The 3 Most Common Sleeping Positions and How They Affect Your Health

  • Sleep position is a matter of preference but it surely has an impact on your health.
  • Sleeping on your left side provides a lot of health benefits, including better digestion while sleeping on your back helps your spine stay aligned.
  • Sleeping on your stomach is highly discouraged because it hurts your back and neck and causes a pronounced curve in your spine.

Our sleep position affects our overall health, from the brain to the gut. While getting enough sleep is essential for good health, sleeping in the best position is as crucial in keeping your gut health excellent. 

Sleeping on your left side

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Most medical experts recommend sleeping on your left side for better health. Resting on your left side has been found to prevent heartburn and encourage better waste processing. 

Side sleeping benefits

  • Encourages better digestion
  • Reduces heartburn
  • Boosts brain health
  • Prevents snoring or sleep apnea

Side sleeping disadvantages

  • Shoulder pain
  • Jaw discomfort

Directions for side sleeping

  1. Use a pillow that fits the structure of your collarbone
  2. Place a firm pillow between your knees to stack your hips and support your lower back.
  3. Hug a pillow, so your top arm has a comfortable place to rest.
  4. Keep your arms parallel to each other and at or below your face.

Sleeping on your back

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Sleeping on your back keeps the spine aligned. It also helps take the pressure off the shoulder or jaw and lessen tension headaches that arise from those areas. It also reduces compression and pain from old injuries and other conditions, thus decreasing your overall discomfort. 

Back sleeping benefits

Sleeping on your back helps prevent pain from improper sleeping posture, including: 

  • hip pain
  • knee pain
  • arthritis
  • bursitis
  • fibromyalgia
  • stuffy nose or sinus buildup

Directions for sleeping on your back

  1. Tuck a pillow under your knees to support your spine. 
  2. Spread out your legs and arms to evenly distribute your weight and prevent putting pressure on your joints. 
  3. Use a head pillow that can support your neck’s natural curve and your spine’s alignment. 
  4. If you suffer from heartburn, use a wedge pillow for your head or use a bed riser to elevate your bed’s head. The elevation can also help you sleep better when you have a stuffy nose, and ease facial pressure and headaches.

Sleeping on your stomach

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Stomach sleeping is highly discouraged by medical experts because it strains your spine as your core pushes into the bed. It also causes back and neck pain. 

Stomach sleeping benefits 

The only benefit of sleeping on your stomach is that it helps keep your airways open if you snore or have sleep apnea. However, sleeping on your side is still recommended. 

Directions for sleeping on your stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is highly discouraged, but if you find it hard to quit the habit, try doing these tips:

  • Turn your head now and then often to prevent neck stiffness.
  • Don’t sleep on your stomach with your legs hitched up to one side with a bent knee to avoid back pain.
  • Don’t tuck your arms underneath your head and pillow to prevent arms numbness and pressure on your shoulder joints.
  • Spread out your arms. 

Source: Healthline

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