Good physical health and mental sharpness require getting a good night’s rest regularly. The way you sleep at night directly affects how you function during the day. Poor sleep can result in or worsen health problems, including cardiovascular and kidney disease, diabetes, obesity and breathing difficulties. Lack of sleep can also negatively impact mood, memory, concentration and logical thinking. The best position for sleeping soundly is one that allows you to wake up refreshed and free from pain.
There are measures you can take to improve your sleep, no matter the position you find to be the most comfortable. Read through the infographic below for a closer look at each sleeping position.
A lot of people seem to prefer sleeping on their stomachs. Many health care professionals, however, consider stomach sleeping to be the least healthy sleeping position. This is because sleeping on your stomach puts undue pressure on internal organs. This sleep position can limit oxygen intake during the night. However, it can reduce snoring as opposed to sleeping on one’s back.
Stomach sleeping also causes the neck to be twisted to one side, which forces the spine out of alignment. As a result, you can be left with pinched nerves and backaches.
If you must sleep on your stomach, try placing a pillow beneath one side of your pelvis. This should at least partially counteract the improper spinal alignment.
Sleeping on Your Side
Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, and often brings relief to snorers or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) sufferers. However, lying on your left side can subject the lungs and liver to undue pressure. Left side sleeping also constricts the ribcage, which causes the lungs to strain for oxygen. Meanwhile, your spine can relax in a more natural position when you sleep on your right side. Try placing a pillow between your legs to reduce the pressure on your knees. Furthermore, the pillow will keep the hips from rotating and misaligning the spine during the night.
Sleeping on your back is considered the healthiest of the three. Back sleeping relieves ribcage constriction, reduces lung strain and allows the spine to align properly. In addition, it allows the back muscles to relax naturally. Back sleeping also causes the internal organs to expand and relax. Some people may find that sleeping flat on their backs places excessive and sometimes pain-causing pressure on the hips. Placing a pillow beneath the legs to raise them slightly to reduce the pressure should help overcome this. However, sleeping on your back isn’t recommended for snorers or sleep apnea sufferers.
Don’t Neglect The Head & Neck
The position of the head and neck can make a huge difference in sleep quality, regardless of your sleep position. A neck that’s either overly stretched or too tightly compressed can cause pain and affect proper breathing. The neck needs to be supported in a forward-facing position. Using the right pillow will help ensure you get the support needed. Pillows that are the wrong shape or filled with the wrong material could lead to ongoing neck pain. All Sit ‘n Sleep’s Southern California sleep centers offer a full line of quality pillows. Our knowledgeable sleep consultants will help you select a replacement that could quickly relieve your nighttime neck discomfort.
Many people awaken in a different position than when they fell asleep. It can be an indication of a night filled with tossing and turning. Discuss any physical ailments you may have with your health care provider. They may have some recommendations for improving your quality of sleep simply by changing sleeping positions.
Could Your Mattress Be The Problem?
Lastly, your mattress can play a big role in the comfort level of your sleep position. You should first figure out what your preferred sleep position is. Then check in with yourself to see how you feel upon waking up. Do you have aches or pains? Any stiffness or soreness? If so, then you likely have the wrong mattress for your sleep position. Mattresses come in different firmness levels to best accommodate the different positions people sleep in. Find the right mattress and you’ll be on your way to a much better sleep.