Healthy Sleeping: The Best Sleep Position for You

February 22, 2018

Peaceful woman in the best sleep position on pillow


Healthy Sleeping: The Best Sleep Position for You

It’s common knowledge that getting a good night’s rest plays a role in our overall health. But many fail to realize it’s not just how much rest you’re getting but also your sleep position that affects your wellness.

Read on to discover the best (and worst) sleep positions and how a healthy sleep position can do wonders for your body. You might discover something about your personality too.

Knowing Your Sleep Position

When you think of sleep positions, you generally think back, stomach, fetal position, and side. But there are many variations of each one of these main positions..and there’s more to it than meets the eye.

It’s important to know your go-to-sleep-style since the wrong sleep position can cause lower back issues, tossing and turning at night, headaches, and heartburn. Your sleep position can also bring forth circulation issues and even wrinkles. If you’re having trouble switching from one sleep position to another, drinking calming tea is a good way to induce sleep and calm your anxiety from a new way of sleeping.

The Research 

While 5% of people claim to sleep a different way each night, most of us have a go to position. Wondering how you rank when it comes to sleep positions?  According to current research, 63% of people sleep on their side or in a fetal position, 16% on their back, and 14% on their stomach.

Studies show that the way you sleep not only says a lot about your overall health but also can predict health issues. Some people even believe that your sleep position says a lot about your personality! Listed below are the top 4 sleep positions listed from worst to healthy sleep position.

4 Positions 

Stomach Sleeping

Stomach sleeping is the position to avoid. As far as sleep positions for back pain, this is the worst because although it may feel comfortable, sleeping on your stomach messes with your body’s alignment. If you already have jaw/facial pain, stomach sleep positions can make this worse. It can also cause pressure on your spine and pain in your neck.

If you’re a stomach sleeper, it’s best to give this sleep position up for a healthier sleep position. But if you can’t bear the thought of sleeping in another sleep position, try these tips:

  •         Rest your head on a flat pillow to decrease the strain on your neck.
  •         Choose a slightly firmer mattress that allows for stomach sleeping.
  •         Stretch when you wake up in the morning (to help bring your body               into alignment.)

Fetal Position

The fetal position is the most common sleep position, but it’s not the healthiest sleep position of the group. Though it’s better for you than sleeping on your stomach, sleeping in a ‘tight’ fetal position can restrict your breathing and cause soreness in the joints and back. There are some good things about this position though. It can improve both circulation and snoring. If you’re a fetal sleeper, you can reap the benefits of this sleep position by:

  •         Sleeping on your left side.
  •         Loosening your position.
  •         Placing a pillow between your knees

Side Sleeping

Fetal sleep position resters can also try to transition their sleep position into a full side pose. A side sleep position where your legs are straight and not hunched up also helps with snoring. Since your airways are open, snoring is less likely. It comes with the added benefit of reducing neck and back pain. Though it isn’t the best sleep position for back pain, it can take some of the pressure off. The only downside? It can lead to facial wrinkles from sleeping with one side of your face pressed to the pillow!





Back Sleeping

There has long been a push to put your baby “back to sleep”, but it turns out you should probably put yourself to sleep that way too. Sleeping in this neutral sleeping position:

  •         helps your posture
  •         opens your airways
  •         fends off acid reflux

This is definitely the best sleeping position for back issues, but unlike a stomach sleeper, you shouldn’t use a flat pillow. You always want your head above your esophagus and stomach if you sleep on your back so that food doesn’t come back up. If you have sleep apnea or snoring, a back to sleep position can irritate these conditions. So, in these cases, a side sleeping position might be best.

Other Considerations 

The thing to remember is that although we have a preferred sleeping position, you can change to a healthier sleeping position with a little effort! If it means better overall wellness, it’s certainly worth it.

Have a BeauTEAful Sleep!


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