How Your Sleeping Position Affects Your Health

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Sleep is something we all need to maintain a healthy life, and requires a lot less discipline than hitting the gym! Various health problems are linked to getting both too much and too little sleep. Though a lot of people aren’t aware of it, the position you sleep in is a big part of the whole picture. Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about your sleeping position.

Back Sleepers

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We’ll start off with back sleepers. When you sleep on your back, your spine will keep in great shape. This is because your back isn’t contorted, and is more or less straight. The position also helps the mattress support your spine, which is what it’s designed to do. However, there are drawbacks. Sleep apnea and snoring are more prevalent in people who sleep on their back. In fact, a lot of doctors will prescribe sleeping on your side as treatment for the condition. When you’re lying on your back, your tongue has the tendency to fall back into the airway. This is what causes the snoring that your partner loves so much.

Side Sleepers

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Next, side sleepers. This is the most popular sleeping position by far. Doctors will often advise expectant mothers to sleep on their left side, as it leads to better circulation. This is good for both mother and child. If you’re not pregnant, sleeping on your side still has its benefits. Side-sleepers have been found to recover from acid reflux, heartburn and similar conditions much faster. If this keeps you awake at night, then try rolling over! Again, it’s not all good. Side sleepers put a lot of pressure on their lungs and stomach through their position. If you tuck your arm behind your head, it can harm your nerves and muscles. Furthermore, you might be laying a lot of your body weight on the shoulder. This can cause problems in your neck and shoulder muscles. However, these issues can be helped by finding the best pillows for a side sleeper.

Sleeping On Your Belly

Baby sleeping on his belly close up

Lastly, sleeping on your belly. This is probably the unhealthiest position you can choose. It may put a muffler on your snoring and help sleep apnea. These are the only the good things about it though! By sleeping on your belly, you’ll be flattening the natural curve of your spine. This is one of the leading causes of lower back pain. Also, if you sleep all night with your head turned to one side, it will put an unhealthy strain on your neck. For the healthiest possible sleep, you need to change your position soon. I understand that weaning off a certain position can be very tough! If you need to get your eight hours, try placing a pillow under your groin to elevate your lower abdomen. This should take some of the strain off of your spine.

Basically, you can’t win! Everyone sleeps in the position they find comfiest, mostly with no adverse health effects. Every sleeping position has its downsides, but you can still make certain changes for a healthier sleep.

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