There are effectively three different sleeping positions – most people tend to sleep on their side, while some people sleep better on their backs or stomachs. And then there are those, who switch between all these positions through the night.
But how do you know which is the best position to sleep in? The truth is, each of these has positions have their own pros and cons. Though sleeping on the stomach has been known to have more drawbacks than benefits.
What does your sleeping position affect?
Sleep is a natural healer. And some sleeping positions can heal certain symptoms, and the wrong sleeping portion for you can actually worsen certain symptoms.
Sleeping on your back –
Sleeping on your back has several benefits – so if you don’t already, then these might be the reasons it’s worth trying:
- Keeps your spine aligned
- Reduces tension headaches
- Chronic conditions by reducing pressure and compression
- Relieves sinus buildup
- Avoid creases, wrinkles, and irritated facial skin
Which side should you sleep on?
There are actually more benefits to sleeping on the right side, than there are to sleeping on the left side. Sleeping on your right side puts less pressure on your heart, than sleeping on the left side does. People with congestive heart conditions, are both recommended to confirm to right side sleeping.
However, left side sleeping is a recommended pregnancy sleeping position. Sleeping on the left side is also the best sleeping position for digestion. People with conditions like sleep apnea and snoring also usually sleep best on their right side.
Why is Stomach Sleeping Not Recommended?
Sleeping on your stomach carries numerous health risks:
Back pain: Your spine can misalign if gravity pushes your stomach into the mattress.
Neck pain: You have to sleep with your neck twisted in one direction to breathe. Stretching your neck muscles in this way causes pain.
Hip pain: If you sleep with one leg raised on top of the other, such as leaving your left foot resting on your right calf, it can twist your hips and lower back.
Sleeping in the Fetal Position –
Sleeping in the fetal position is often recommended for pregnant women, especially in the later stages of pregnancy. Sleeping on your back while pregnant puts unnecessary pressure on the back and cardiac muscles. In the fetal position, you are sleeping on your side with your knees bent – and this can reduce pressure on your heart during pregnancy. It is recommended to sleep on your left side when pregnant.
Sleeping Position for Back or Lower Back Pain –
If you suffer from back pain, and want to alleviate it when you sleep – try sleeping on your back, and elevate your knees with a wedge pillow or you can sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs.
Sleeping Position for Neck Pain –
The best sleeping positions for the neck are either sleeping on your back or your then side. While sleeping on the back is recommended, ensure that you use a pillow that supports the curvature of your neck and a flatter pillow to cushion your head . If you sleep on your side, use a slightly taller pillow under your neck so that your neck is aligned with your head – this will give you relief from any strain on your neck, and ensure your spine is straight.
Sleeping Position during your Period –
While it is not generally always recommended, during this time of the month, it is advised to try the fetal position for sleeping. If you’re a back or stomach sleeper, you can try rolling to your side and tuck in your arms and legs. This position will take the pressure off from your abdominal muscles and will also relieve tension that makes cramping worse.
Sleeping on the Right Mattress:
Your preferred sleeping position affects what mattress will best keep your spine aligned and provide you with a good night’s sleep. Some sleeping positions need more back support and other sleeping positions need more pressure relief. To find the right mattress for your sleeping position, read here.
In conclusion, side sleeping is often considered the best sleeping position because it offers various health benefits. Though back sleeping is also a good position, especially if you want to prevent or reduce back pain. And it is mostly observed that stomach sleeping is the worst position and should be avoided.