Chances are that your sleeping position is the most consistent thing about your sleeping routine. Even if you go to sleep at different hours or sleep for different amounts of time, you probably have a favorite position. When you lay your head on the pillow and start counting sheep, this is probably the last thing on your mind, but every position has different advantages and disadvantages.
The position you find most comfortable might be causing you health problems like back pain, muscle cramping, digestive issues, headaches, fatigue, and impaired circulation. After reading this article, you might decide that it’s better to slowly train yourself to sleep in a position that’s more suitable for you. Since every person is different, it’s important to figure out what works best for your health.
Sleeping on Your Back
Although this isn’t the most popular sleeping position, it offers the most health benefits because it protects your spine and can help ease knee and hip pains. Sleeping on your back with a pillow behind your knees is ideal because this position uses gravity to keep your back in alignment. The pillow serves to support the natural curve of the human spine.
Furthermore, if you use a pillow to prop your head and torso up, this position is also good for warding off acid reflux.
On the other hand, if you have sleep apnea, this might not be the right position for you since gravity will cause your jaw, tongue, and soft palate to drop back and cause breathing difficulties. It essentially makes your symptoms worse, and you will wake up feeling less refreshed than you had hoped.
Sleeping on Your Side
Sleeping on your side with your legs relatively straight or with your torso and knees slightly bent is much better for those with sleep apnea, as long as you don’t curl up too tight like in the fetal position because this might restrict breathing in your diaphragm.
On the other hand, sleeping on your side can cause stiffness in your shoulders, and it’s not particularly good if you have arthritis in your joints and back. If you feel the most comfortable in this position, you can look for the best mattress for side sleepers and place a pillow between your knees to keep them in alignment and reduce the strain on your hips.
Sleeping on Your Stomach
This position isn’t that popular, and that’s a good thing because even though it might be beneficial for snoring, it’s bad for pretty much anything else. You won’t be able to keep your spine in alignment, which can lead to pain, especially in the neck.
If you sleep on your stomach, you’re putting pressure on your muscles and joints, so you might wake up with irritated nerves, tingling, and numbness. In case you regularly wake up feeling sore and tired, you could try placing a pillow under your lower belly and use a thin pillow for your head so you can reduce the added strain on your neck.
The best thing you could do, though, is to try to switch to a different position because, unfortunately, this one isn’t doing you any favors.