If you are concerned about your health, you may want to think about how you sleep. What does your sleeping position say about you? It could be causing you to age faster and be the cause of early morning stiffness.
My husband had some back pains and did not understand why he was having them as we generally eat healthily and do some light exercises together. I pointed out to him that his sleeping position—on his stomach—may be contributing to, or aggravating the pain. I suggested that he sleeps on his side instead, with a small pillow tucked between his knees. After sleeping on the side for a few nights, his back pains reduced as there is now less strain on his back.
Many people do not think about the position that they sleep in. Your sleeping position is a habit and you likely sleep in one or two positions that are familiar to you. The position that you sleep in could be adding to or improve on your health problems.
With that in mind, here are some of the most common sleeping positions. Naturally, we move around in the night when we sleep, but usually, how we position our body most of the time is how they can have an impact on our health.
1. Sleeping On Your Side
Sleeping on your side, with your legs slightly curled up towards your chest like in a fetal position, is a very common sleeping position, but it could cause nerve compression along your arms and legs. This compression may lead to chronic pain. It could also cause excess pain around your shoulders and hips and increase wrinkles and breast sagging.
To help correct the issue, start sleeping with a thin pillow between your knees. This helps to align your back and reduce compression of your nerves.
Each of these three sleep positions also has their own benefits. Sleeping on your side can reduce snoring and improve circulation around your abdominal area – which could be beneficial when pregnant.
2. Sleeping On Your Stomach
Despite the awkward positioning, some people enjoy sleeping on their stomach. This position can add strain to your neck which may cause muscle spasms or chronic pain. If you sleep mostly in this position, do away with the pillow to reduce neck and back pain.
You can train yourself to sleep on your back or side instead of your stomach by sleeping with a neck pillow around your neck, while laying on your back. This will prevent you to completely roll over onto your stomach. Another option is to sleep propped up, with an extra pillow behind your back, which will also make it harder to lay on your stomach.
3. Sleeping On Your Back
Sleeping on your back, with your body straight and your arms at your side can make you more prone to symptoms related to snoring and sleep apnea. Both of these issues can wake you or your partner up at night, causing disruptive sleep.
While sleeping on your back can be great for those with back or neck pain, it can exacerbate your sleep apnea or snoring issues. If you suffer from either of these two problems, then try propping up your head and chest by placing an extra pillow behind you.
Not only will sleeping propped up help reduce snoring and the symptoms of sleep apnea, it also allows you to benefit from sleeping on your back. This position can help to minimize wrinkles and sagging around the breasts and minimize acid reflux.
What position do you sleep in? You may not realize that some of the pains you’re experiencing while you’re awake, may be caused by your sleeping position. Try sleeping in a different way instead. Like any habit, it will take a while to change, but if you make a conscious effort to sleep differently every night, you can eventually adjust your sleeping position.