Sleeping positions are something many people don’t exactly care about. Most adults jump into bed without giving a thought to how they are positioned. It has become a habit and many do not consider the health effects or benefits of sleeping one way or another. But whether you believe it or not, your sleeping position matters. It plays a key role in your sleep quality and your overall health in general. During sleep, your body works to repair itself. And your sleep position can either support or obstruct the process. Your favorite sleep position is most likely the only thing that is constant in your sleep routine. But unfortunately, the position that you feel most comfortable in might not be the best for your body. The truth is, there is nothing like a perfect sleeping position. The best sleeping position is the one that leaves your body aligned, well-rested and healthy. Whether it’s on your stomach, your back, or on your side, the way you sleep has a major impact on your overall health and well-being. Sleep needs and positions vary from person to person. So here is a guide to help you decide which is best for you.
There are three main sleeping positions:
- On your side. (left or right)
- On your back.
- On your stomach.
1. SLEEPING ON YOUR SIDE: This is the most popular sleeping position. Over 60% of people sleep on their sides. And this is because of the inflexibility of the spine as we age. Sleeping on your side encourages spine alignment, and it is the sleeping position least likely to result in back pain. This sleeping position also reduces heartburn. Sleeping on the left side instead of the right is often advisable as the right increases pressure on your internal organs and intensifies heartburn symptoms.
- People with lower back pain and neck pain find this position more comfortable, especially when supported with a pillow.
- Side sleeping provides support for the hips and pelvis.
- Side sleeping on the left is also recommended for pregnant women. This position relieves the growing belly, it puts less pressure on the heart as it allows the heart to pump and eases blood flow throughout the body.
- People who tend to snore also find relief while sleeping on their side as it reduces snoring.
- People with shoulder pain are not advised to sleep in this position. Side sleeping can lead to soreness and tightness in the shoulders.
- Side sleeping can also contribute to facial wrinkles. If you’re worried about wrinkles, this is not the best position for you. This is because when you sleep on your side, your face is pressed against the pillow or mattress, stretching and compressing the skin.
2. SLEEPING ON YOUR BACK: This is the second most popular sleeping position. And this is because over 40% of people sleep on their backs. Sleeping on your back helps the spine alignment and also prevents aches and pains. This position is among the most recommended sleeping positions, as it has many benefits. Sleeping on your back is said to be a natural and relaxing position because it allows the body to mend and restore itself. It also improves breathing and heart rate and helps you fall asleep more easily.
- Sleeping on your back prevents neck or back pain. This is because it stops the misalignment that might occur in the stomach or side position.
- This position also helps with a stuffy nose. If you are coping with allergies or a stuffy nose, sleeping on your back is advisable. This positioning allows your airway to open and helps drain your nose.
- This sleeping position is not recommended for pregnant women because a growing baby adds pressure on the heart and makes blood flow difficult. Sleeping on your back while pregnant can increase the risk of stillbirth.
- This is the worst position for people who snore. Sleeping on your back increases the severity of snoring symptoms.
- Sleeping on your back is not also recommended for some people with lower back pain.
- Older or heavier adults are also not advised to sleep on their backs. This is because breathing becomes difficult when lying on your back.
2. SLEEPING ON YOUR STOMACH: This is the least popular sleeping position and it’s said to be the worst and most unhealthy sleeping position. However, sleeping on your stomach also has a few benefits but the disadvantages supersede the advantages.
- When used with a pillow, sleeping on your stomach helps to reduce snoring as it allows your airway to open.
- This position also lowers the risk of sleep apnea. But this is not often recommended by professionals.
- Provides the least back support and increases pressure on the spine, causing pain when you wake up.
- Not advisable for pregnant women.
- Sleeping on your stomach contributes to facial wrinkles.
At the end of the day, the best sleeping position for you is the one that enables you to get quality sleep and does not bring or worsen health problems. And it’s never too late to switch sleeping positions if you find out that your favourite position is not ideal for your health or well-being. Also, the most intentional way to improve your sleep health is to invest in a quality mattress that works best for your body and sleep position. Get a mattress from us now!