It’s no surprise that a good night’s sleep is important for us. In fact, getting quality sleep is crucial for maintaining physical and mental well-being. A restless night can lead to a pretty bad day. When it comes to determining what may be causing your restlessness at night, there is one important factor that is rarely considered, and can sometimes be out of your control: your sleep position.
Why Is My Sleeping Position Important?
Your sleep position is actually very important. It has actually been linked to many health problems, including acid reflux, lower back pain, and other issues. It could cause snoring, as well. Understandably, people naturally curl up in their most comfortable positions, adjusting to what helps them breathe easier. Side sleeping is the preferred sleeping position for Americans, according to WebMD,
Different Sleeping Positions
It can be difficult to keep track of your sleeping positions each night. However, taking note of your body’s resting positions both before you fall asleep and upon waking up can help you determine what health implications may be connected to your preferred sleeping positions, if any. Look at the following positions and learn how your sleeping postures may be affecting your health.
Lying on your back with your arms along your sides and using less pillows is actually recommended as the best position for spine and neck health. Sleeping on your back, according to Medical Daily, allows your neck, head, and spine to stay in a comfortable, neutral position.
Sleeping on your back with your arms up and out is known as the “starfish position”. This position is also good for your back. Plus, it’s even believed to prevent skin problems such as wrinkles and breakouts. However, Daily Health Post points out that those who sleep on their backs report more snoring, and often suffer from sleep apnea more than those who sleep in any other position.
Face Down Sleepers
According to the Cleveland Clinic, sleeping face down, on your stomach is widely considered by physicians to be the worst sleep position. It just doesn’t support the natural curve of the spine. Stomach-sleeping does have it’s benefits for those who snore. However, keeping your head to one side for extended periods of time can lead to headaches and neck pain.
According to Medical Daily, sleeping on your side, with both arms down, can reduce back and neck pain, as well as alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. However, if you sleep in this position with your arms out, it can restrict blood flow, put pressure on the nerves and lead to arm and shoulder pain or tingling.
Which side you choose to sleep on also makes a big difference in sleep quality. Studies have shown that lying on the right side of your body can worsen things like heartburn, while lying on the left side of your body can put strain on internal organs.
Fetal Position Sleepers
Sleeping in the fetal position is not recommended and should be avoided, if possible. When you lie in the fetal position, your knees are drawn up and chin tilted downward. While it may be comfortable, it can result in back and neck pain, and the extreme curve of the body is known to restrict breathing. It’s a good idea to have your shoulders and neck aligned while sleeping, instead of curling up.
Sleep Is Important!
Remember, your mattress is also important in sleep posture and the quality of. For example, stomach-sleepers may want a firmer mattress; having a worn-out bed that sags in the middle can make a bad sleep position worse, causing back pain. People are able to sleep better when they are in positions that allow their bodies to rest comfortably, without constricting or twisting limbs. Almost one-third of our lives are spent sleeping, so it should not be a surprise that sleep can be a huge factor in your overall physical and mental health.