What Sleep Position is Right For You?
Sleep Position Pros and Cons
We sleep 8 hours a night on average, which equals about a third of our life. If our body isn’t in a good sleep position or we have a bad mattress or pillow, all those hours can wreak havoc on our body.
We can end up with back and neck pain and more. That pain or discomfort can also result in poor sleep, which affects us mentally, physically and emotionally in the short term and long term.
Our posture when we’re asleep is just as important as our posture when we’re awake. Three main sleep positions exist: side sleeper, back sleeper, and stomach sleeper.
Here are the pros and cons of each sleep position, chiropractors tell Dr. Josh Axe. See if the way you’ve been sleeping correlates with any of these.
Pros: Sleeping on the back evenly distributes weight and pressure on the spine, neck and joints. This makes it comfortable for a lot of people. Back sleeping may also allow for better circulation and optimal rest.
Cons: You want to make sure your neck is well supported and your head does not get pressed up too high or fall back too low. Back sleeping also correlates with higher instances of snoring and sleep apnea. Ultimately you want to make sure your neck is aligned with your spine, which can be helped with proper pillow support and a good mattress.
Pros: Side sleepers are less prone to snoring. Sleeping on your left side can reduce acid reflux. For most people, “the best sleep position is a side posture fetal pose, with legs curled and pillow between your knees, which keeps the pelvis level and reduces the chances of lower back irritation, stiffness or pain.”
Cons: Side sleepers are more likely to experience nerve compression that can cause neck and back pain, even sciatic nerve pain. Therefore, pillow choice and pillow position are both important. Also, sleeping on the left side can have drawbacks like putting a strain on internal organs. So it’s important to alternate sides.
Pros: On your stomach you’re more restricted in how you can move so you may get a deeper sleep.
Cons: However, stomach sleeping has a bunch of cons. It can negatively impact digestion and circulation; cause strain and pressure on the neck; increase pressure on the lower back; put pressure on internal organs and further complicate snoring and sleep apnea issues.
So, what sleep position is right for you? Did you notice any drawbacks to the way you currently sleep?
Chances are, we can all use some personal recommendations for good sleep positions, pillows and mattresses. Book an appointment with Dr. Rion or Dr. Mike and talk to them about how you’re sleeping and if that may relate to some pain or other issues you’re having. Remember, sleep is one third of your life, so make it good!