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We all have a favourite sleep position, the one we happily settle into at the end of a long day, without thinking about it.
So, as you turn off the lights and get ready to snooze, are you on your back, side or stomach? And does it really matter?
We all know that sleep is vital to our health. We need good shuteye for our bodies to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and the release of hormones regulating growth and appetite. Common knowledge, right?
However, what does your slumber pose have to do with all of this? Well, turns out, a lot. There’s more to it than laying down and catching some Zzz’s. Think about it: we spend roughly a third of our lives asleep, so it makes sense that the position that we spend that amount of time in, will have a profound effect on our bodies.
If you’re experiencing restless nights or pain during the day, your solution could be as simple as changing the position in which you sleep.
Wondering which position is best?
Here’s the rundown:
- The fetal position is the most popular position with 41% of adults choosing it. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it has loads of benefits. Not only is it great for lower back pain or pregnancy, but sleeping in the fetal position will help to reduce snoring because it keeps the airways open. The downside? If you have issues with joint pain or stiffness, sleeping in a tight fetal position might leave you sore in the morning, particularly if you have arthritis in your joints or back.
- Sleeping on your side can help to reduce snoring, is great for digestion and may even reduce heartburn. But it can cause stiffness in the shoulder and contribute to premature wrinkles.
- Sleeping on your back. This is not only the most unpopular position (only 8% of adults sleep on their backs) but it is by far the healthiest position for most people. It’s the position that requires the least re-adjusting throughout the night, which is likely why sleeping on your back tend to lead to more refreshing sleep. It allows your head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. Facing the ceiling is also ideal for warding off acid reflux. The negatives? Snoozing on your back will make snoring more severe and is dangerous for those suffering from sleep apnea.
- Sleeping on your stomach is good for easing snoring but it’s bad for everything else. The 17% of adults that pick this pose will most likely experience back and neck pain, since it’s hard to keep your spine in a neutral position. Plus, tummy sleepers put pressure on their muscles and joints; possibly leading to numbness, tingling, aches, and irritated nerves.
Optimize your quality of sleep by looking at your sleeping position. Make sure that your sleeping pose leaves you feeling your best the next day.
Source: thesleepdoctor.com, nytimes.com, webmd.com, goalcast.com, healthline.com, onhealth.com, coloradopaincare.com, sleep.org
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.