Which is the best position to sleep in? Here’s what you should know
Sleep is important. Having enough sleep can help improve overall health or well-being and keep you away from health problems.
A healthy lifestyle is not complete without a regular good night sleep, which supports your weight, brain functions and heart health, among others. Adequate sleep could improve memory, reduce stress and inflammation, lower risk of depression and prevent cancer.
However, many people still ignore its importance and spend more time awake at night. Research showed that the people who frequently sleep for less than six to seven hours every night are at higher risk of developing diseases.
But the time you give is not the only factor affecting the health benefits of sleep. Your sleeping position may also have an impact on your overall health.
Poor posture in bed has been associated with sleep apnoea, heartburn, impaired circulation, tummy troubles, back and neck pain, headaches and muscle cramping. You may also have premature wrinkles, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
It is important to make immediate changes to prevent potential health problems. Giving enough time to sleep and changing how you sleep could help maintain good health and lower risk of having diseases.
Sleeping positions and their effects
Sleeping on your back
Estimates show that only eight per cent of people sleep on this position. But they could be enjoying more health benefits of sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation considers being on your back as the best and healthiest option for most people. It enables an individual to put their head, neck and spine in a neutral position, which helps the body rest at night.
Sleeping on the back also reduces body pressure and acid reflux. However, it may not work well with people with sleep apnoea.
In this position, the tongue may block the breathing tube, which can be dangerous for those experiencing breathlessness during sleep.
Being on your side
In this position, you sleep facing the wall while keeping your torso and legs straight. Sleeping on your side could help reduce acid reflux, back and neck pain and snoring.
It is the best option for people with sleep apnoea. However, experts said this position could increase wrinkles since half of your face pushes against a pillow.
It is the most common sleeping position. The National Sleep Foundation said 41 per cent of adults sleep in this position.
The foetal position works well with pregnant women and snorers. It provides better circulation and prevents the uterus from pressing against the liver.
However, not everyone can sleep in the foetal position. Those with arthritis are advised to stretch their body at night.
On your stomach
The people who snore can enjoy this sleeping position. However, majority of people should avoid sleeping on the stomach.
It could cause back and neck pain and put pressure on muscles and joints. You may wake up in the morning feeling numbness, tingling, aches and irritated nerves.