If your sleep position is leading to morning health problems then you might benefit from doing some modifications. If you want to learn what are the best and worst sleep positions then read on.
Sleeping on your back – Best
There are a myriad of reasons to sleep on your back. As you might have guessed, sleeping on your back improves spinal and neck health as you’re not bending your back throughout the night. Back sleepers often don’t need any pillows – pillows tend to cause breathing problems.
If you want to get your beauty sleep, sleeping on your back can help you greatly. It prevents wrinkles as you’re not pushing your face against anything and your breasts are supported all night, thus making them perkier when you wake up in the morning.
However, as good as it may sound, back sleeping may not be best for snorers. When you sleep on your back, your tongue collapses to the back of your throat. This is also the reason why back sleepers are at risk of sleep apnea.
Sleeping on your side – Good
Studies show that sleeping on your side, preferably your left side, can reduce snoring and ease acid reflux, heartburn and other GERD symptoms. Sleeping on your left side also makes it easier to fall asleep comfortably without any disturbances at night.
Sleeping on your side may be beneficial during pregnancy as well, especially if back-sleeping is putting excessive pressure on your spine. Sleeping on your left side can improve blood circulation to the heart and it’s an excellent sleeping position for mother and child.
Side sleeping has a dark side too. Sleeping on your side can cause wrinkles and breast sag because you’re pressing your face against your pillow. Breast sagging occurs because of gravity.
Sleeping on your left side can also apply excessive pressure on your lungs and stomach so alternating sides may abate this.
You’ve probably already experienced the arm numbness due your arm squishing against your bed. When you place your arm behind your head, you may severely affect your nerves and muscles as well. Resting your head on one arm can tamper with blood flow and compress your arm causing the “pins and needles” feeling.
Since your shoulder is supporting a large amount of your body weight when you sleep on your side, you may constrict your shoulder and neck muscles as well and suffer from the dreaded morning neck and shoulder pain.
Sleeping in the fetal position – Bad
Sleeping in your fetal position may feel comfortable, but letting your body undergo contortions may compress your vital organs and restrict sleep. Sleeping in fetal position has the same benefits as sleeping on your side but it can be more harmful in the long term. It won’t help you cosmetically either because just like with side sleeping, sleeping in your fetal position can cause wrinkles or breast sagging. It can cause arm numbness as well. Curling your back can tax your spine with time if you sleep in this position on a daily basis.
Sleeping on your stomach – Worst
While stomach sleeping can ease snoring and prevent sleep apnea in some cases, there aren’t many benefits associated with sleeping on your tummy. According to studies, sleeping on your tummy may be the worst possible position you could sleep in and here’s why…
Sleeping on your stomach can put stress to your joints and muscles, resulting in nerve irritation and thus, numbness, tingling and pain. Sleeping with your head turned down can also cause severe neck strains. Moreover, it flattens the curve of your spine which makes it a very common cause of back pain in most folks.
If this is a position you are too used to, using pillows to train your body to sleep on your side may be your best bet.
At the end of the day, it is also important that you sleep sufficiently. Even though you may not be sleeping in the best position, there’s no reason why you should get frustrated because sleep positions can easily be improved.
Having said that, experimenting with different positions won’t do you much harm either. People often wake up in the same position they sleep in so this may be an easy way to find out which position you are most comfortable with if you aren’t sure. Seeing a doctor may also help. As long as your doctor finds it unnecessary to switch positions, you really don’t have anything to worry about.