An average human spends a third of their life sleeping. This natural process of resting not only contributes to your overall lifestyle but it has a significant role in your well-being.
Did you know that you could get much more out of your usual sleep pattern by just taking control of your sleeping position? Sleeping positions affect your body in many ways; the right position could leave you feeling energized in the morning while the wrong one could cause your body to ache all day long.
Here we have accumulated information about the best sleeping positions that are backed by science.
Contents & Quick Navigation
- Sleeping on Your Side
- Sleeping on Your Stomach
- Sleeping on Your Back
- The Reason Why a Good Sleep at Night is So Essential
- Sleeping Positions for Couples
- Health Issues and Sleeping Positions
- Final Thoughts
Sleeping on Your Side
Did you know that side sleeping is the most common form of sleeping? However, there are a few variations in this form and how they affect your sleep.
Sleeping on your Left
You could be sleeping on your left or right side but there’s a difference between the two. It is advised that sleeping on your left side is better for your health than sleeping on your right side.
Sleeping on your left side will help you prevent acid reflux issues, promote better blood flow to your organs, as well as help with snoring and digestion. But side sleeping is not the perfect way to sleep because it could leave you with facial wrinkles in the morning.
What’s more, you wake up with numb arms, or pain in your shoulders and hips, all due to not aligning your spine the right way.
Sleeping Like an Unborn Child
Another sleeping position that falls into the category of side sleeping in the fetal position which is more popular with women. The fetal position represents the comfort of being inside your mother’s womb.
The fetal position is not bad as long as you do it right and we’ll come to that soon on what you could do about it.
So should you keep sleeping on your side despite the cons? Of course, just make sure you take extra precautions to reduce any aches or pains.
Advice & Precautions
The first thing you should do is get a mattress that embraces and supports the natural curve of your body. This is so that whenever you lie on your side, the mattress spreads out your weight and takes the pressure off your joints.
Place a soft cushion beneath your neck to align your head with your spine. Rest your arm in a position so that blood circulation is not restricted to your limbs.
Important Read: Best Mattress Toppers for Side Sleepers – Reviews & Tips
Sleeping on Your Stomach
Let’s discuss the pros and cons of sleeping on your stomach.
Benefits of Sleeping on your Stomach
Even though it’s not highly recommended due to the pressure it puts on your back, spine, and neck, it still is a good option for people who face breathing issues. Individuals diagnosed with sleep apnea can benefit from sleeping on their stomachs as well.
As long as you feel comfortable falling asleep on your stomach, you could continue to do so.
Drawbacks of Sleeping on your Stomach
keep in mind that stomach sleepers usually have to deal with back pain, pressure on their joints, stiffness, and anxiety after waking up.
And sleeping on your stomach is not an option if you’re pregnant.
Advice & Precautions
There are certain things you could do to make sleeping on your stomach more comfortable, such as picking the right mattress, using proper pillows below your pelvis to support the curve of your back, or using a slim pillow below your head so that your neck is not placed in an unnatural position.
Sleeping on Your Back
Whenever we think about resting, sleeping on our backs should be the ideal position, but that’s not how it is. Only a few of us choose to sleep in a straight soldier or starfish position.
Well, here’s a fact: sleeping on your back is actually deemed to be the safest choice when it comes to sleeping positions.
Benefits of Sleeping on Your Back
When you sleep on your back, you prevent the risk of waking up with back or neck pain as your spinal cord is well-aligned. Basically, you will be resting your body in the right way possible, with no pressure on any parts of your body.
Back sleeping helps individuals with acid reflux while helping women keep wrinkles and saggy breasts at bay.
Drawbacks of Sleeping on your Back
All of these may sound promising but sleeping on your back could cause sleep apnea. And if you have got snoring issues, then be prepared for it to get worse when you lie on your back.
Advice & Precautions
If sleeping on your back is your thing then consider resting on a good pillow that puts your head in a position that allows you to breathe well and allow blood flow to your brain. Take aids for snoring issues or consider a mattress that supports your curve in the proper way to ensure you get a good night’s sleep.
The Reason Why a Good Sleep at Night is So Essential
We give little importance to our sleeping routine and care much more about whatever is happening around us. We tend to stay up late and wake up early, allowing much less time for our bodies to rest. Neglecting sleep means pushing your health to a dangerous zone.
Going to bed late may not seem like a big deal but you won’t wake up feeling energized and ready for the day no matter how much caffeine you consume.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and Stages of Sleep Cycle
REM is a stage of sleep that puts you into a deep slumber and you dream. This stage of the sleeping cycle is essential to achieve a good rest and feel more awake in the morning. If you are unable to complete a deep sleep cycle, you are likely to wake up with a headache and feel groggy.
Not only that, lack of proper rest could result in memory loss, increased risk of heart disease, early signs of aging, low sex drive and so on. Through sleeping, your body gets to repair itself and prepare you for the upcoming day.
Additional Read: Which Type of Mattress Topper is Perfect for your Health?
Sleeping Positions for Couples
Couples who sleep together will have a strong bond between them that aids their relationship in other aspects of life. Who knew that sleeping played such an important role even in your love life?
While lack of proper sleep could cause reduced sex drive and irritability with your partner, a good night’s sleep can work wonders for both. Let’s discuss some of the common couples sleeping positions and how it works.
1. To Tangle Up or Not
Tangling yourself with your partner is not only an intimate position to get rest at night, but it also represents the closeness you both share. This couple-sleeping position strengthens the emotional bond and makes you trust each other more.
Older couples tend to stay away from tangling and rather look for a little space and independence while they sleep. But there may still remain some form of physical contact with one another.
2. The Close and Far Spooning
Spooning is cute when you see it in movies or when the relationship is at a new phase. It not only offers emotional comfort while slumbering but creates a sweet bond between the two individuals.
The later one, loose spooning, is for couples who still remain in contact but want a bit more space to stretch out or toss and turn at night.
3. Nuzzling or Embracing your Legs
We often see women nuzzle against their partner and the act can be described as resting on your partner’s shoulders while embracing the legs. This form of sleeping could be put into the side-sleeping category as it may be comfortable for the one who nuzzles but the other person may have to take the pressure and not sleep comfortably.
The alternate to nuzzling is embracing the legs with one another while the upper part of the body remains free from contact. This way, it is easier for both of the partners to achieve a good night’s sleep while remaining in touch.
Important Read: Best Latex Mattress Toppers – Buyer’s Guide & Reviews
Health Issues and Sleeping Positions
We have discussed certain health issues earlier in this post but let’s get more specific and remember what works the best for each health condition.
1. Back Pain
Back pain is a common scenario among the young and the old, all due to the misalignment of the spinal cord and putting extra pressure on your back. Whatever the reason, experiencing back pain is inevitable and sleeping in this state is even more painful.
With back pain, you could try sleeping on your side with a pillow between your legs to support your weight evenly. Sleeping on your back works too but don’t forget to insert a pillow beneath your knees to give your spine the support it requires.
2. Shoulder Pain
Forget about sleeping on your sides if you have got shoulder pain; it only increases the pain and pressure on your shoulder.
Embracing a big pillow while you rest could help your shoulders relax and let your body get better support. Opt for sleeping on your stomach or on your back will help you keep your shoulders free from pressure.
3. Neck Pain
For neck pain, avoid sleeping on your stomach. Use a flexible soft pillow to place below your neck for support no matter which position you prefer!
If soft cushions don’t work, switch to specific neck-pillows usually available for travel purpose that supports your neck well.
4. Indigestion and Acid Reflux Issues
If you have been facing digestion troubles then it’s time to sleep on your left side. According to our body structure, the digestive system works better when we sleep on our left side, with an easy flow of digestion juices to break down the food we consume.
To stop your stomach acids from getting into your throat and causing heartburn, stick with sleeping on your left side as it keeps these troubles at bay. Elevating your upper body while sleeping on your back helps as well but may cause pain and pressure to other parts of your body.
5. How to Sleep During Pregnancy
During the critical time of pregnancy, resting is the most essential part of the process. A good night’s sleep will keep both the mother and the growing fetus in good health. And to ensure that, achieving a comfortable sleeping position is very important.
For some extra comfort, you can get some cozy pregnancy pillows available in the market.
Pregnant mothers are advised to sleep on their sides as blood circulation is well-maintained in this position. The key is to use lots of pillows of all sizes and shapes to support the joints. Place some pillows between your legs, another one beneath the bulging tummy and some smaller ones to support sagging breasts.
6. Regular Periods Cramps
Women tend to sleep in a fetal position during period cramps to feel better but the position adds more pressure to the uterus and thus does not help with the pain.
Sleeping on your back with support below your knees will aid you from the intense lower back pain and also relieve the pressure from your body.
7. How to Sleep When You Snore
Snoring occurs when air movement is obstructed while you breathe.
To allow your respiratory to work well, sleeping on your stomach or your side will help. Be sure to use sufficient pillows to support the natural curve and maintain the alignment of your body. With a better sleeping posture, you could get rid of this annoying breathing issue at night and get proper sleep.
Additional Read: Best Mattress Topper for Back Pain – Reviews and Buying Guides
Sleeping – a simple and compulsory activity of everyone’s lives contributes to so many health factors and it’s not something to be taken lightly. Most people are combination sleepers who change positions a few times throughout the night.
However, you don’t have to give up and switch to a new sleeping position as long as you don’t have a health condition that requires attention. We hope our guide helped you with any questions you may have had.