Is Your Sleeping Position Healthy? A good night’s rest is essential for our health. However, your sleeping position can also have an impact. While some people regularly switch between positions, many of us sleep predominantly in one position: on our back, on our side, or on our front.
Of all the positions, sleeping on one’s back tends to be the healthiest, putting less pressure on the spine as well as reducing acid reflux and even reducing bags under the eyes. Whether you are watching t.v. in bed or going to sleep, there are sleep positions that are better than others.
Is Your Sleeping Position Healthy?
Of course, not everyone can sleep on their back – for many of us the side or stomach is more comfortable. Fortunately, you don’t have to change your sleeping position. By making a few small improvements you may be able to reduce some of the health risks. Here are just a few tips on how to sleep more healthily in all three sleeping positions.
As already mentioned, sleeping on one’s back is the healthiest position. However, even this position can have health risks if you don’t have the right bedding.
Ideally, you want a firm pocket spring mattress when sleeping on your back. Soft and springy mattresses may not offer enough support for the spine, leading to potential back problems. A firm mattress meanwhile helps to keep the spine relatively straight.
As for pillows, it’s important to support your head and prevent acid reflux – but not have so many pillows that your neck is strained. A single pillow is usually all that’s necessary.
Side sleepers: Is Your Sleeping Position Healthy?
Sleeping on one’s side is the most common position. It’s less healthy than sleeping on the back but can still allow for full elongation of the spine (providing you’re not curled up in the fetal position), making it healthier than sleeping on your front.
Soft mattresses with memory foam layers can be some of the best-suited mattresses for side sleepers as they allow the shoulders and hips to sink in while supporting the ribs. This review of puffy lux vs purple mattresses compares two examples of such mattresses. Firm mattresses are best avoided.
That said, if you do have a firm mattress, you may be able to make do with a pillow placed in between the hips and shoulders to support the ribs. Side sleepers may be able to get away with more pillows, but generally, one pillow is still all that’s necessary to prop up the head.
Sleeping on your stomach is unfortunately the unhealthiest position. It puts the most amount of pressure on the spine, increasing the risk of joint problems like arthritis. The only benefit is that it reduces the likeliness of snoring.
Stomach sleepers need a firm mattress. A soft mattress could result in further curvature of the spine while sleeping. Most stomach sleepers end up twisting their head to the side, which can put a strain on the neck – a single pillow can reduce the strain. It can also benefit stomach sleepers to place a pillow under the abdomen to help elongate the spine.
After reading my post, Is Your Sleeping Position Healthy? What are you doing to improve your sleeping habits?