Sleep Education & Tips

How Your Sleep Position Could Be Affecting Your Health

    Have you ever thought about how your sleep position may be affecting your health? If you’ve ever woken up feeling sore, like you “slept funny”, or you’re consistently getting low-quality sleep, it may be worth looking into how you can switch up your sleep position.

Most of us have a go-to sleep position that we favor while falling asleep, although it may change as we move through the night. However, have you ever thought about how your sleep position may be affecting your health? If you’ve ever woken up feeling sore, like you “slept funny”, or you’re consistently getting low-quality sleep, it may be worth looking into how you can switch up your sleep position.

Back:

Back sleepers see a host of health benefits from their preferred position, including spinal alignment, allergy and heartburn relief, lessened neck pain, and wrinkle prevention. However, this position may not be right for you if you’re prone to snoring, as back sleeping has been linked to exacerbating sleep apnea and snoring. To make back sleeping more enjoyable for you, try sleeping with a pillow under your knees or lower back, or propping yourself up on your pillows slightly.

Side:

Considered to be the most popular sleep position, with over 60% of people laying on their sides when they sleep, this position offers multiple benefits such as promoting a healthy spinal alignment and reducing back pain, snoring, and acid reflux. There are a couple of drawbacks to sleeping on one’s side, though – the facial position can cause wrinkles, and putting pressure on your shoulders can lead to shoulder pain or stiffness. To remedy this, make sure you’re switching sides throughout the night.

Stomach:

Bad news, stomach sleepers: this position is not recommended for most people, as it provides the least back support, contributes to facial wrinkles, and can make it harder for you to breathe due to pressure on your ribs. The one upside to stomach sleeping is that it may ease snoring by slightly clearing your airway. While it’s probably best not to sleep on your stomach at all, you can relieve discomfort by tucking a pillow under your pelvis, or sleeping with a thin pillow under your head (or no pillow at all!).

Fetal:

A variation on side sleeping, the fetal position consists of laying on your side with your legs bent and curled into your body. It’s a fan favorite for a reason, as sleeping in the fetal position can help with lower back pain, circulation during pregnancy, and reducing snoring. However, be careful not to curl up too tightly – you could restrict airflow and have difficulty breathing. To make this position more comfortable for you, try sleeping with a pillow in between your knees!

Want more sleep tips? Be sure to check out our article on How To Get More Restful Sleep.

references

  1. Suni, E. (2022, March 18). What are the best positions for sleeping? Sleep Foundation. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleeping-positions#:~:text=Specifically%2C%20sleeping%20on%20the%20side,muscles%20to%20relax%20and%20recover.

  2. UHC Newsroom. (2022, March 17). How your sleeping position may affect your health. Newsroom. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://newsroom.uhc.com/health/awareness/sleeping-positions-for-better-health.html

  3. Davis, C. P. (2021, May 17). What are the best and healthiest sleeping positions for your health. OnHealth. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/best_sleeping_positions_sleep

  4. Sutton, J. (2022, January 18). What's The best sleeping position? it depends. Healthline. Retrieved June 3, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/best-sleeping-position#fetal-position

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