Your sleeping positions can determine if you get a good nights rest or not. Have you ever experienced pain and stiffness in the morning when you wake up? If so, you are not alone. Many people experience this daily and unfortunately, the pain tends to stay throughout the day. One of the major causes of this pain and stiffness is your sleeping position. Sleeping in good positions has health benefits but sleeping in bad positions also poses a risk. If needed, you should modify your sleeping positions so as to maintain a neutral pain-free spine, and wake up feeling refreshed. We will look at some of the sleeping positions, their benefits as well as their risks.
Best and worse sleeping positions
Back Sleeping Positions
The back position has been touted by a majority of doctors as the best proper sleeping position. Sleeping in a straight pose is very healthy for the neck and spine. It ensures the back is straight and not forced into an abnormal shape. The mattress also does the job it was intended for, supporting the spine with a lot of comfort.
Sleeping without a pillow is actually better because using one makes breathing more difficult. It also leads to less facial wrinkles. However, this sleeping position has the disadvantage of increasing snoring chances and instances. Back sleeping causes the tongue to fall in the airway, which hinders proper breathing and thus, the snoring.
Side Sleeping Positions
Sleeping on your side is another commonly used position, but mostly encouraged for expectant women. They are mostly advised to sleep on their left side because it immensely improves air and blood circulation to the heart. This is very valuable for both the baby and the mom. Sleeping on the back is not encouraged for expectant women since it inserts pressure on the lower back, which can cause fainting.
For people who are not expectant, sleeping on your left side reduces heartburn and acid influx. This enables you to fall fast asleep even during such a condition. However, sleeping on your side can result in arm numbness since only one arm supports the head. This affects muscles and nerves and can restrict blood flow. It also puts pressure on the stomach, liver and lungs, though this can be avoided by alternating to the right and left sides. This position also burdens the shoulder with supporting a lot of the body’s weight, thereby constricting the shoulder and neck muscles.
Stomach Sleeping Positions
The stomach position is considered to be the worst sleeping position. One of the disadvantages of this position is that it exposes the spine to undue stress which leads to lower back pains. This position also requires you to sleep with you head turned to one side and this directly strains the neck. People who usually sleep in this position are advised to place a pillow under their hips. This raises the lower back and assists in maintaining the lumbar curve. However, stomach sleeping greatly reduces snoring. In some cases, it also reduces sleep apnea.
These sleeping positions are the major positions known to be used by many people. We can conclusively say that your sleeping posture could be the cause of your back pains and aches. You should always try to maintain the natural curves of your spine, i.e. neck, lumbar spine and upper back. Trying different sleeping positions is the key to achieving this.
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