Sleeping Positions To Stay Healthy





Getting a good night’s sleep is pivotal for our health, body, mind, and our mood, especially since we spend one-third of our lives asleep. While it is recommended every adult get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation, for many of us this is easier said than done. Sleep difficulty can be caused by a number of things, ranging from eating or drinking the wrong things before bed to our sleep position.

“Eighty percent of the population will have back problems at some point in [their] lives oftentimes caused or aggravated by the way they sleep,” Dr. Hooman Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon at the DISC Sports & Spine Center in Los Angeles, Calif., featured on The Doctors, Dr. Oz, and The Steve Harvey Show, told Medical Daily in an email. This suggests our p.m. pose could be the cause of our back and neck pain, stomach troubles, and even premature aging. To discover the best sleep positions for our body and the ones we may want to avoid, Medical Daily has put together a list so you can optimize your hours of sleep and stay healthy.

Woman on bed
Decode your current sleep position and decide what is the best and worst for your health to get a good night’s rest. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Best Position: On Your Back
Sleeping on our back makes it easier for our head, neck, and spine to align and keep it in a neutral position. No extra pressure or curves are being added to the back. “You are in the best position as your spine stays in natural alignment all night long,” Melamed said.


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This position is good for your back, too. It prevents facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. “Sleeping on your back also combats acid reflux,” said Dr. Decontee Jimmeh, a neurologist in Norwood Clinic in Birmingham, Ala. to Medical Daily in an email. Lying on your back means the head is elevated, and the stomach is able to sit below the esophagus, making it less likely for digested substances to come back up. It’s important to note sleeping in this position can result in snoring. In addition, placing your arms up adds pressure on the nerves of the shoulders, which leads to pain.

Second Best: On Your Side
Sleeping on your side is beneficial for patients who have obstructive sleep apnea, prone to general snoring, neck and back pain, and for those pregnant. Fletcher said “[S]leeping on one’s side is helpful by mechanically opening up a crowded oropharynx. It also elongates the spine, which helps back pain.”

Being a side-sleeper, however, can also cause unwanted skin aging, since placing one side of your face on the pillow can cause you to get wrinkles, and even leads to saggy breasts.

On The Right Side And On The Left Side
The side in which you sleep on can also play a role in your health. Sleeping on the ride side can worsen heartburn. However, sleeping on the left side can put a strain on internal organs like the liver, lungs, and stomach, but also while reducing acid reflux. Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their left side for optimal blood flow.


The Worst: On Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is never advised because it doesn’t support the natural curve of your spine, leading to overarching. This places pressure on joints and muscles that can lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. “[I]t forces your neck to be in a rotated, closed pack, tight position, which also compromises your breathing and circulation,” Eisenstadt said.

Stomach-sleeping could be beneficial for those who snore as it helps keep the upper airways more open. However, this having the head to one side for a long period of time could soon lead to aching. This position should also be avoided for those who s