This is how your sleeping position affects your health

Let’s take a look at the impact your sleeping position has on your health and find out whether you should change it.

When it comes to getting a good night’s rest, body position matters a lot. Until your head, legs, and arms are exactly where you want them to be, dozing off is an impossible task. But did you know that every sleeping position affects our health in different ways? Here's how!

Sleeping on your back

There is no such thing as the ’best sleeping position’ but sleeping on your back, like a log, comes pretty darn close.

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Tânia Mousinho/Unsplash

According to SleepFoundation.org, the back sleeping position is the second most popular position but is also one of the most beneficial for health. When you’re lying on your back, gravity is naturally keeping your body in line and this automatically relieves pressure on your spine. Experts at Heathline suggest placing a pillow behind your knees to optimise the position as it will give extra support to your back.

Sleeping in this position will alleviate lower back or neck pain, and also help with nasal congestion. This is an ideal way to sleep for those of you who are scared about getting wrinkles while sleeping.

Sleeping on your side

Data from a study has shown that 60% of adults spend most of their nights on their side. Luckily enough, this position has a number of health benefits as well but it also depends on which side you sleep.

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Sleeping on your side Damir Spanic/UNSPLASH

For example, professionals at Johns Hopkins Medicine say that people who experience heartburn, due to pregnancy or any other reasons, will have stronger symptoms if they sleep on their right side. However, just by switching to the left, they can cool their burn. Pregnant women are recommended to sleep on their left side as opposed to their right, as it promotes healthy blood circulation and takes the pressure off the organs.

Finally, sleeping on your side is a godsend for those of you who snore through the night, or have sleep apnea.

Sleeping on your stomach

Apart from helping with snoring, this sleeping position doesn’t actually have many health benefits. Furthermore, it can cause back and neck pain as there is an increased amount of strain on the spine, joints, and muscles.

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Sleeping on your stomach  Vladislav Muslakov/ Unsplash

SleepFoundation.org advises that if this is your go-to position but it’s also making you wake up feeling sore, ‘you might want to consider switching to back or side sleeping or changing your bed setup to reduce spinal strain.’ They added:

Stomach sleepers tend to require a firmer mattress and a pillow with a low loft.
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