When it's time to get some shut-eye, how do you get into your preferred sleeping position? Do you lie on your back? Maybe you're a stomach sleeper? I've evolved in my sleeping style over the years, from a side sleeper to now a back sleeper, and on my stomach only when I've exhausted back and side positions and can't seem to fall asleep. But what are the best positions to sleep in? Considering how much I love my sleepy-time, I thought it was about time I did some research on this very topic.
- Sleeping on your back
The pros: This position is great for balancing out your body weight and keeping your internal organs aligned. Just be sure to keep a pillow under your knees to help maintain proper alignment of your back.
The cons: Not the best position for snorers, since this may make their snoring worse!
For side and stomach positions, keep reading.
- Sleeping on your side
The pros: Lying on your side in the fetal position with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs is said to take stress off your back. What's important is that you use a pillow that will keep your head in a neutral position so that your head won't drop and affect your posture. And did you know that sleeping on your left side reduces heartburn pain and is best when you're pregnant since it increases blood and nutrient flow to your baby?!
The cons: You're in luck — there aren't really any since this position follows the natural curvature of the spine.
- Sleeping on your stomach
The pros: If you have lower back pain, occasionally sleeping on your stomach can relieve pressure on your disc spaces. I know if I've been leaning over all day, falling asleep like this feels fantastic since it resembles the cobra yoga position (lots of pillows required!). And it's been rumored that sleeping on your stomach can lower your blood pressure as well, but we're waiting for some more concrete evidence on this.
The cons: I saved the worst for last. Sleeping on your stomach is a big no-no. According to Terri Trespicio, senior editor of Body+Soul magazine, "sleeping on your stomach flattens the natural curve in the lower back and keeps your head turned to one side all night, which distorts the alignment of the spine in your neck." This position can also exert unnecessary pressure on your nerves which will cause pins and needles when you wake up. And your breasts won't like this position, either!
Find out what other factors may be affecting your sleep quality.