Are you a side sleeper? Back sleeper? Stomach with one leg at 90 degrees sleeper? There are as many positions to sleep in as there are ways for the human body to contort itself. But just because you can sleep in a certain position, it doesn't mean you should.
"...just because you can sleep in a certain position, it doesn't mean you should..."
In this article, we’re going to list some of the most common sleeping positions, plus their benefits and disadvantages. Hopefully you’ll be able to work out which position suits you best so that you can have the best sleep, for the best life.
Approximately 7% of people sleep on their stomachs. While it can sometimes alleviate snoring, stomach sleeping can aggravate other issues such as neck pain, back pain and nerve pressure. If this is your sleeping position, it’s probably best to change it.
Sleeping on your back can also have some advantages; since your spine is in a neutral position, it won’t aggravate neck pain and it can be helpful if you experience heartburn. However, it comes with a few costs. While neck pain is alleviated, back pain (particularly lower back) can become much worse. Snoring and sleep apnea are also worsened by back sleeping. This might be a good sleeping position for you if you have certain medical problems, but make sure you speak to your doctor first.
Fun Fact: 8% of people are back sleepers who sleep in the ‘soldier position’ (arms at their sides), and 5% sleep in the ‘starfish position’ (arms splayed above their heads).
Sleeping on the side is the most common and the most overall beneficial sleeping position. If you suffer from arthritis, side sleeping can be painful, but otherwise there are no major drawbacks. Recent studies also suggest that side sleeping can be better for your brain; helping it clear out waste and rejuvenate. Unless you do have arthritis, or benefit greatly from a different sleeping position, side sleeping is likely going to help you get the most restful sleep you can.
Fun Fact: 41% of people sleep in the fetal position, 15% in the ‘log position’ (on the side with arms straight down) and 13% in the ‘yearner position’ (on the side with arms outreached).
We hope this list gives you a bit of an indication as to how you should be sleeping, but if you have any questions or uncertainty then make sure you talk to a doctor. Have a chat with your GP and get in touch with us to see how we might be able to help.
Sleep Well - Live Well
This article is from Keystone Medical Media, a sub-entity of Keystone Content.