What is the best sleeping position? While it’s important that you are comfortable and get a lot of rest, it is also important to know how your position affects you. Your sleeping pose could be causing your backaches, difficulty in breathing, break outs, neck pain and even premature wrinkles.
Together with other factors such as your type of mattress and pillow, your position affects the quality of sleep. Find out which sleep position experts recommend, which one to avoid, and the impact of each sleeping position.
Sleep On Your Back
Sleeping on your back is not a popular choice. However, experts still agree that this position is by far the best and healthiest option for most people. With the right mattress and pillow, sleeping on your back allows the head, neck, and spine to maintain a natural alignment.
This position is also ideal of those who experience acid reflux. Just make sure you’re using the right pillow that supports your head. You want your throat to be higher than the stomach to prevent food or acid from going back up.
Another benefit of sleeping on your back is that it prevents wrinkles because you’re not pushing your face against anything. It also prevents your breast from sagging.
It’s not good for those who have sleep apnea because the tongue could roll back, blocking your breathing tube. It’s also not a good position for those who snore.
Sleep On Your Side
Sleeping on your side is also great for your overall wellbeing. It reduces snoring tendencies because it keeps the airway open. That said, it’s the best position for sleep apnea. This position is also the next best position for preventing acid reflux. Also, since this position elongates your spine, it prevents back and neck pain.
Which side you sleep on also matters. Sleeping on the right side can aggravate heartburns. On the other hand, sleeping on the left side can be strenuous on the liver, lungs, and stomach. However, the left side also reduces acid reflux.
For pregnant women, sleeping on the side, preferably the left side, is also good. It promotes optimal blood flow for the mother and the baby.
When sleeping on your side, you need a thick pillow to support your head and neck in a neutral position. You can also tuck a pillow between your knees to keep the spine in its neutral position.
Sleeping on the side means your face is pushed against a pillow. That could cause wrinkles to develop sooner than you would with sleeping on your back. Aside from that, it also contributes to breast sagging because the breasts are dangling downward.
Fetal Position Sleep
Despite not being an ideal position, it is the most common position for adults. In a fetal position, your body is on the side with your knees drawn up to your chest. It’s good for pregnant women because it improves their blood circulation, as well as the baby’s circulation. But other than that, it’s not a position experts recommend.
If you still choose to sleep in this position, you can use a thick pillow. This may help support the head and neck, just like it does for side sleepers.
It may initially be comforting, but it can lead to backaches and neck pain. If you have arthritic back and joints, then you will definitely feel it in the morning. The fetal position can also contribute to premature wrinkles because of the pressure against the face. It also contributes to sagging the breasts.
This position may reduce snoring a little bit, but it also restricts diaphragmatic breathing, especially if you are curled up tightly. That said, try not to tuck into an extreme curl. Try to straighten out your body.
Sleep On Your Stomach (Or Don’t)
Sleeping on your stomach is the worst sleeping position, according to experts. It’s good for easing snoring, but other than that, it’s no good at all. It may initially be comfortable, but the long-term effects of this position are not good for your body.
If you still prefer to sleep on your stomach, you should rest your head on a flat pillow. You could also lay your head directly on the mattress. Laying your head directly on the mattress or a flat pillow will not strain the neck and head as much as a thicker one would. You can also lay a mattress below your pelvis area to promote a more natural alignment of your lower back.
Experts don’t recommend it because it does not support the natural curvature of the spine. That can lead to backaches and neck pain, and overarching of the back. Sleeping on your belly also forces your neck to be rotated. It also puts pressure on certain joints and muscles, which could become painful or numb.
Sleeping on your stomach is also not a good position for keeping breasts perky and for preventing wrinkles. In fact, it promotes premature wrinkles because of the pressure you press against the face.
Ultimately, you want a sleeping position that is comfortable for you. You want to be able to get sufficient rest to be able to function better the next day. However, it’s important to consider how a sleeping position affects your body. That way you can prevent certain things like snoring, backaches, neck pain, premature wrinkles, sagging of breasts and breathing problems.
While your position is a major factor, you also have to consider your mattress and pillow. You want just the right amount of comfort and support that promotes the most natural curvature of the spine. You also have to consider any underlying conditions, such as spine injuries, with your position.