Best Sleep Positions for Optimal Rest

How you sleep can have a significant impact on your overall health. Poor sleeping posture is known to cause back pain, cramping, fatigue, impaired circulation, and more. Are you having problems sleeping? There is more to sleep than just laying down and going to the dream world. Sleeping positions play an integral part in having a quality sleep. If you experience any of the effects listed above, now is the best time for you to switch how you sleep.

Different sleep positions will have various benefits. For those who are struggling with pain, you need to switch up your sleeping position. Changing positions will help manage pain and is worth trying out. You should take time to gradually train your body to sleep in different positions. The secret to improving sleep quality is having enough sleep with comfortable sleeping positions. Modifying your sleeping position will also help and ensure you get the most out of the much-needed rest.

Sleeping on your back

Sleeping on your back is not the most popular position and only seven percent of people sleep on their backs. It is still the best sleeping position and by far the healthiest. Sleeping on your back allows your head, neck, and spine to rest comfortably, all in a neutral position. When sleeping on your back, there’s no extra pressure exalted on the head, neck, and spine. An excellent way to ensure you sleep better on your back is to use a pillow that elevates your head. Make sure your stomach is always below your esophagus.

An advantage of sleeping on your back is it uses gravity to keep your body in alignment over your spine. It will help reduce unnecessary pressure on your back and joints. A pillow behind your knees helps in supporting the natural curve of the back. It also helps to keep your skin looking fresh as it protects skin from gravity or pillow induced wrinkles. Sleeping on your back can be difficult for people who struggle with sleep apnea or snoring. It is also not recommended for people struggling with back pain.

On your side

With this position, your torso and legs are relatively straight. Sleeping on your side helps to reduce acid reflux and wards off back and neck pain. By sleeping on your side, you ensure your spine is elongated, hence, no back and neck pain. Sleeping on your side is best recommended for people struggling with sleep apnea. Although most adults choose to sleep in this position, what they might not know is that it is best to sleep on the left-hand side.

Sleeping on the right-hand side increases rates of heartburn and acid reflux. It also comes with a disadvantage as it causes stiffness in your shoulders. Sleeping on your side can also lead to jaw tightness on the side you sleep on. Research also suggests sleeping on your side can cause wrinkling. Why? Half of your face is against the pillow, which leads to wrinkles. To minimize any unwanted effects of sleeping on your side, ensure you also have the best mattress for side-sleepers.

Fetal position

Nearly 40% of adults sleep in this position. The fetal position is the most popular sleeping position. In this position, you lie on your side with your torso hunched and your knees bent. The fetal position is excellent for pregnant women since it dramatically improves the circulation in your body and fetus. Fetal position is also known to prevent the uterus from pressing against your liver, which is on your right-hand side. For people who snore, this pose is also highly recommended.

As with any sleeping position, there is a downside with the fetal position. Resting in a fetal position and being curled up tightly may restrict breathing. It will leave most people a bit sore in the morning, especially with people who are suffering from arthritis. You can prevent these problems by straightening your body as much as you can. Make sure to reduce the strain on your hips by placing a pillow between your knees.

Sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping on your stomach eases snoring. This is probably the least favorite sleeping position as it doesn’t offer any benefits. Sleeping on your stomach can cause both back and neck pain. It is also known to add unnecessary strain to joints and muscles. And this is a reason why most people who sleep in this position wake up feeling sore and tired. To reduce back pain, you can place a pillow under your lower belly.

With this position, your neck and spine are not in a neutral position. Sleeping on your stomach puts pressure on the nerves and causes nerve pain, numbness, and tingling. It is recommended you choose another sleeping position if you are a stomach sleeper. Breaking the habit can be achieved by propping your forehead up on a pillow. By doing this, your head and spine remain neutral, leaving you ample room to breathe.

Other sleeping positions include:

The soldier position

In this position, the sleeper lies on their backs while their arms are down and close to the body. This position is a poor choice for people who snore and may prevent users from having a restful sleep.

Starfish position

With the starfish position, people sleep on their backs with their arms up over their heads. People who use the starfish position are prone to snoring and sleeping problems.

The log position

In this position, people sleep on their sides with their arms down next to their bodies. It is a good position for people who snore but not recommended for people with arthritis.

Yearner position

The yearner position involves sleeping on one side with your arms outstretched in front of the body. This is a good position for people with sleeping problems. It is not recommended for people with arthritis as it causes back pain.

Spooning position

Spooning is a side sleeping position best suited for couples. The person in the back holds the one in front close to their body. Most couples will wake up more frequently sleeping this way, which is one of its disadvantages. You are more likely to be jostled by your partner and wake up tired. However, spooning allows couples to cuddle, which helps to decrease stress.

Is your mattress comfortable?

When it comes to the firmness of a mattress, go for one that is firm and that will support your spine. Shopping for a mattress requires you to go to a store that allows you to rest on it before buying.

All in all, the best sleeping position is the one that leaves you feeling refreshed the next day.

Resources— Sleep org, Greatist, Onhealth, Medical news today,

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