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Different sleeping positions and their impact on your sleep

Sleep plays a very important role in our lives, but there is more to it than you think. If you’re sick or having trouble sleeping, there is more to it than just lying in bed and catching up on sleep. The position you sleep in every night plays a very big role in determining your sleep quality. Each sleeping position has its benefits. If you have a health issue or are experiencing pain, this might require you to change your sleeping position to help manage.

Unfortunately, sometimes your favourite sleeping position could be the cause of your health problems.While it’s not something you can change overnight, it’s something worth trying.Your favourite sleeping position is the one you fall asleep in, but that doesn’t mean it’s the position you stay on the whole night. You shift many times in your bed during the night to keep your muscles and limbs from going numb. This means that most of us are combination sleepers, which means you have two or three preferred sleeping positions.

While it’s much better to sleep on your side and back than your stomach, all sleeping positions have their pros and cons that come with each.

Different sleeping positions

Back position

Also called the supine position, it’s not the most popular sleeping position but it has some health benefits. When you sleep on your back your head, neck, and spine are properly aligned. This means there is no extra pressure put on these points so you don’t experience any pain. By using a small pillow to slightly elevate your head so that your stomach is below your esophagus, this sleeping position helps to prevent any food or acid sipping from your digestive tract. On the downside, sleeping on your back can make your lower back pain worse. It’s not a good position if you suffer from sleep apnea or snoring also pregnant women shouldn’t sleep in this position.

Side position

Side sleeping is the most common and especially on your left side. It not only helps to reduce acid reflux but also good for your digestion and because your spine is elongated, it prevents you from getting neck and back pains. Plus, it keeps your airways open so you’re less likely to snore so it’s a good sleeping position if you have sleep apnea. It’s also said to be a good position for your brain as your brain can clear waste much faster. On the downside, because you press your face down against a pillow, it can cause wrinkles and over time cause the skin on your face to expand. It may also cause your breasts to sag. To avoid lower back pains you can place a pillow between your legs to better align your hips.

Fetal position

It’s one of the most popular sleeping positions. For side sleepers who bend their knees and curl up towards their torso, especially on the left side which is said to be a good position for pregnant women. It helps with circulation for you and the baby and reduces pressure from your uterus on your liver on the right side. It’s also a good position if you snore. To avoid hurting your hips, you can place a pillow between your knees to relieve the pressure and to avoid being sore in the morning. If you’re curled too close together, it can restrict breathing in your diaphragm so make sure your posture is loose and relaxed when you curl up.

Stomach position

It’s also known as the free fall position and is not a good sleeping position. While it helps with sleep apnea and snoring because your airways are open when you sleep with your face down, you put all your weight at the center. Your core sinks into the mattress while your head and limbs float upon the surface which makes it hard to keep your spine properly aligned. This causes neck and back pains and your body puts pressure on your muscle joints and organs.

As a result, you will spend most of the night trying to find a comfortable position to lie in causing you disturbed sleep. If you sleep on a softer mattress or you’re overweight, it could intensify your problems. But, you can sleep on a medium-firm Saatva mattress that will provide support and evenly provide pressure point relief and spine alignment.

Spooning position

This is a sleeping position for couples. They both sleep on their side and the person at the back holds the one in front close to their body. This position allows for cuddling which helps to stimulate the release of oxytocin, the stress hormone which helps to reduce stress and promote bonding and closer intimacy. It can also help you to fall asleep faster. On the downside, you tend to wake up more frequently from the movement of your partner.

Log position

This is not a very popular sleeping position. When you sleep in this position you’re sleeping on your side with your arms down next to your body. Although it’s a good sleeping position if you snore, it will give you aches and pains the next morning, especially if you have arthritis.

Yearner position

Not many people prefer to use this sleeping position.  This is a sleeping position where you sleep on your side with your arms stretched out in front of your body. It’s a good sleeping position if you’re having trouble breathing when you sleep, but a bad one if you have arthritis.

Final thoughts

If you aren’t comfortable with your current sleeping position, you can always try out a new one to see if it helps. It may take you some time to get used to the change, especially if that has been your sleeping position for a long time. But, it can be worth helping you get a good night sleep. The most important thing is to wake up the next morning feeling well-rested and ready to face the day.

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