On the stomach ( to your chiropractor’s horror), on the side, on the back, curled up, we all have our favorite ways to sleep. Getting enough sleep is important for your health, but so is the position. Let’s look at how the eight most com common sleep positions affect your health.
Sleeping Position 1: On your back, arms by your side This is the most common and by far one of the better ones for your spine and neck, so long as you keep your pillows at a reasonable number. Sleeping on your back in general helps with skin tightness and facial breakouts. There’s I just saved you thousands on plastic surgery. YOu’re welcome. But we can’t have it all, can we? Back sleepers tend to snore more and it’s associated with sleep apnea.
Sleeping Position 2: On your back, arms up by your head aka “the starfish” While it certainly gives a good chest stretch and is good for your spine, the snoring is still a risk and so is acid reflux issues. Having your hands over your head for an extended period of time, however is very taxing on the nerves in the shoulder, putting pressure on them, leading to pain. Sleeping Position 3: On one side, arms by the side If you’re hoping to reduce neck and back pain or fight sleep apnea, this is the position for you. It’s also best for your spine as it supports its natural curve. If you’re more into looks, avoid this position. Gravity rules: it contributes to skin aging and breast sagging (sorry, ladies).
Sleeping Position 4: Fetal position Sounds good on paper, but sleeping “like a baby” compresses your body, impairing your deep breathing. If, however, you are pregnant or have problems snoring, this is the position for you.
Sleeping Position 5: One the side, one arm out It has many of the same benefits as sleeping on your side, but having your weight on on your shoulder puts a lot of pressure on the one shoulder, suppressing the nerves, causing pain or your arm to fall asleep, cutting off proper circulation, and having your top arm out only makes it worse.
Sleeping Position 6: On the left/right side Sleeping on your right side can worsen heartburn, but that’s still better than sleeping on your left. If you chose that side, you are compressing vital organs such as the heart, liver, lungs and stomach. Exception to the rule: if you’re pregnant. Doctor’s tend to recommend the left side to increase circulation to the fetus.
Sleeping Position 7: On the stomach While it improves circulation, it puts a strain on your neck due to the tilting, and cause lower back pain, since your spine is not being properly supported.
Sleeping Position 8: Pillow hugger Amazing what a difference a pillow can make. Regardless of the position, supplementing with a pillow can give your body more comfort, reduce pain and helps you wake up a little less sore/tight.
Need some help ? This handy App, Sleepio, helps you track your sleep so you can get the most out of your days, and your health!
Which one of the eight sleeping positions are you? Or do you toss and turn? I hope this will help you find the ideal position for you. Quality sleep not only affects your health, it also affects how you lose weight so make sure your getting your REM cycles in! Snooze away!