What are the odds that your sleeping position is harming you? If you experience back and neck pain, fatigue, sleep apnea, muscle cramping, impaired circulation, headaches, heartburn, tummy troubles and premature wrinkles, then this could be the answer. Having the wrong sleeping position can play a huge part in causing any of these side effects.
Therefore, you need to know the pros and cons of each of the four common sleeping positions. The major default of the cons occurs if you are sleep deprived. You can’t possibly have a good and productive day if you didn’t get the required hours of sleep.
Hence, while you need to do something when sleep eludes you, you can also avoid it. You can do this by identifying your sleep position and attributing it to whatever side-effects you get. Once you identify the side-effects, you can help control any possibility of obesity, heart disease and infections.
So, to avoid these, know your sleeping position. Also, determine if it works for you and what you should actually choose.
Pros and cons of common sleeping positions
On your back
This is the sleeping beauty position and the best way to sleep. Eight per cent of people sleep on their backs.
According to NSF,
“By far the healthiest option for most people, sleeping on your back allows your head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. This means that there’s no extra pressure on those areas, so you’re less likely to experience pain. Sleeping facing the ceiling is also ideal for warding off acid reflux.”
- Without a pillow, food or acid may find their way up your digestive tract. This is possible as long as your stomach isn’t lower than your oesophagus.
- If you have sleep apnea, sleeping on the back may cause the tongue to block the breathing tube.
- It makes snoring more severe.
Fetal sleeping position
This is when you sleep like a baby in the womb and is one of the commonly applied positions. It occurs when you sleep on your side, loosely curled. 41 per cent of adult sleeps this way. In this position, try to loosen up your curl. Also, you can place a pillow between your knees to reduce the pressure on your hip joint.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, it improves circulation in your body and in the fetus. It also prevents your uterus from pressing against your liver, which is on your right. Another advantage is that you don’t snore in this position. Most pregnant women sleep this way.
- If curled up too tightly, it can restrict breathing in your diaphragm.
- It can make you feel sore in the morning, especially if you have arthritis.
Sleeping on your stomach
Just as the name says, you lie with your stomach down on the bed. Seven per cent of people sleep this way. The best way to sleep in this position to avoid the cons is to sleep with the face down. Prop your forehead up on a pillow so you don’t suffocate.
- It helps reduce snoring.
- Back and neck pain, since it’s hard to keep your spine in a neutral position.
- Numbness, tingling, aches and irritated nerves from pressure on your muscles and joints.
Side sleeping position
This is just like the fetus, but the difference is that you’re not curled up. 15 per cent of people sleep in this manner.
- Reduction of acid reflux.
- It elongates the spine and helps ease back and neck pain.
- It helps reduce snoring.
- Reduces sleep apnea
- With one side of the face pressed against the pillow, it can lead to wrinkles. This is because the side of your face is pressed to a pillow.
- It can cause breakouts if your bed linens aren’t clean.
If you belong in the category of ‘all the above,’ then a special name needs to be formed for you. However, you should try and stick to the back position as it’s the most healthy of them all. Whichever you choose, take note of the cons as well as the pros. We wish you a restful night and a less sleep deprived one at that.