How we place ourselves on our bed after a long day can have a major effect not just on how well we slept but also on our health.
It is apparent that having devices around us all the time including in bed becomes a distraction as to how well we sleep, getting your sleeping posture right can make a big difference in the way you feel when you wake up.
Here are popular sleeping positions and how they can affect your health.
This is sometimes called the prone position. Interestingly enough, sleeping on the stomach is the most comfortable position for many people as this often corresponds to people who were placed on their bellies when they were babies.
Unfortunately, research has shown that this isn’t a good position for a restful sleep because your neck and spine are not in a neutral position when you sleep on your stomach. Primarily, In order to continue breathing, your neck has to be turned one way or the other, and this leads to straining the base of the neck.
This may cause neck and back pain. Stomach sleeping can put pressure on nerves and cause numbness, tingling, and nerve pain.
Back-sleeping has its advantages and disadvantages. Sleep experts refer to this as the supine position.
The health benefit to sleeping on your back is that, you’re less likely to experience neck pain as your head, neck, and spine are in a neutral position. Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated with a small pillow is considered the best sleeping position for heartburn.
Some people who sleep on their backs may experience low back pain. It can also make existing back pain worse, so this is not the best sleep position for lower back pain. If you suffer from snoring sleeping on your back may aggravate these conditions as well. Women should avoid this position during late pregnancy.
This sleeping position is the most popular by far. It’s also known as lateral position.
The Side sleeping position is recommended by sleep researchers as being the most restorative for one’s body and minds as it have recently learned that our brains clear out waste more quickly while we sleep.
Whether or not the position you sleep in influences this waste removal is unclear but one study performed on rats suggests side-sleeping might clear brain waste more efficiently than other postures.
Though for most people it doesn’t really matter which side you sleep on, it does make a difference for women who are pregnant. For mothers-to-be, it’s best to sleep on the left as that maintains good circulation through the reproductive systems.