Various Sleeping Positions & How They Affect You

Portrait of a happy senior man fast asleep in bed

Too much or too little sleeping along with the position of your sleeping can be a cause of many health problems; from snoring, heartburn, and wrinkles to obesity, heart disease, dementia, & diabetes. Let’s check them out:

Sleeping Flat OR on Your Back: It is one of the best sleeping positions as it not only helps to keep your spine straight, keeps neck & back pain at bay, reduces acid reflux, and pushes wrinkles ahead by a few years as sleeping on back is considered an anti-wrinkle sleeping position.

Also, back sleeping spares your head, neck, and spines from getting any kind of extra pressure, and helps you to maintain a neutral position.  When your head is elevated, your stomach remains below your oesophagus preventing acid or food to come back. Avoiding use of pillow is good for your neck.

The flip side is that people who sleep on their backs may be victims of snoring and sleeping disorder. Also sleeping on your back may be good for your back, but you may not feel comfortable and may not feel completely rested the next morning. Which means trying to adapt to a new position that you’re not used to or find comfortable sleeping in can affect the quality of your sleep.

Sleeping on The Side:  Majority of people sleep on the side. Sleeping on left side is especially recommended for pregnant women to improve foetus circulation, and it is good for those who suffer from heartburn or acid reflux. This position helps them sleep better. Whereas sleeping on right side is bad for heartburn.

Flip side of sleeping on the side is that it puts undue pressure on lungs and stomach.  Sometimes upper arms or ears get squashed and become numb. Sleeping on the side with arms behind our head affects our muscles and nerves adversely. When our arms remain in one position under our head for an extended period of time, it results in `rubber arm’. This position also sometimes gives catch in the neck or shoulder. Due to gravity your skin hangs down which leads to early wrinkle.

Sleeping on Stomach: Amongst the only few plus point of this sleeping position, i.e. on stomach, is that it improves your digestion; brings down the snoring sound and hence your sleep is sounder. But it is not a good position to sleep as suggested by researchers. It’s bad for spine and ends up giving back pain to those who sleep with their tummies down. When one is sleeping with tummy down and face on one side, can lead to neck pain, spine curve may get affected. Use of pillow is recommended for people who are used to sleeping in this position.

Whichever position you sleep in, if you provide the required support to your body with the help of a pillow it will not only help to relax your body better but also keep your spin, neck, and arms in good condition. If you keep the pillow under hips it supports joints and helps you to relax well.