What are the best sleep positions?
What are the best sleep positions? Well, there is no definitive answer to that question. Getting comfortable is pretty much all that goes through your mind when settling down in bed. Some of us prefer certain positions over others for certain reasons but these positions may not always be the best for us. A sleeping position that does not suit your body could play a big role in how you feel and function during the day.
What the incorrect sleeping position does
There is some research that shows that sleeping in the incorrect position can cause some negative issues. These can be any, or a combination of the following.
- Aggravated neck or back pain
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
- Acid reflux
- Cardiovascular disease
- Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s
There are a number of issues that can be attributed to the incorrect sleeping position so let’s have a look at what the common positions are and how they affect you.
Typical sleep positions and their influence on your body
Stomach sleepers – Also known as the prone position. While this position could help reduce snoring, it is not considered to be the best for your spine or neck. This position is also contributing to numbness, pins and needles as well as nerve pain. If you have trouble getting out of this sleep position, make sure you have a pillow that will keep your head at a neutral level with your spine.
Sleeping on your back – This position has both its advantages and disadvantages. The negatives related to this position may include lower back pain and aggravated apnoea or snoring. On the plus side, it does give your spine a neutral position and is less likely to cause neck pain. Provided the pillow is of correct height. This position should be avoided by woman in the late stages of pregnancy. If you suffer from heartburn this position could help, use a pillow that just slightly elevates the head.
Side sleepers – The most favoured sleep position by far, it is also known as the lateral sleep position. This sleep position is not considered the best for snorers and may aggravate the condition. It is also not the best choice for arthritis sufferers as the pressure points from your mattress will create sore joints in the night. It also, in my case, causes dead fingers and arms. This position could also restrict diaphragm movement if you tend to curl up in a ball during the night. This position does tend to squash your face though and may be the cause on onset for wrinkling. The side sleep is considered great for pregnant woman as it reputedly aids in circulation.
We are all creatures of habit, good and bad so it may be that your sleep position is a difficult habit to break. If that is the case and your still have some sleep issues it may be your mattress or sleep environment. These issues need not keep you tossing and turning in the evenings. It could mean that you simply need a new mattress or that you need to asses your sleep environment.