The Problem With These 5 Common Sleeping Positions

Getting a deep, restful sleep is extremely important for our overall health and wellbeing, especially as we spend around a third of our lives in bed! But when it comes to getting decent sleep, everyone has their favorite positions. From the side-sleepers and pillow huggers, to the feet-up-fetals and extreme fidgeters, we all fall into a sleep position category. But did you know that some are better for you than others? 

From backache to your digestive system, your sleeping position can affect you in more ways than one. So to find out the pros and cons that come with your go-to sleeping position, keep reading...

On Your Back

Pros

- Sleeping on your back helps your neck, head, and spine maintain a neutral position, providing the best alignment for your organs and skeletal system. Unless you suffer from snoring, sleeping on your back is considered the healthiest position. 

- It also helps prevent wrinkles and breakouts on your face that are caused by having your skin against your pillow. 

- Back-sleeping can fight acid reflux by elevating your head, keeping your esophagus above your stomach and stopping any unwanted digestive acids from creeping up your throat in the night.  

- Recommended by doctors as the best sleeping position.

Cons

- Sleeping on your back can exacerbate sleep apnea, and your breathing can become restricted when more weight in on your chest.

- It also promotes snoring as gravity forces the back of your tongue to collapse into your airway.

To make it easier

- Sleep with one puffy pillow to keep your neck and head supported. Propping yourself up with too many pillows can make breathing more difficult. 

- Place a pillow under the arch of your spine for added support.

On Your Side

Pros

- Sleeping on your left side is considered as one of the healthiest and most common ways to lay. Side sleeping alleviates acid reflux and heartburn, aids healthy digestion and stimulates the drainage of toxins from your lymph nodes to filter out waste. 

- Left-Side Sleepers also benefit from improved circulation as well as reduced snoring. 

- Sleeping on your side but flat out also helps to elongate your spine, avoiding backache and keeping your hips neutral.

Cons

- The pressure on one side of your face can cause wrinkles and breakouts on the left side quicker than the right side that's face-up. 

- Side sleepers often experience numbness and tingling in the arm, from resting on a single side for too long! It constricts neck and shoulder muscles, too, so not good if you have shoulder issues.

- Sleeping on your left side can put a strain on your stomach, lungs, and liver, but for pregnant women sleeping on their left side can improve circulation for both mom and baby.

To make it easier

- Get yourself a thick pillow to rest your head on.

- Place a pillow in-between your knees for added support.

Fetal Position

Pros

- The fetal position can help prevent snoring and is known as one of the most comforting ways to sleep.

- This position helps if you are suffering from menstral cramps as it generates heat in the lower abdomen. 

- Good for sleeping during pregnancy.

Cons

- Causes joint pain as you’re tucking your knees to your chest.

- Worsens arthritic pain.

- Restricts diaphragmatic breathing.

- Causes premature wrinkles.

To make it easier

- Sleeping straight, but on your side, is much better than curling up.

- Use a thick pillow for your head, and place one between your legs, too.

On Your Stomach

Pros

- Eases snoring and sleep apnea as it keeps your airways open.

- Can aid digestion if you have a bad stomach.

Cons

- Flattens your spine's natural curve, which can cause lower back pain.

- Puts pressure on joints and muscles.

- Irritates nerves, causing pain, numbness, and tingling.

- Strains your neck when you turn it from side to side .

To make it easier

- Use a thin pillow and place a pillow under your hips and lower abdomen.

Sitting Up

Pros

- Helps to breathe if you’re overweight or if you’re suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

- Alleviates allergies by draining your nose and throat of congestion.

- Prevents snoring.

Cons

- Can lead to deep vein thrombosis if your limbs are bent for several hours.

- Causes neck strain.

To make it easier

- The only time you need to sit this way is if you’re traveling. Recline your seat and try to get as comfortable as you can.


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