The Best Sleeping Positions

by | Oct 21, 2019

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Your sleeping position will have a serious result on your sleep in addition to your health. Poor sleeping position may cause back and neck pain, fatigue, muscle cramping, impaired circulation, heartburn, headaches, abdomen troubles, sleep disorder, and even early wrinkles. If you follow all the foundations — leave your phone out of the chamber, do breathing exercises, move to bed at a not too late hour, have a comfortable bed environment,  get eight hours of sleep, and even taking your Somnox Sleep Robot to bed — you’ll still run the chance of feeling ill-tempered and aching when waking up. The one factor you could improve on is your sleeping position [1].

We’ll discuss several health advantages and some disadvantages of the three most common sleeping positions!



Side Sleeping – The Best

Health advantages of side/fetal sleeping:

Side sleeping is unquestionably the most ordinarily reported sleep position [2]; it is able to have plenty of health advantages. If you snore or have a hassle in regulating your breathing, sleeping on your right side is the most suitable choice for opening up your airways, therefore, you’ll be able to breathe better at nighttime.

In addition, it may be good for your spine and would possibly help relieve low back pain.  This position is exceptional for pregnant women who often experience trouble sleeping at night due to discomfort and pain in their back and spine. Carrying around extra weight when a woman is pregnant put more strain on the back and can lead to back problems all throughout pregnancy.

Pregnant women ought to consider sleeping on their left side as a result of the baby pushing their organs upward, there is  abundant room in there. throughout maternity, the heart is already operating quicker to support the baby, and sleeping on the correct side, together with the additional pressure from the organs, may delay the flow of blood to the mother’s heart and also the baby’s too.

Slumbering on your side will facilitate your spine to induce a break from the pressure from holding your head up, sitting or standing throughout the day.

Curling abreast of the left or right may even be smart for your brain. A study found that sleeping on your side would possibly lower the threat of developing brain disease,  Alzheimer’s disease, and alternative neurologic ailments. According to the study, sleeping on your side is ideal for clearing the glymphatic pathway to the brain that is responsible for removing waste and other harmful chemicals that travel to the brain. Similar to your body’s entire lymphatic system, the ability to wash out these chemicals leave you with a better functioning brain. When your brain is healthier and stronger, you are much less likely to develop brain-related illnesses as you get older.

Likewise, sleeping on your left side may assist the flow of blood to your heart. Blood gets circulated then streams back to your heart on the correct side, once your heart pumps blood to your body. If you sleep on your right facet, the heaviness of your body smashes up opposite to the blood vessels that come to your ticker.

Do you struggle with acid reflux, or know of anyone who struggles with it? Acid reflux is a condition where the acid in one’s stomach goes up into the esophagus and doesn’t stay where it belongs. It’s that feeling when you eat and then you feel you’re throwing up in your mouth, your throat may burn and for some, the stomach feels totally out of sorts. It’s a pain in the stomach that one can’t describe, and many times heartburn can accompany the other symptoms as well.

The doctors will more than likely suggest that you sleep on your left side and not on your right side. Several studies have proven that sleeping on your right side tends to aggravate the reflux. Versus sleeping on the left side resulted in the calming of the reflux.

However, if you do sleep on your right side it’s best to prop your upper body up. There are body wedges you can invest in and doctors can refer you to the proper stores to purchase them. 

Lying on the back is said to be the worse position for one who suffers from acid reflux. With that being said if you sleep on any side let it be the left if you can help it, and if not the left then propped up on the right side. Stay off your back as much as you can.  

Lying on the back causes the fluids in the stomach to flow where they please, and the body being to the side keeps them in one fixed position. On the other hand, being propped up keeps them down and doesn’t give them free range to enter back up into the esophagus. The propping up gives you all the more comfort regarding reflux at night.


Some Disadvantages

Sleeping on your side, you’ll typically come to life with a numb arm. That needles and pins feeling comes from the so-called “capillary crush,” once the burden you’re putting on your arm, or the other frozen part is putting extreme pressure on your blood vessels. There may be a lot of crushing pressure that you simply misplace blood flow.

Poor blood flow isn’t the sole downside to obtaining slumbering when lying on your side. Studies reveal that it will speed up pyrosis and acid reflux at nighttime. If you repeatedly suffer from stomach upset at nighttime, you need to opt for a different sleeping position [3].

Furthermore, for some people, sleeping on your side can lead to shoulder pain and discomfort. When you sleep on your side, your shoulder takes the brunt of the pressure from the rest of your body. That pressure is persistent for as long as you are sleeping on that side. If you are sleeping for hours per night on that shoulder, an aching shoulder or worse pain may develop. If you find that is the case, you will either want to switch back and forth from sleeping on your right side to your left side, or you will need to find a new sleeping position altogether. 

The same goes for jaw pain. If you have jaw issues to begin with or jaw pain develops from sleeping on your side at night, it is due to the pressure you put on your face and jaw muscles while sleeping. You will want to opt for a different sleeping position if you find this is a recurring issue.


Back Sleeping: Reasonably Good

Health advantages of back sleeping:

Falling asleep on your back would possibly facilitate you waking up feeling more energized than usual. That’s as a result of resting on your back is the best position for obtaining prime quality sleep. It’s the sole pose where you’ll be able to sleep all through the night while not having to alter. After you sleep on your back, your load is equally distributed across your body structure, very different to alternative positions.

In addition, if you’ve got lower back pain, resting on your back along with your knees supported by pillows may take some stress off your spine and ease the pain. The rounding error in your lower back mimics the natural curve of your spine that happens after you are sleeping on your side, within the fetal sleeping position. Consider it this way: after you are lying on your back along with your legs extended on the ground, you’ll be able to presumably suit your hand within the area between your lower back and also the floor. However, once your knees are up and your foot positioned flat on the ground, you will decrease some tension from the lower back throughout the night.


Some Disadvantages

While back sleeping is the most favorable for several individuals, unfortunately, it’s not for everybody. After you are on your back, your higher airway is the least stable as a result; it’s possible you will snore a lot more or follow unhealthy symptoms of sleep disorder, conditions which will be irritating to bed partners and furthermore additionally harmful to your health.

Do you or anyone you know suffer from sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is when one’s breathing starts and stops repeatedly. For many, it’s a very serious condition, while some don’t deal with it as severely. Sleep apnea is one of those sleep disorders that are affected when sleeping on the back. It can certainly make symptoms worse, snoring louder and you run a higher chance of possibly even choking on dry air that you may breathe in.  

When we rest at night it’s the time for our bodies to regroup and get situated for the next day. Without the proper rest and appropriate sleep patterns and sleeping positions, you don’t give your body what it needs. Be sure you are taking the necessary precautions if you or anyone you know is struggling with a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.

Making sure there is less tension on your lower back when you are sleeping on your back is key to making this sleeping position work. Many people will find that if they sleep on their back too long at night they will wake up in the morning with an aching lower back. If your legs are not supported and slightly raised to make your lower back press into the mattress, that curvature in your spine puts unwanted tension in the lumbar region. Eliminating the hallow in the lower back will ensure you will wake up feeling refreshed and pain-free.

The spine is very important to pay attention to when sleeping. The most natural position for the spine is when you sleep on your back. Proper alignment is also key regarding healthy sleep positions. That lower back pain you may be experiencing could very well be due to improper sleep positions. A quick trip to a chiropractor for many would solve the back problems they are experiencing. Many would begin to realize that a suitable mattress that fits your body, your level of necessary rest and the way you sleep, is very important to the health of your back.


Stomach Sleeping – Less Recommended

Some Advantages:

If you’re a back sleeper who will snore and you cannot differentiate sleeping on your side, lying on your belly can be a decent way of opening your airways a small amount. When your airways are opened more it is easier for air to flow in and out of your lungs, reducing the amount of snoring throughout the night. Sleeping on your stomach to reduce snoring does not work for everyone though. However there are not too many alternative advantages.


More Disadvantages:

Sleeping on your belly may lead up to pain within the neck. This is the foremost awful position as a result of moving your neck to nearly an entire 90-degree angle from your body. This sleeping position may lead to varying degrees of neck pain. Additionally, it’s not healthy for your back.

Thus it can be concluded that side sleeping and back sleeping are the most effective sleep positions which you’ll be able to switch in line with your comfort. However, try to avoid sleeping on your back because it could end up in unwanted effects like creating pain in your back, lumbar region, and your neck.

While pregnant some doctors tend to recommend not sleeping on the stomach after you reach a certain point in the pregnancy. I say some because some doctors also say that it’s ok to sleep on your stomach as long as it’s comfortable for you and your growing stomach. 

Pregnancy pillows and body pillows do the pregnant body good while sleeping. There are also pillows that one can lay on with the growing belly settling on top with an opening. Therefore putting no pressure on the stomach in any overbearing way. 

Overall pregnant moms have many options as to how they want to sleep and what may work best for them, and whatever complications one may or may not have during pregnancy. If you do choose to sleep on your stomach well after your stomach is protruding while pregnant, play it safe and consider buying a pillow specifically designed to keep you and baby safe, secure and comfortable while sleeping. 


Why is a good night’s sleep so important?

A good night’s sleep is important because the day after you either get good rest or don’t is going to flow based off of everything that happens during the night. Whether or not you reach that REM sleep all depends on how good you’re resting. Your body has to shut down throughout the night enough for you to be relaxed and comfortable enough to get to that deep level of sleep. 

Deep sleep enables one to many times dream is what some studies say, and of course the more hours of rest you get the greater chance you have of reaching that level of rest. Your mental state depends on the level of rest your body engages in throughout the night. The way you operate on the job depends on it and if you have children then you know that your level of rest affects just how well you do at parenting also. 

Try out different positions to see what works best for you and don’t be afraid to change it up if you simply get tired of sleeping a particular way. Just be sure that you pay attention to the heightening of any sleep disorders, reflux or anything else that would be effected through the night. You want to be comfortable but not at the expense of worsening some other condition that you may or may not have.


So How Do You Sleep With A Sleep Robot?

The Sleep Robot is designed to be used while laying in a side sleep position. The sleep companion is molded in such a way that it follows your natural fetal pose. However, it is certainly possible to cuddle with the Sleep Robot if you’re either sleeping on your back or sleeping on your belly. The trick is to hold the sleep companion in such a way that you physically feel the breathing rhythm. By doing this, you can still be guided to the breathing rhythm of the Sleep Robot and thus fall asleep easier.

This article was co-authored and fact-checked by Dr. Brent Wells

Dr. Brent Wells, D.C. is the author of over 700 online articles that have been featured on sites such as Dr. Axe, Lifehack, and many other health publications. These articles include various types of information about how you can live a healthy and happy life. Dr. Wells is a chiropractor in Alaska where he has treated over 7,000 patients. He created the Alaska Back Pain Protocol, which has helped thousands say goodbye to back pain.

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