The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Your Health
We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is vital for our health. But did you know that your sleeping position may affect your general health? Does it matter if you sleep on your side, stomach or back? Read on to find the surprising answer!
The Worst Sleeping Position – on Your Stomach
This position can be hard on your back and neck and makes it difficult to maintain a natural curve of your spine. Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on your joints and muscles which can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. If you can’t sleep any other way, reduce the strain on your back by placing a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen. Also place a pillow under your head if it doesn’t place too much strain on your back, but if it does cause strain, don’t use pillow at all.
Better Sleeping Position – on Your Back
While sleeping on your back is better than sleeping on your stomach (as your back, head, neck and spine maintain a neutral position), it still has its drawbacks. Sleeping on your back is not recommended if you are prone to snoring and for those with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a life-threatening sleep disorder. Sleeping on your back can also cause your tongue to fall inwards which can block the breathing tube.
If you suffer from backache, it is recommended to place a pillow under your knees and try a small, rolled towel under your lower back for extra support and to help maintain the curve in your back. Also don’t forget to support your neck with a pillow.
Best Sleeping Position – on Your Side
In this position, the person sleeps on the side while the back is slightly curled with knees bent and arms folded. Many consider this position to be the healthiest, as it helps to keep your airways open and matches the natural curve of the spine. To make this position even better, you can add a pillow between your knees to reduce stress on the hips.
A recent study suggests that sleeping in the side position, as compared to sleeping on the back or stomach, may more effectively remove brain waste, and prove to be an important practice to help reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
If you tend to suffer from heartburn, then sleeping on your side can also make a difference. Research has found that sleeping on the left side can relieve heartburn symptoms, while right-side sleeping makes them worse. The reason for that is not entirely clear, and several theories have been raised about this issue.
Sleeping on the left side is also recommended during pregnancy to improve blood circulation and to allow your blood an easier way from the heart to the placenta to nourish the baby. Sleeping on the left side also keeps the expanding body weight from pushing down too hard on your liver. While either side is fine during pregnancy, left is the best.
Whatever the position you prefer is, remember that a good night’s sleep requires a good sleeping environment and a good mattress.