Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORK-LIFE BALANCE / MAY. 22, 2015
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Which Position is the Best to Sleep in For Your Health?

Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt more tired than before? Have you experienced neck pains or any aches on your back while positioning yourself awkwardly in bed? Not only is this feeling awful, but it also has many negative effects on your behaviour and work. Luckily for you there is an answer that explains why you are going through this pain. It is simply the way you sleep.  

While it’s not always easy to determine which position you feel most comfortable with in your sleep it is important to do so. Since your posture has a huge impact on your health, it’s vital to ensure that you are always on top of your game and that you are making the most of your sleep.  

Bad sleep positions can influence the quality of your sleep and cause partial or total sleep deprivation. As an immediate effect, you may get any of these symptoms:

  • Headaches.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Poor vision.
  • Weight gain.

Finding out what are considered to be the good or bad positions to sleep in can indeed improve your overall wellbeing. In fact, several studies have also shown that changes in the way you sleep can have profound benefits on your mood and the way you learn.

See Also: What Makes Sleep The Secret to Beauty?

So let’s find out which are the best sleeping positions for better health:

1. Left/Right - Sleeping on your side

Sleeping on your side can take the strain off your back that releases you from back pain and helps you support your neck. Not only that – left side sleeping eases heartburn and acid reflux, so if you are suffering from these, side sleeping makes it easier for you to relax and get a good night’s sleep. Also, since pregnant women can’t sleep on their stomach and back sleeping is not recommended, sleeping on their side is ideal and improves blood circulation to the heart that is beneficial to her and the baby.

On the downside, sleeping on your side can put pressure on your stomach and lungs. Also, in the morning it may leave your arms feeling numb affecting your muscles and nerves. What can improve this posture is bending your legs and putting a pillow between your knees so that your whole body is in a straight line.


 

2. Supine - Sleeping on your back

sleeping on back
iStock

Most doctors suggest that sleeping on your back is best. This is because back sleeping is good for your spine and neck. It helps you keep your back straight and allows your neck to rest in a neutral position preventing any injuries during your sleep. By sleeping on your back, you also avoid facial wrinkles that can be caused by pressing your face against a pillow every night.

On the other hand, as a back sleeper you may have a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea, and you are more prone to snoring. Sleep apnea refers to irregular pauses in breathing during sleep that may lead to snoring. This occurs when your tongue gets in the way and interrupts the airflow every time you breathe in. If you are already suffering from sleep apnea, you should avoid this position and instead roll onto your side.

3. Prone - Sleeping on your stomach

sleeping-stomach

To understand how bad sleeping on your stomach really is, turn your head to the side and leave it there for 20 minutes while you are awake. This will help you realise how uncomfortable it is for your neck to be lying there with your head crooked in an unnatural rotation for 8 hours!

Although this position may be beneficial for regular snorers, it is not recommended because it puts pressure on your muscles and flattens the natural curve of your spine which can give you terrible back pains. If you find sleeping on your stomach most comfortable, at least get a thin pillow to put your head on or don’t use one at all. Alternatively put a pillow under your hips to get a more natural spine curve.

4. Fetal Position

This is the most popular sleep position amongst sleepers although it is not ideal. The fetal position that describes the curling of your body should be avoided especially if you are suffering from arthritis pain in your back and joints. Doctors even say that fetal position is not a very good idea as it can cause serious damage to your neck and spine. While it may be comfortable for a short time, after a while, you will begin to feel back pain that will continue until morning.

As it turns out sleeping on your back is the best sleep position and sleeping on your side is the second best. If you are not used to these two sleeping patterns, experiment with them and see which one is the most comfortable for you. After a few days, you will know which one is the best fit as you will feel the most rested in the morning.

See Also: How Sleepiness May Harm Your Career

So, which sleep position suits you the best? Please let us know in the comments section below.

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