Just like how not all sleep is equal, not all sleeping positions are equal. There are some sleeping positions you should never use, and some that make sleeping easier.
Let’s get right into it, but first, if you have trouble sleeping you can actually find a very effective cure (mainly for insomnia but other conditions as well). Also, here are some useful tools for getting better sleep:
- Getting to sleep faster: Our guide on falling asleep faster and not feeling tired the next morning
- A natural sleep supplement: The most effective sleep aid supplement we’ve found for getting to sleep faster and being more relaxed throughout the night
- Relaxing binaural beats: You can find a ‘sleep’ package here which helps you fall asleep if you just listen to them while going to bed
The Best sleeping position: Back (Supine)
If back-sleeping is your preferred sleep position, you’re getting more benefits during shut-eye than you’d think. Because your head is facing straight up and your weight is evenly distributed on your spine.
And unlike whenever your face is buried in a cushion, sleeping on your rear allows gravity to draw down on your face and upper body, which is effective for those experiencing acid reflux. When your head is slightly raised, your stomach rests below your esophagus so the acid and food are much less likely to keep coming back up.
But snorers, be aware: Supine is the most severe of all sleeping positions if you have problems with sleep apnea. Your throat and stomach are pulled by gravity so it makes it harder to breathe. If you lie on your side or if your partner pushes you, the snoring completely goes away.
Get better sleep: Congrats, you’re great in bed! Unless you’re a habitual snorer, back-sleeping is your very best option for optimal wellbeing and day-to-day physical comfort. It can also help prevent wrinkles which is another beauty reward. You might also want to try an anti snoring spray!
Next Best: Left side
If snuggling on your side is what you prefer, experts recommend resting on your left. This is because sleeping on your right pushes on the arteries and prevents maximum blood flow. As a result, your body is going to move more frequently during the night to accommodate having less circulation.
This leads to restless sleep which either your fitbit or your partner is going to notice. The left part, however, allows cardiovascular return which means your heart can pump blood within your body when there’s less pressure on that region.
Get better sleep: Whichever side you’re sticking with putting a firm cushion between the legs to aid good alignment between your hips and bones is recommended. This helps consistently distribute your bodyweight throughout the night time, easing that creaky sense of soreness some awaken with every day.
Less Ideal: Right Side
If sleeping soundly for you means nodding off on your right, you will be subjected to a health risk. Your right side has your cardiovascular system, so added pressure on this area of the body actually constricts your rib cage and strains your lungs.
You might experience acid reflux and even heart failure. But if you’re in generally good health, there’s no reason to be concerned. But if you’re pregnant or suffer from things like heartburn, you might want to turn to your left side.
Get better sleep: If you still want to stick to your right side, roll up a towel and place it in the small of your waist to avoid sinking into the bed. This relieves pressure on toyr organs and helps you sleep better.
Not Ideal: Sleeping with One Leg Up
Putting one leg higher when you snooze isn’t providing you a leg up with your wellbeing. Sleeping in the “horizontal tree” position, where one leg is bent higher than the other (usually toward your chest), is actually a bad idea.
This pulls weight from the pelvis, which means if you have low back pain, it’s helpful, but it’s bad to do it with one leg only. The unequal displacement of pressure using one leg versus the other could cause back damage later on.
Get better sleep: In the event that you do end up waking in the night with your right or left leg curled up try putting a pillow in the middle of your legs. This will take some pressure off and will help with knee stabilization so it won’t move while you’re asleep.
The Most detrimental: Stomach
Sorry, tummy sleepers. We realize you want to flop face down and spread your arms out, but experts say this is actually the simplest way to awaken with discomfort and pain the next day. That’s because gravity pulls on your stomach and the spine as well as forcing your head to turn on a 90-degree angle which places a strain on your neck. This is how you get a crick in your neck the next day
Get better sleep: Trade in those fluffy cushions for a slim, firm one. It will not prop your throat up too much, allowing for a more even curvature of your back. And for better blood circulation, put a cushion or two under your pelvic region. This will reduce the pressure on the arch of your spine and will position your backbone more naturally.