How We Sleep And The Best Sleeping Positions For Different People

How We Sleep And The Best Sleeping Positions For Different People

By Donna William | Lifestyle Editor on January 10, 2019
sleeping positions

Do you sleep on your back, side, or tummy? If you are pregnant or have a certain medical condition, you may want to sleep in a certain sleep position to be comfortable.

Sleeping the wrong way can cause or aggravate neck or back pain. Try to sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your lower back.

It is recommended to lie on your back with a pillow under your knees or on your side with your knees slightly bent.

What’s even more interesting is that most back pains are not caused by serious medical conditions like cancer or arthritis. Instead, it’s often brought about by stress or strain from bad posture, awkward sleeping positions and other lifestyle habits.

If you want to improve the quality of your sleep, we’ve got some tips for switching to a more comfortable sleeping position. How you sleep may also reveal aspects of your personality.

To find the best sleep position for you, consider more than just comfort. Although relaxation is important, don’t forget our lives are constantly changing. Our body shape alters as we age.

If you’re just too attached to the way you sleep into a sweet slumber, we’ve got some tips for easing you into dreamland, just the way you like it.

Read on to learn the best sleep position for you.

On Your Back

Though it’s not the most popular position, it’s still the best. By far the healthiest option for most people, sleeping on your back allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position.

This means that there’s no extra pressure on those areas so you’re less likely to experience pain. Sleeping facing the ceiling also ideal for warding off acid reflux.

Just be sure to use a pillow that elevates and supports your head enough. You want your stomach to be below your esophagus to prevent food or acid from coming up your digestive tract.

However, snoozing on your back can cause the tongue to block the breathing tube. This makes it a dangerous position for those who suffer from sleep apnea (a condition that causes periods of breathlessness).

There are upsides to sleeping on your back. Your head, neck, and spine are in a neutral position so you’re less likely to experience neck pain.

Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated is also the best sleep position for heartburn. This position can also make snoring more severe.

Side Sleeping

Sleeping on your side is great for cuddling and pillow-talk. Additionally, research suggests that sleeping on your left side is preferable to your right.

Thanks to the unique arrangement of your internal organs, left-side sleepers may see benefits in improved digestion and blood flow. Side sleeping can also help reduce heartburn.

One of the biggest drawbacks to sleeping on your side is the dreaded numb arm. Also, it can lead to shoulder pain, hip pain, and back pain if your spine, neck, and hips aren’t properly aligned throughout the night.

Side sleeping also puts more strain on your pressure points. All of these symptoms can be lessened with the help of a quality mattress and various arrangements of pillows to suit your personal style.

The side sleeper secret is to keep your back as straight as possible. The best way to achieve this is by using a great mattress.

Find a mattress that supports the curvature of your body while still embracing the pressure points of your shoulders and hips. The latex mattress is great in relieving pressure.

Other helpful side-sleeping techniques are to position a pillow between your legs and use a tall pillow that aligns your neck better with your back.

Side sleepers often run into shoulder pain caused by too much pressure applied to the rotator cuff. The key to fighting shoulder pain, besides turning over, is proper pillow height and arm position.

Find a pillow that provides good support for your neck and is the correct height to keep your spine in alignment.

You can also wear an arm sling to bed to keep your shoulder in a comfortable position throughout the night.

Fetal position

Side sleepers who sleep with their legs bent and curled toward their torsos are sleeping in the so-called fetal position. Women are twice as likely to sleep in the fetal position as men.

If sleeping this way hurts your hips, placing a pillow between your knees may help relieve the pressure. Choosing a good pillow will ensure a proper spine alignment.

It will eliminate cases of back pains or waking up feeling tired. A good pillow is important in maintaining a comfortable and deeper sleep in this position.

Stomach position

A stomach position will help ease snoring but sleeping in this position may aggravate other medical conditions.

Your neck and spine are not in a neutral position when you sleep on your stomach. This may cause neck and back pain.

Stomach sleeping can put pressure on nerves and cause numbness, tingling, and nerve pain. It’s best to choose another sleep position if you are stomach sleeper.

If you can’t break the habit, prop your forehead up on a pillow so your head and spine remain in a neutral position and you have room to breathe.

Stomach sleeping eases snoring and some cases of sleep apnea, but that’s pretty much the only good thing about going belly-down at night.

The bottom line

No matter what position you choose, having a proper alignment of your spineis the most important part of the equation. Focus specifically on aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips.

You may notice gaps between your body and the bed that strain your muscles and spine. You can reduce this stress by using pillows to fill the gaps.

Be careful while turning in bed. You can get out of alignment during twisting and turning motions as well. Always move your entire body together by keeping your core tight and pulled in. You may even find it helpful to bring your knees toward your chest as you roll over. 

If you ever feel hip pains in the morning after sleeping, you can click here for remedies.


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