Health is important and sleeping well at least 8 hours a night is as healthy for you as eating your vegetables and exercising regularly. This because all kinds of great things happen while we are sleeping. Our brains file away important experiences into our long term memory banks and we produce growth hormone, no matter our age, which repairs any damaged tissues from the previous day. The way our bodies work is truly a blessing.
This blessing can turn into a curse if you don’t get the full recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. Your body doesn’t have the time to repair and your brain doesn’t go through the necessary reboots it needs. You find, if you are lacking in sleep, that you don’t function well as a whole. You may be irritable or sluggish or both.
The point is, sleep is important. So why aren’t you getting any? There are many reasons why a person might not be getting the sleep they need. You could be suffering from insomnia, which is an inability to fall asleep resulting in drowsiness during the day. Or, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, which is when a sleeper has one or more pauses in breath. Pain in your hips, shoulders, neck, or back can also disrupt a peaceful slumber.
Whatever you problem is, your sleep position might be hurting or helping you. Let’s go over the most common sleep positions and see which one best meets your needs.
Sleeping on your back is the rarest position of all with only 10% of people preferring it. This is not the ideal position for those suffering from sleep apnea and snoring can be a problem, although it can help with acid reflux. If you suffer from any of these ailments then sleeping on your back may not be the position for you.
Yet, if you can sleep on your back, this is the best way to support your spine. If you can do so without a pillow then your neck will be in its most natural position as well. If you are a fan of sleeping on your back then check out this review of mattresses made especially for back sleepers because if you want the best go straight to the source.
The Other Back
Besides sleeping on your back in the traditional, arms by your side, conventional way, some back sleepers like to sleep in what’s called the “starfish” position. This is when you are on your back but your arms are folded with your hands under your head and your legs are spread apart.
This position comes with the same problems and advantages as regular back sleepers. The mattresses suggested by the Sleep Judge would also work for people who like this position.
If you experience back pain while sleeping in this position then put a pillow under your knees. This should ease it while you sleep.
If you are a person who falls into this category then congratulations! You are in the majority. This is the position, on the left side to be exact, that doctors recommend for expectant mothers, which eases lower back pressure. Even if you aren’t a pregnant woman this position will aid with pressure on your lower back. It also eases acid reflux.
There are some downsides to this position though. It can make your arm numb during the night and your lungs and heart will have added pressure. If you use a pillow and your head is raised this can decrease blood flow and constrict the nerves. Also, this position can cause shoulder pain because of the excess weight pulling on one and pushing on the other.
If you put a pillow in between your legs you will ease the pressure on your hips. With the same idea in mind, hugging a pillow when you sleep on your side should help with shoulder issues.
People who sleep on their stomachs are not in the majority but this position can help greatly if you are a snorer or if you suffer from sleep apnea. Yet, as with the other positions listed here, there are negative aspects to sleeping on your stomach.
This position is actually considered the worst possible position for your slumber. Gravity pulls on your spine moving it out of its natural curvature. This can create lower back pain. When you sleep on your stomach you are also forced to turn your head in one direction or the other, which can cause pain for your neck as well.
If you must sleep in this position then try to retrain your body by adding pillows underneath you until you are comfortable on your side. You can also put a pillow underneath your pelvic area to help your lower back.
There are only three possible positions for us to sleep, and each one comes with pros and cons. Of course, you should listen to your body and do what is best for it in every aspect of your life, not just when you sleep. If your position is causing you pain you may want to train your preference in a new direction. No matter what, get the sleep you need so you can take on your next blessed day.