How Different Sleeping Positions Could Affect Your Health – for Better or Worse

How Different Sleeping Positions Could Affect Your Health – for Better or Worse

The average person spends about 25 years of their life sleeping. We all know how important it is to get the right amount of sleep each night, but something that’s often overlooked is the positions that we sleep in.

Often, the position we choose can mean the difference between feeling rested when you wake up, or feeling groggy and cranky. Let’s go through the positions, one by one, and break down their pros and cons.

1. Soldier position

You can see where this position gets its name from. Sleeping on your back with your hands at your sides is considered by many experts to be the best sleeping posture.

This posture is similar to the Savasana pose in yoga, and is known to have many health benefits, as listed below.

Pros:

  • Perfect position to rest the spine, neck, and arms.
  • Helps improve the overall posture.
  • Reduces acid reflux.
  • Helps maintain perky breasts.
  • Cures insomnia.
  • Reduces the chances of headaches.
  • Prevents facial wrinkles.

Cons:

  • As gravity pulls down the tongue, this posture may aggravate snoring in people suffering from sleep apnea.
  • Can adversely affect a fetus.
  • Can cause lower back pain.

Solutions:

  • Try sleeping on your back without a pillow. Although it might feel less comfortable at first, It will keep your body in a neutral position and might help reduce snoring.
  • Using a large pillow under the back of your knees will help support the natural curve of your lower back.

2. Starfish position

Another position that is named after its appearance. In this position, a person lies on their back but with their arms up on both sides of their head.

Pros:

  • Perfect position to rest the spine and the neck.
  • Reduces the chances of headaches.
  • It helps reduce acid reflux since the head is elevated and the stomach is able to sit below, so substances from the stomach cannot re-enter the esophagus.
  • Prevents facial wrinkles and skin breakouts.

Cons:

  • As gravity pulls down the tongue, this posture may aggravate snoring in people suffering from sleep apnea.
  • The awkward position of the arms can exert pressure on the nerves in the shoulder, causing pain.
  • Can cause lower back pain.

Solution:

  • Avoid using a pillow while sleeping in this position to allow your head, neck, and spine to rest in a natural position.

3. The log position

While sleeping in this posture, you lie on your side with both arms positioned downward in a straight line. It is advised to sleep on your left side to better rest your vital organs.

Pros:

  • This is an ideal sleeping position for the spine as it receives complete support in its natural curve.
  • Prevents back and neck pain.
  • Reduces sleep apnea and snoring.
  • This is the best sleeping position for pregnant women.

Cons:

  • As your top leg does not get enough support, the chances are high that you may develop back or hip pain.
  • Side sleeping can lead to skin aging, facial wrinkles, and sagging breasts.
  • In some cases, it can even cause neck pain.

Solutions:

  • Use a big pillow to properly support the neck.
  • Place a pillow between your thighs to support your top leg.

4. Yearner position

Sleeping on your side with your legs slightly bent, arms outstretched, and head slightly off-center is known as the yearner posture. It is advised to lie on your left side to better rest your vital organs.

Pros:

  • Prevents neck and back pains.
  • Lying on your left side can reduce acid reflux.
  • Helps reduce sleep apnea and snoring.
  • Eases heartburn.
  • Allows the body to clear waste from the brain more efficiently and reduces the risk of developing disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  • Research shows that people sleeping in this position are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night. This is most likely due to the comfort the body gets.

Cons:

  • Restricts the proper flow of blood and puts pressure on the nerves, which may result in pain in the shoulders and arms.
  • Nerve compression may place a strain on internal organs like the stomach, liver, and lungs.
  • In the long run, can cause saggy breasts and premature skin aging.

Solutions:

  • Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase to reduce the chances of facial wrinkles.
  • Place a pillow between your knees to support your upper leg.

5. Fetal position

The fetal position involves lying on your side with your knees drawn toward your chest and your chin tilted down. It is the most popular sleeping position among women. As with the log position, it is advised to sleep on your left side to better rest your vital organs.

Pros:

  • Reduces snoring considerably.
  • One of the preferred positions for pregnant women.
  • Sleeping on the left side can help reduce acid reflux.

Cons:

  • The extreme curl can put a strain on the neck and back, thereby causing pain.
  • This position, like other side-sleeping positions, can cause skin wrinkles and saggy breasts.

Solutions:

  • Use a firm pillow to support your head.
  • It is recommended that people sleeping in this position alternate sides during the night.

6. Freefall position

This feels like a natural sleeping position for most, but it does have many potential drawbacks in terms of you health.

Pros:

  • In some cases, it has been found to reduce snoring.

Cons:

  • Puts a strain on the spine and causes pain in the neck and lower spine.
  • Since the blood circulation is cut off from the face, it leads to the development of wrinkles.
  • Puts unnatural stress on the internal organs.

Solution:

  • Try a little sideways position by putting a pillow between your stomach and the mattress.

Which of these do you most often use? Will you change your habits after reading this article? Let us know in the comments!

 

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