Is Your Sleep Position Impacting Your Quality of Sleep?
We know that good sleep is important for a healthy lifestyle and that a night spent tossing and turning can lead to a terrible day. However, we often overlook a crucial factor when considering sleep quality, one that comes so naturally to us we can’t always control it: sleep position.
Sleeping in the wrong position has been linked to a host of health problems, which include snoring, acid reflux, lower back pain, and even wrinkles. Understandably, people naturally gravitate toward positions that make them feel best when sleeping and allow for easier breathing.
Although it may be difficult to record your sleep posture each night, paying attention to your body’s resting position before you fall asleep and when you wake will help pinpoint specific health implications associated with your nighttime posture. Find your preferred position listed below to read more about how specific sleep postures can affect your health:
How Your Sleep Position Can Impact Your Sleep Quality
Sleeping on Your Back
According to Medical Daily, sleeping on the back makes it easier for your head, neck, and spine to align in a neutral position. In fact, sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides is considered the best position for spine and neck health as long as you don’t use too many pillows.
The “starfish” position – sleeping on your back with your arms up and out – is also good for your back and has been linked to the prevention of facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. Daily Health Post, however, points out that back sleepers often suffer from sleep apnea and report snoring more than those who sleep in any other position.
Sleeping Face Down
Sleeping on your stomach is widely thought of as an ineffective sleep position by physicians, according to the Cleveland Clinic, as it does not support the natural curve of your spine. Though stomach-sleeping can be beneficial for those who snore, it may also lead to chronic aches as your head is kept to one side for long periods of time or lower back pain as most of your body weight rests in your core.
Sleeping on Your Side
With both arms down and your spine in its natural curve, sleeping on your side can reduce back and neck pain while also alleviating sleep apnea, according to Medical Daily’s breakdown of healthy sleep positions. When sleeping with your arms out in this position, however, sleeping on your side can restrict blood flow and put pressure on nerves which can cause arm or shoulder pain.
Although side-sleeping is common, the side you sleep on can actually make a difference. Research indicates that sleeping on the right side of your body can worsen heartburn while sleeping on the left side can put a strain on internal organs such as your liver, lungs, and stomach.
Sleeping in the fetal position, with your knees drawn up and chin tilted downward, may be comfortable while you sleep, but often results in chronic back and neck pain. The extreme curl of this position is known to restrict breathing and should be avoided. Ideally, you want your shoulders and neck to be aligned when sleeping, rather than curled up.
Regardless of how you choose to sleep, keep in mind that your mattress plays a key role in sleep posture and how well you sleep each night. For example, if you prefer sleeping on your stomach, having an old, worn-out bed that sags in the middle may restrict your sleep posture and hurt your back. Research shows that people sleep better in positions that allow their bodies to rest without constricting limbs or causing them to twist into unnatural positions.
With nearly one-third of our lives spent asleep, it should come as no surprise that getting a good night’s rest is essential for our health, mind, and mood. So, it’s time for you to make bedtime a priority! Head to a Mattress Firm location near you to find the bed of your dreams today or shop online at MattressFirm.com.