What does the way you sleep do to your body? Sleeping positions explained.
Everyone has a preferred sleep position; back, side, stomach and everything in between. While there isn't necessarily a 'best' position to sleep in, there are advantages and disadvantages to each.
This is one of the most popular sleeping positions for adults and has loads of advantages and very few disadvantages. Side sleeping positions are especially good when sleeping on the left hand side due to the way our organs are arranged as this can help to alleviate acid reflux and heart burn, improve circulation, boost digestion and helps to drain toxins from the lymph nodes. Sleeping on your side is also helpful for preventing sleep apnea and snoring!
The downside? Because the side of your face is pressed against a pillow all night, this could lead to wrinkles, and if you like to sleep curled up in the Fetal Position, you are putting extra pressure on your diaphragm which can make it difficult to breath deeply.
If you find that you get a lot of shoulder pain sleeping on your side, your mattress may be too firm for you, more often than not, your pillow may not be the correct height between your shoulder and chin.
Not a very popular way to sleep, but possibly the best for you! Sleeping on your back reduces pressure on your body, allowing your back, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. When your head is elevated slightly you also help to reduce acid reflux, and by not having your face on the pillow helps to prevent those dreaded wrinkles!
This position is no good for sleep apnea sufferers or snorers however as it can create some pressure on your airways.
Having the correct mattress is always important, and when you sleep on your back you need to ensure that your mattress is supporting you through your lower lumber and not too firm that it is pushing your chest up. You pillow needs to only elevate your head slightly.
While this is good for your airways, this position is terrible for your body more often or not! Sleeping on your stomach causes strain to your neck, back and shoulders as the middle of your body isn't supported correctly and pressure is put on your entire body making your body ache.
If you do sleep on your stomach and find it's the only way to sleep, a very slim pillow is recommended and consider putting a pillow under your hips to help put your spine into a more neutral alignment.
No matter the position you choose to sleep in, the aim when going to bed each night is to get the best nights sleep possible. Having a mattress that gives you the correct support is always essential as is having the correct pillow for your sleeping position.