We’re all a little different and unique. Given our various body types and sizes, it’s no surprise that we opt for so many positions while we sleep. As this link explains, there are even bedding and mattress choices to suit specific differences in this area.
For those with back pain problems or those who are pregnant, the fetal position is a clear runaway winner. This posture will take the weight and strain from your spine and distribute it down the length of your body.
If you place a small pillow between your knees, this will increase your spine’s straightness as well. It’s also known to reduce the effects of loud snoring, helping sufferers to breathe more easily.
However, if you have any issues with joint pains, the fetal position may cause stiffness and soreness in the mornings. In those cases, it may not be that beneficial to be so tightly tucked on your side.
On Your Back
For breathing problems like apnea and snoring, this one is the least advisable. Sleeping on your back aggravates conditions like these, mainly because of the tilt of the head. Also, for those with an existing back injury, it may be a challenging pose to hold for long.
Besides those issues, back sleepers have quite a few benefits. It’s good for spines that are uninjured and can prevent stressing and injury too. Certainly, for many larger folks, the back sleeping option is the top pick.
This group may well be at the bottom of the list in terms of health benefits. While it seems better than back sleeping in terms of apnea and snoring problems, there’s a substantial back and neck strain issue.
Additionally, because of the increased load on the spine and neck, muscles in those areas try to compensate during sleep, leading to soreness and stiffness as well.
Sleeping On Your Side
There’s good news for the sideways sleeper. It seems that it’s perhaps the all-around best option in terms of health. It’s been shown to reduce the rate of heartburn, snoring, back pain, and other stuff too. Oddly, this seems especially true if you sleep on your left side, although the reason isn’t quite known yet.
There’s a smaller cohort of folks who are wrigglers. For these folks, sometimes called “restless sleepers,” it seems that all positions work just fine. There may well be an advantage to changing positions regularly since you’re not stressing any specific part that way.
There is the concern that restless sleepers may not be getting the quality of sleep that some others enjoy, as a result of all the activity. This effect is probably variable, but it may really help to opt for a very soft mattress type in these cases.
By the time we turn sixty, most of us will have slept for approximately twenty of those years. This is why it’s so important that we pay closer attention to how we sleep, rather than considering its dead time.
It can make a lot of difference to your waking life if you’re better informed about sleep and put the knowledge into practice. Good sleep means you’re more alert, vital, and happy while you’re awake. Basically, you’re more like you!