Is Your Sleep Position Good For Your Health?

Is your sleeping position good for your health?

Is Your Sleep Position Good For Your Health?

Sleep is an important part of our lives. We spend about one third of our lives sleeping, and yet many of us don’t understand the importance of sleep or how to get the best sleep possible.

There are many different factors that can affect the quality of your sleep, including the time of day you go to bed, how much caffeine you drink, and how much stress you’re under. But one of the most important factors affecting your sleep is the position you sleep in.
There are a few different positions that are best for your health: sleeping on your back, sleeping on your side, and sleeping on your stomach. If you’re young, your sleep position is probably not that important (yet). But as you age, you end up with some medical issues and how you sleep can have a large impact on your health.

In this blog we will explore the pros and cons of each position and conclude overall which is the best (and worst) position to sleep in for your health.

Before you turn off the light, have a think about some of these common complaints that can affect your sleep:-

Snoring Sleep Apnea

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

I think it’s safe to say that we all know someone (or sleep next to someone) who snores.  Often snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea causes the airways to collapse while you’re asleep and you actually pause (or stop momentarily) breathing.  This is because they often sleep on their back.  Sleeping on your back can affect the flow of oxygen to the body.  If sleeping on your back is THE ONLY position you’re comfortable in, then try placing a pillow behind your knees. This will support your spine and will reduce pressure that could lead to back pain. The best position if you snore and have sleep apnea is to position yourself on your side.  This can help the airways stay open which should reduce snoring and alleviate mild sleep apnea.

Sore neck and back

Neck & Back Pain

This is a tricky one. If you have neck pain, sometimes sleeping on your back can actually make it worse. In fact, it can be very difficult to find a position that will alleviate the neck. Having the right support is vital, so perhaps consider if your pillow is suitable and it might be worthwhile investing in a new one that can support your neck and spine better. However if you have back pain, sleeping on your back usually takes the pressure off your lower back pain.  A supportive (but not too thick) pillow designed to cradle your neck as well as a pillow between your knees and thighs can help keep your spine, hips and pelvis in alignment. It would be recommended to speak to your GP or physio on which position is going to be best for your problem area.  Our wheat bags and eye pillows are a great way to temporarily provide some relief if you have a sore back or tired eyes.

reflux heart burn

Reflux & Heartburn

This is so uncomfortable!  The discomfort and bitter taste is enough to have you up pacing the room.  If you sleep on your right side, it can make it worse though. You’re better off sleeping on your left hand side (the side where your heart is) as this will help alleviate the heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.  It also promotes digestion and supports lymphatic drainage.  Sleeping on your left side reduces the reflux episodes and the exposure of your esophagus to the stomach acid.  You could also try sleeping elevated by using a wedge-shaped pillow.  It’s important that you’re not just raising your head but your entire upper body.  Make sure you are also wearing comfortable (non-restrictive) pyjamas. If the waist is too tight, you’re only putting pressure on your stomach which is going to make it worse.  Luckily you’re in the right place for comfortable sleepwear (wink, wink). Check out our women’s sleepwear here and our men’s sleepwear here.

tired after sleeping

Appearance

If you sleep on your side or your stomach, you’ve probably noticed that when you wake up you have creases on your face as well as on your decolletage (your cleavage). This is because you would have your arm across your body causing creasing to the skin and your face is getting squished up against your pillow.  Sleeping on your side can also affect your skin causing breakouts. We recommend sleeping on a Silk Pillowcase.  This allows the skin to glide across the surface rather than be pulled or tugged against the fibres.  It also helps counter the effects of ageing and preserves moisture on the skin.  It is also great for your hair, keeping it frizz-free.  If you have long hair, secure it in a silk scrunchie which will prevent it getting tugged on. You won’t wake up with a bump in your hair – that’s the beauty of the silk scrunchie!

So what is the WORST position to sleep in?

According to research scientists and specialists, sleeping on your stomach is the worst position.  Whilst it CAN help reduce snoring and sleep apnea, it is going to lead to neck and back pain.  By sleeping on your stomach (prone position), it makes it very hard for your spine to maintain a neutral position which, in turn, puts pressure on your back and neck. But if you’re a stomach sleeper and you like it, perhaps try sleeping with a relatively thin pillow (or not one at all) as this will help keep your spine in alignment.
Conclusion
At the end of the day (or night in this case), it comes down to how you feel when you wake up.  Do you feel rested and restored?  Do you feel stiff and sore?  Are you waking up with a headache?  Dependent upon your answers, you might need to consider if your bed is firm (or not firm) enough. It might be time to replace an old mattress or pillow.  Support for your body whilst asleep is very important as it really does decide whether you will be jumping out of bed ready to go in the morning or if you will be sliding out trying not to aggravate any aches or pains. Your sleep environment can be easily fixed, so by thinking about your positioning whilst in bed might be all it takes to get a great night’s sleep.
Wishing you good nights & days ahead.
La’Dormir
wheat bag Eye pillow Silk pillowcase SAGE GREEN LEAF COTTON NIGHTIE mens sleepwear sleep position

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