The best sleeping position promotes healthier spinal alignment, from the head down to the hips. Researchers attribute waking up with new or intensified aches and pains to our sleeping position.
7-8 hours of sleep every day means we spend almost 1/3 of our lives sleeping or resting, so choosing the position that can boost physical recovery is important.
Now how do you figure out which sleeping position is best for you?
As there’s no one-size-fits-all approach in this regard, you would only need to experiment with a few positions to figure out the more comfortable one, leaving you feeling well-rested (refreshed and restored from the previous day’s stress) when you wake up.
What Is the Best Sleeping Position?
Your sleep position significantly influences your sleep quality, so try to adapt to a healthier sleeping position. It’s important to consider your health situation and what you find more comfortable.
Some sleeping positions are considered better or healthier than others:
- Sleeping on the side, Left or Right
- Sleeping/Flat on your back
- Sleeping on your stomach
Sleeping on the side is recommended by experts for more quality sleep. Sleeping on the sleeping on the back is generally regarded as more advantageous compared to sleeping on the stomach. Hence, it’s keeping your spine supported and balanced is easier, relieving pressure on the spinal tissues and enabling your muscles to relax and recover.
Different sleeping positions have different attributes or results. If you’re experiencing pain or facing other health conditions, you might need to adjust or automatically switch to a different sleeping position to help manage it. And, while it’s not something you can do just in one night, changing your default sleeping position can be worth trying out.
Training yourself to sleep in a new position gradually could be the secret to improving your sleep quality. However, if you aren’t comfortable with it, there is no need to force yourself; you can also try modifying your favorite sleeping position to be sure you’re getting the best of the intended results. (Heal, repair, and restore).
Adjusting to a new sleep position takes time, but it is possible. Be patient with yourself and use pillows to help train your body to the new position. However, if sleeping on your stomach is comfortable, you don’t have to force yourself to change it. Minimize the risk of pain and improve spinal alignment with mattress and pillow.
Sided Sleeping Position
The fetal position involves sleeping on your side with bent legs curled toward your body. It’s the most popular sleeping position, and for good reasons; Not only is it great for lower back pain or pregnancy, but sleeping in the fetal position can also help reduce snoring.
Sleeping/Flat on Your Back
Sleeping on your back is the second most popular position, with many benefits compared to the side sleeping position. Hence, it’s easy for you to align your spine better properly. Also, you evenly distribute your body weight, relieving your neck or back of any potential aches.
Lying on the back is the best for neck pain, as it prevents misalignment, unlike the side or stomach positions. It also helps relieve the congestion of a suffocating nose or allergies, especially if you prop yourself up in an upright position with the help of pillows.
Your skin also benefits from this; since you’d be facing upward, there would be no pillow or mattress pressing directly against your face, which may contribute to wrinkles.
Back sleeping may be particularly beneficial for:
- People with lumbar spinal pain
- People worried about wrinkles
- People with neck pain
- People with nasal congestion
Aim to keep your arms in similar positions when sleeping on your back. For example, it is preferable to have both of them lying by your sides rather than resting one on your forehead, as this causes unevenness in the spine, which may contribute to shoulder or neck pain.
On the other hand, people who snore or suffer from sleep apnea may find it difficult to sleep on their backs. It can be difficult even for people with back pain, so it is important to ensure you have the right support.
Sleeping on your back is not recommended for pregnant women as a growing baby can pressure the heart and reduce blood flow.
Finally, as we grow older or heavier, it becomes harder to breathe while lying on our backs due to the pressure of gravity on the body. Switching to a side sleeping position can be a better option for heavier and older individuals.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
The stomach sleeping position provides the least back support of all sleeping positions, thereby increasing pressure on the spine. Sleeping with your head turned sideways can twist your neck, misaligning it with your spine and potentially causing morning pain.
Without the right pillow and mattress, it’s very easy for the stomach sleeping position to cause aches and pains. Also, sleeping on the stomach can contribute to facial wrinkles since your face would be pressed against the pillow or the surface of the mattress.
A firm mattress can prevent spinal alignment issues caused by stomach sleeping, ensuring the spine remains properly aligned.
The stomach sleeping position has several drawbacks and is not recommended for most people. In particular, the following people should avoid sleeping on their stomachs:
- Pregnant women
- People with neck or back pain
- People worried about wrinkles
Your sleeping position is pivotal in the quality of your sleep/rest. Adjusting to a proper sleeping position is one of many strategies to boost your sleep quality and overall health.
Different sleep positions provide different benefits that may be helpful for you if you’re dealing with back pain, pregnancy, allergies, acid reflux, or other health condition. In these cases, trying a new sleep position may be worthwhile to enable more restful sleep.