The choice in sleeping position is a matter of personal preference, just as in the case of making your choice in a Spring Air mattress. But you may want to rethink your sleeping pose because it may be worsening your health issues, whether it’s loud snoring or back pain, perhaps even both.
Keep in mind, nonetheless, that there are risks and rewards to every sleeping position. The key is in finding the best one for your needs, especially when you have an underlying medical issue or you want to reduce the risk of it.
For many people who sleep on their stomachs, it’s their most comfortable sleeping position because it reinforces a feeling of safety and security. But it may also be contributing to health issues because it strains your back from your neck to your lower back.
There are three reasons for it:
- Your spine isn’t in its neutral or natural alignment due to the body’s overarching position.
- Your bones, joints and muscles are subjected to more pressure resulting in body aches, numbness, and irritated nerves. The nerves in your spine may also be irritated because of its overarching position.
- Your neck assumes a closed and tight position, if not an unnatural one, which compromises your breathing and blood circulation.
If you snore, you will also find that sleeping on your belly will worsen your condition. You should assume a new pose, preferably sleeping on your side.
But if you still prefer sleeping on your back, then you should ideally use softer and thinner pillows. Your neck will then assume a less arched position and your shoulders will be more relaxed.
Sleeping on the back isn’t the most common sleeping position with studies showing that it’s favored by less than 10% of the population. But for people who sleep on their backs, there are two variations, namely:
- The soldier wherein the arms are down and close to the body, as if standing at attention but in a horizontal position
- The starfish where the arms are in an upward position, either near the head or splayed at the sides.
But many more people will benefit from sleeping on their backs. When you assume it even for a night, you will likely observe the following:
- You have reduced pain in your head, neck and shoulders. Your spine remains in its neutral position and, thus, in alignment resulting in reduced pressure on your back.
- Your acid reflux episodes may also be reduced. Your head is placed at an angle above your stomach so stomach acids are less likely to go back up your esophagus.
There are people, however, will not benefit from sleeping on their back – and we’re talking about people diagnosed with sleep apnea. The sleep disorder is characterized by loud snoring but its danger lies when the affected person stops breathing for a few seconds, sometimes for several times a night.
There are several ways of sleeping on your side including:
- The fetal position is the most popular with over 40% of people adopting it; women are also more likely to adopt it than men.
- The log position is characterized by sleeping on the side with both arms in a downward position.
- The spooning position involves a partner with one partner facing the other person’s back in a cuddling position.
- The yearner position means sleeping with the arms out in front of the body.
Sleeping on the side is recommended for people with obstructive sleep apnea, with snoring issues, and with acid reflux, as well as with neck and back pain. Pregnant women will also find great relief from sleeping on their sides, preferably with a body pillow.
But it can also have its side effects when it isn’t adopted properly. A few tips to keep in mind to take advantage of it:
- Keep your chest and legs as straight as possible. Your spine should ideally be elongated and its natural alignment should still be in place. If you curl up with your knees nearly touching your chest, then you should straighten up.
- Use a medium-firm pillow under your head. You should ensure that your head neither tilts too much downward nor upwards because then your neck will not be aligned with the rest of your spine.
- Change positions, such as from your left side to your right side, so that not one side is subjected to stress and pressure for the entire night.
In the end, you have to find the best sleeping position that promotes better sleep quality in your case. You may have to change your sleeping habits when it’s recommended by your doctor, too, such as when you have sleep apnea. You should also consider the aspects of your sleeping environment, such as the ambient temperature, lights and sounds, and mattress firmness.