cases, most people change their sleeping position throughout the night. This is good as it aids in circulation. In one way or another there is that one sleeping position that you find comfortable for you. It is good to find one that works best for you this is unless the doctor advises you to switch.

  • Jane
  • Updated April 20, 2017
Jane
 

I am Jane Collins, a Founder and a Main Editor of g9sleeptight.com. I decided to create this site to share my knowledge, guides and tips to help you to have a good night's sleep.

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