Sleep is an important part of your health. While we know that sleep itself is necessary, your sleeping position is important as well. Many people don’t think about what position they sleep in; the goal is usually to comfort. Does your sleeping position affect your health? The answer is yes, and in many ways that are more important than you may think.
Most of us know that quality sleep is a necessary factor in good health. There are a few questions you should be asking about your sleep. Among them is how does your sleeping position affect your health? There are many ways your position will affect your health, some of which you will feel right away when you wake in the morning. Neck and back pain are among the two most common injuries that occur when we sleep and that is due to a bad position or sleeping on them wrong. But there are other ways sleeping position affects your health and some of them could be surprising to you.
Sleeping on your back could be one of the best sleeping positions as it gives you the most uninterrupted sleep throughout the night. With you on your back, weight is distributed more evenly, so no single part of your body is uncomfortable. People with arthritis also find it easier to sleep on their backs, along with those who experience acid reflux at night or GERD. Sleeping on your back will also help keep your facial skin looking great as it doesn’t crunch up your face for hours at a time as you sleep.
Sleeping on your side is one of the more popular ways to sleep. People who snore or have sleep apnea usually find that sleeping on their sides reduces symptoms making for better rest for them and anyone else who sleeps in the same room or house. If you sleep on your side, you can also reduce back pain (assuming you have the right pillow for adequate support). It also helps our brains clear out toxic proteins as we sleep. If our brains get that kind of help, it could reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia. If choosing a side to sleep on, the left side is healthier. In fact, some doctors recommend sleeping on the left side for pregnant women to help blood flow to the placenta and help with digestion. Sleeping on your right side could reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
The fetal position is more than likely the most popular position to sleep. Unfortunately, it is also the most unhealthy position to sleep in. While it is comfortable and does have similar benefits to side sleeping, it can also restrict your diaphragm. If your diaphragm is restricted you will not breathe properly. The restricted diaphragm is a result of pulling yourself tighter into a fetal position as you sleep. If you simply can’t get comfortable in any other position, it is advised to use a body pillow, place the top under your head and the middle between your knees. This will help ensure you don’t tighten too much, causing a restricted diaphragm.
Sleeping on your stomach isn’t very common. In fact, it is believed that only 7 percent of sleepers choose this position. Stomach sleeping is the absolute worst sleeping position you could choose to sleep in. This position strains your back and your neck, causing a bend in your spine that can cause pain or future problems. Your face will also show more wrinkles and signs of aging due to your face being smashed into the pillow.