Sleep is very important for our general state of health, both of the body and of the mind. According to recent studies, a sleep of low quality can affect the way you eat and deposit fats, the way you feel and take decisions, and the health of your heart and circulatory system in general. So why not invest more in your sleep time? After all, we spend one-third of our life or more practicing it!
There are several factors that influence the quality of sleep such as the type of mattress you use, the general environment in your bedroom, and the sleep position you adopt. Since the first two are basically choices that are easy to make, today I’ll talk about the sleeping position.
There are only a number of recognized sleeping positions, but each has different variations, that can be good or bad for your sleep. A good position is the one that keeps your spine aligned and allows for the tension that accumulates during the day to be released. This means that, when you wake up, you won’t feel any pain in the neck or shoulders and you are filled with healthy energy and ready to start your day.
Now, there are only two best positions for such a great state: sleeping on your side and sleeping on your back. Let’s take a look at each and see the pros and cons that made specialists recommend them to everyone.
Sleeping on your Side
This position comes with a wide range of variations, but the best one is when you have the knees and elbows slightly bent, your hands are underneath your head and you have a pillow between your knees. The pillow supports the leg on top and keeps the spine in perfect alignment without adding any pressure on the hips.
It seems that 41% of the world’s population likes this position so it’s easy to find advice on how to improve on it. Still, the pillow between your knees is the best and the simplest idea, and you’ll feel its benefits pretty soon.
Side sleeping is also recommended for pregnant women and people who suffer from lower back pain because it removes the pressure from the spine. However, there’s a trick with this position – specialists recommend sleeping on your left side for improved health benefits. If you sleep on your right you put pressure on the internal organs and, in time, it can lead to an obstructed flow.
Finally, there are mattresses specially designed for side sleepers and here is a fantastic position guide to read on this topic.
Sleeping on your Back
This is the best position you could have while sleeping because it completely takes the pressure off the spine and sensitive areas like the hips, shoulders, and neck. There is also no pressure on the organs and allows the skin to breathe. Still, if you are snoring, sleeping on your back may accentuate this problem (for this situation, sleeping your side is the most recommended position).
It’s also best to choose a pillow that supports your neck and keeps the spine straight, rather than going with a big fluffy one. A big pillow will hoist your head up leaving the neck in an uncomfortable position, while a pillow designed with neck support in mind will allow space for the head.
When it comes to people who sleep on their back specialists recommend a firmer mattress because a soft one may allow the hips to go deeper than the rest of the body. If this happens, your spine won’t be aligned anymore and there will be a huge pressure point in the hips area that can lead to lower back pain. If you have a firm mattress but the back still hurts, put a pillow or two under your knees. This keeps your feet elevated and takes the pressure off the nerves in the lumbar region.
Now that you know which positions are best for a good night sleep, which one you’ll adopt? It’s best to test and see which one is more comfortable, as changing your sleeping habits won’t be as easy as you think.