Is your sleep position good for your health and sleep quality? Many people don’t even consider the position in which they sleep and how it can affect them. The truth is that some sleep positions are better than others, and everyone’s preference is different. Your sleep is important for your health and overall physical and mental wellbeing.
If you find yourself feeling pain in your neck, back, or hips after waking up, your sleep position can be to blame. These are the best sleeping positions for better health and sleep.
1. On Your Back
There are a few different sleep positions that you can have while on your back: with your arms by your side or with them upwards. Sleeping with your arms by your side is one of the best sleeping positions for your head, spine, and neck. Unfortunately, back sleepings are more prone to snoring and sleep apnoea, but overall this sleep position can keep your body feeling limber as soon as you wake up.
Sleeping on your back with your arms upward, also known as the starfish position is also good for your back and may prevent wrinkles and breakouts. Unfortunately, this position also causes problems with snoring and acid reflux because you’re on your back. Also, having your arms up can put pressure on the shoulder nerves that can cause pain and discomfort.
2. On Your Stomach
Sleeping facedown can improve digestion, but it can put added strain on your neck, back, hips, and more. Unless you’ve found a way to sleep absolutely face down, then your neck will likely feel some pain the next morning. In this position, the spin is unsupported, so you can also experience back pain.
According to MedCline, sleeping on stomach “might feel comfortable in the moment — and mitigate snoring and sleep apnea symptoms — it can also contribute to back and neck pain, leaving you feeling the residual effects for days. What’s more, stomach-sleeping can be especially harmful for moms-to-be and newborns.”
3. Fetal Position
The fetal position is one of the most popular sleep positions. In this position, you are curled into a ball with your needs to your chest, and your chin tilted downwards. This position may feel comfortable but can also strain your neck and back. The curl of your body can also restrict breathing, causing you problems when it comes to staying asleep.
For some, though, this position is best. The fetal sleep posture may be the most comfortable, safest position for those who are pregnant or experiencing snoring.
4. On Your Side
There are a few ways that you can sleep on your side, including with your arms by your sides, your arms out, or on your right or left side.
When you sleep on your side with your arms by your sides, your spine is supported in its natural curve. This position can reduce back and neck pain along with the risk of sleep apnea.
Sleeping with your arms out has many of the same benefits as sleeping on your side with your arms at your sides. Unfortunately, sleeping with your arms out can cause unnecessary pressure on your shoulder and arm, causing pain.
Believe it or not, the side you sleep on also makes a difference. Sleeping on your right side can cause heartburn, and sleeping on your left side can strain your internal organs.
As you can see, there are tons of benefits and risks to sleeping in any position. While you may have tried everything from blackout curtains to a tunable smart bulb to improve your sleep, it could be your sleep position that’s impacting your quality of sleep. There is no one position that’s the healthiest depending on your particular needs and the positions in which you’re most comfortable. The best thing you can do is experiment with different sleep positions.
Using a sleep tracker, you can determine which positions you sleep best in. Make sure to pay attention to the way you feel after you wake up as well. Some positions might be more painful for you than others.