Side, Back or Stomach? Your Guide to the Best Sleeping Positions

A good night sleep is important for both your body and your mind. The recommended eight hours or proper rest every night certainly helps you to wake up fully restored so that you can get through the day without any fatigue. But did you know that if you are not sleeping in the correct position you may actually not get the restorative rest needed?

Most people overlook the importance of incorporating the best sleep positions or perhaps they are simply not aware that the way they sleep can have a huge effect on thing like sleep apnea, orthopedic problems, and back pain. Also, different bodies and stages of life call for different sleep positions. Though comfort is an important factor of catching some much needed Zzz, it is equally important that you are sleeping in the right position for your body.

Downside to Improper Sleep

There are several sleep cycles that are all important but the REM cycle is crucial. REM sleep is the cycle that allows for restorative rest and is vital for memory retention. If you are continuously missing out on this stage of sleep, you could end up suffering from sleep deprivation which could in turn have some serious long term effects including memory loss, increased risk or cardiac disease and cancer.

If you are having trouble sleeping there are some simple things you can do at home without that could greatly influence the way you sleep and help you get a better night’s rest.

Getting into that REM cycle could be as simple as changing the position you sleep in.

Back Sleeping

The back sleeper position is highly beneficial to anyone who suffers from chronic back pain. When sleeping on your back you are in the ideal position to keep your pelvis, spine and neck in neutral alignment which helps prevent inflammatory issues. Though this is one of the best positions to sleep in, only around 10 percent of people are able to sleep comfortably this way. However, this sleep position is not recommended for those who suffer from sleep apnea.

Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping is the rarest sleep position with only 7 percent of the population sleeping on their stomachs. That may be for the best because sleeping on your stomach causes stress and pain to your neck and spine. It is also connected to numbness, stiffness and anxiety. However, this sleep position is not all bad. Sleeping on your stomach could reduce snoring and help with sleep apnea. If you are a stomach sleeper, you should consider what type of mattress you are sleeping on. Stomach sleepers benefits from a certain mattress and need one that is moderate to firm to get the best nights sleep.

Side Sleeping

Side sleeping is the most popular sleep position and makes up 56 percent of all sleepers. Not only is this a comfortable position to sleep in for most people, its also one of the most beneficial ways to sleep. Sleeping on your side supports your spine and improves circulation which reduces effects from issues such as heartburn, sleep apnea, and even Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This position is recommended for pregnant women and anyone who suffers from heartburn or acid reflux. There are many variations to this sleep position so try them all to find out which one is the most comfortable to you.

Amy Smith

Amy is a London-based art, travel & wellness writer.

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