Choosing The Right Sleep Position
We spend a third of our lives sleeping, yet it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. A good night’s rest is essential for the mind and body, and sleep troubles can cause an array of health conditions, ranging from obesity to dementia. Sleep positions determine sleep quality and are responsible for snoring, wrinkles and fine lines, health conditions and sleep disorders.
We always sleep in the position we find most comfortable, but for your health, try experimenting with the each of the following positions for a few nights and see which one is the best fit for you.
On Your Back
Most medical professionals will agree that sleeping on your back is the best position for spine and neck health. The mattress supports the spine, and your back isn’t contorted for many hours at a stretch. Without a pillow, this pose would leave the neck in a neutral position. Using too many pillows can make it harder for you to breathe.
Sleeping on your back also helps prevent fine lines and wrinkle formation. Cloth fibres pressing against facial skin accelerate the appearance of wrinkles, so sleeping all night with your face out in the air helps prevent it.
On Your Side
Side sleeping is the most common sleep position. Sleeping on the left side during pregnancy is encouraged because it improves blood circulation to the heart, and benefits both the mother and the child. Sleeping on the left side is also recommened to alleviate heartburn and acid reflux.
The problem with sleeping on your side is that it increases pressure on your stomach and lungs. It also causes numbness in the arm as it restricts blood flow, and may cause harm to the muscles and nerves. Sleeping on your side causes your shoulder to support a lot of your body weight, which can compress your neck and shoulder muscles. The effect of gravity could even lead to saggy breasts.
On Your Stomach
This position is widely believed to be the worst sleeping position. The only benefit of sleeping on your stomach is that it reduces snoring and eases some cases of sleep apnoea. This position causes overarching and back pain because sleeping on your stomach leaves the natural curve of your spine unsupported. Sleeping all night with your head turned to one side strains your neck. Pressing your face against the sheets or pillow all night causes wrinkles and skin breakouts.
The foetal position is the most comforting, but it is also the second worst sleeping position. It results in neck and back pain, wrinkles, and saggy breasts. The extreme curl of the foetal position may also inhibit deep breathing. Sleeping in this position also strains your back and joints, especially when your knees and chin are pushed against your chest.