What’s the Best Sleep Position?
Friends, how did you sleep last night? For once, I’m not asking about the quality of your sleep. I mean physically, in what way did you sleep? Are you a back sleeper? A side sleeper? All you stomach sleepers, you here too? You may not know it, but the sleep position you choose can have an effect on your overall health. Got neck pain? It might be how you sleep. Serious snoring problem? You may need to adjust your position. So how do you find the best sleep position for you? It’s different for everyone of course, and we all have a natural tendency, but it may be worth making a switch if you have particular sleep issues or health goals. Let’s dive in.
The back is a controversial sleep position, because people who like it often choose the wrong pillow. If you sleep on your back and your pillow is too high, your neck will get out of alignment and you will feel pain. You want something that elevates and supports your head enough that your stomach is below your esophagus. If you get it right, you might find you alleviate some lower back pain in this position.
But the real winner for back sleepers? It’s better for your skin. Because you don’t spend the night smashing your face into your pillow. You’ve probably noticed that if you sleep on your stomach or side, you can wake up with creases on your face from the fabric. Rachel Salas, M.D., an associate professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine, reports that, “Over time, that can lead to breakouts or cause chronic changes to the skin. If you’re concerned about wrinkles, it’s another reason to sleep on your back.” Less wear and tear on the face leads to younger, less acne-prone skin. It’s that simple.
Left Side Sleeper
Sleeping on the left side is highly recommended for pregnant women. This is because it improves circulation in the adult and the fetus’s body, and prevents the uterus from pressing against the liver.
But even if you’re not with child, the left side could be great for you. Lying on your left with your arms in front of you can take some pressure off the part of the esophagus that causes heartburn. So if you’ve had spicy chili today, or Tums has a prominent place in your medicine cabinet, this could be the best sleep position for you. You want to make sure you choose the left side specifically though, since sleeping on your right side can make the heartburn worse. But right side sleepers get their own benefits…
Right Side Sleeper
Sleeping on your right side can help ease neck and back pain, especially if you put a pillow between your legs to maintain a neutral position in the spine. If you decide to adopt the pillow strategy, get one long enough to run the full length of your legs, and don’t pick one with too much bulk—something soft is best.
Be wary with this one, because sleeping on your stomach can put the alignment of your neck and spine out of whack, causing pain. Sleeping this way also puts pressure on your joints and muscles, which can pinch some nerves.
However, if you suffer from sleep apnea, the stomach might be the best way for you to sleep. Sleep apnea is caused by airways collapsing during sleep, which makes disruptions in the sleeper’s breathing patterns. Sleeping on your stomach can help the airways stay open, as can our next position.
Fetal Position Sleeper
This is the first position we “slept” in, so it’s no wonder it’s the most popular with adults, with 41% of people curling up to sleep. This is also the position you should choose if you’re a habitual snorer, since sleeping on the side and slightly curled reduces the likelihood that you’ll be a buzzsaw while you snooze.
But it’s important to remember to keep things loose in the fetal position. If you curl up too tightly, you can end up feeling sore in the morning, especially if you have issues with arthritis or joint pain. Make sure to stretch things out straight in the morning if you fall asleep fetally.
General rules for all positions
Regardless of the position you choose, you want to optimize your bedroom for sleep. This means minimizing distractions (turn your clock towards the wall, keep your phone on the other side of the room), minimizing light, keeping your bedding clean and your pillows fluffed. And it means keeping all your sleep aid products close.
Have you ever had a Charley horse? They’re those involuntary cramps or spasms you get in your muscles, usually in the feet. If you’ve had them, you know how painful they are, and how they always seem to come in those moments just before sleep. You’re starting to doze, your eyelids are getting heavy, things are all dreamy and delicious…then bam! Pow! Pain! Your foot seizes up, shooting pain all the way up your leg. It takes forever to get the muscle to relax, but you do it. You settle back down. You start to drift…bam the pain’s back.
Did you know that these muscle spasms are a symptom of a magnesium deficiency? When your body doesn’t get enough magnesium, it’s hard for your muscles to relax. You end up with cramps, restless legs, and lots of tossing and turning instead of falling into real, deep sleep.
Fortunately, there’s an easy solution, and it’s called EASE Magnesium Spray. It’s a powerful spray that absorbs into the skin in 90 seconds, bypassing the digestive system for lightning fast results. It’s one of the easiest ways out there to restore your body’s mineral balance, soothing muscles and aiding sleep. Just spray it on before bed, and enjoy a deep, rejuvenating sleep.
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