What is the best sleeping position? That’s not an easy one to pin down; its all up to you. Before we get to that, there are few rules that ensure a good night sleep: leave your phone out of the bedroom, keep your sheets clean, go to bed early, get about eight hours sleep, you name it; and you can still experience aches all over after waking up. The one important thing you’re not doing right? Your sleeping position.
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What’s The Best Sleeping Position?
We’ve all been there. That awkward moment when you get out of bed in the morning feeling achy all over; maybe your sleeping position wasn’t the right one. Like we said earlier, “its all up to you,” right? Resting in the wrong position can cause: all sorts of aches, fatigue, sleep apnea, muscle cramping, impaired circulation, headaches, heartburn, tummy troubles, and even premature wrinkles. Like seriously?
According to sleep experts, sleeping on your back is the best sleeping position. Essentially, this is a neutral position, which is good for relieving aches you may endure during the day. This is because, your head is more raised up than the rest of your body; people who regularly sleep on their back are less likely to experience heartburn. (Although, sleeping on your back can make you snore. You’ve been warned).
However, only about eight percent of people naturally sleep on their back; other positions are more likely to cause unwanted side effects. For instance, sleeping on your right side, allegedly, has been known to trigger heartburn — muscles in your esophagus are loosened in this position, making it easier for enzymes in your stomach to leak into your throat.
Putting Your Back In Bed
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping on either your right or left side can cause shoulder and waist pain. And if you’re all set to sleeping on your sides, place you head on a neck-supporting pillow that’s thick enough to take the pressure off your shoulders. Whereas, stuffing a pillow between your knees could also prevent lower back ache, too. Shelby Harris, a sleep medicine expert and a professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, told Popular Science.
Counterintuitively, the worst position of all is sleeping on your belly. Yes! Only seven percent of people sleep like this. This position puts pressure on your entire body which increases your likelihood of getting up with numbness and achy joints. If you’re a belly sleeper, Harris recommends that you use a flatter pillow to reduce the strain on your neck, and don’t sleep face down. But if you ever belly sleep face down, put a pillow under your forehead.
How Do I Become A Back Sleeper?
According to Harris, you can really train yourself to be a regular back sleeper. She recommends surrounding yourself with pillows: put one or two on each side and one beneath your knees. This would prevent you from rolling out of position during the night; and for extreme measures, Harris says you can sew two halves of a tennis ball to each side of your pajamas — like what? — to prevent you from getting comfortable on either side, even when you’re dead asleep. Aforementioned, its all up to you to decide.
“Although it is commonly recommended that sleeping on your back is the best position to sleep in, comfort is key,” Harris says. “If you’re in pain or uncomfortable from your sleep position, it can definitely impact your sleep quality.”
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, May 13, 2019.