When it comes to sleeping, there are so many ways and positions in which people find comfort. You may be a bed hog and lay sprawled out on your stomach. You may be a side sleeper that tucks a pillow between your knees. Maybe you love that mountain of decorative throw pillows or sleep with just one. Whichever way you sleep; no two people sleep exactly the same way. This being said there are good and bad sleep positions. You need to make sure you are practicing a healthy sleep position; no different than having good posture while you are awake. Getting the right amount of sleep and using the best sleep position are the secrets to a good night’s sleep.
You may ask, what are the best sleeping positions? Well, to be honest, there really is only one sleeping position that is actually considered the best; sleeping on your back. Other sleeping positions like sleeping on your left or right side have some benefits, but they come with risk factors. Then there’s the worst sleeping position out there; sleeping on your stomach.
The Best Sleeping Position
It may be hard to train yourself to sleep on your back but if you do you’ll reap the benefits of a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed! Try sleeping on your back using a pillow as a barrier to train yourself not to roll over. When you sleep on your back, you allow your body to rest in a natural position. It helps to keep your back, neck, and head in natural alignment. This reduces strain on your neck and the lower lumbar area of your back. Back sleeping also allows optimum circulation and blood flow which keeps your legs and arms from feeling restless. Recent studies show that only 14% of Americans sleep on their backs. No wonder we suffer from back and neck pain! Start sleeping on your back and experience sleep like never before.
Alternate Sleeping Positions
The majority of people sleep on one side or another. Studies have shown that 63% of Americans prefer either their left or right side. Both have been known to help a variety of things like blood flow and heartburn, but they come with health risks. Sleeping on your left side can help support blood flow and help soothe your heartburn or acid reflux. However, it puts a lot of strain on your inner organs and can cause many health problems. Sleeping on your right side can worsen your symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. It also puts a strain on your lungs and can contribute to sleep apnea. Sleeping on either side puts a lot of pressure on that side. It also strains your neck and back.
If you are pregnant, the left side is the best side for sleeping. Sleeping on this side promotes good circulation which is helpful for both you and your baby. Good circulation helps more nutrients and blood reach the placenta and subsequently your baby, which ensures healthy growth. The right side sleeping position is okay in the early stages of your pregnancy, but it can put pressure on your liver which can cause complications. You can keep a pillow in between your knees to help support your lower back and hips.
While in some cases, stomach sleeping has been known to help reduce snoring and help those who suffer from sleep apnea; it is still the worst sleeping position. About 16% of Americans sleep on their bellies. This poor sleeping position can cause many problems and health issues. When you sleep on your stomach, you flatten the natural curve of your neck and spine. This causes tension and puts stress on your lower back and neck muscles. Having back pain can make even the lightest activities and movement painful. The strain on your neck leads to tension headaches and can cause muscle spasms.
Neck and back pain are not the only bad things about side sleeping and stomach sleeping positions. Sleeping with your head turned to one side while on your stomach or side will also cause jaw and face pain. This is caused by the pressure of your head pushing you into the pillow or mattress. If you sleep on your back, you can eliminate virtually all pain that is associated with poor sleeping positions. Having a poor sleeping posture is detrimental to your health and overall well-being. So, make the change and start sleeping on your back to ensure a good night’s sleep.