Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: What are the best sleeping positions for your health?

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

What are the best sleeping positions for your health?



We all know that getting a good night’s rest is crucial for your health. But can the position you sleep in affect your wellbeing too? In short, the answer to this question is yes. The posture you adopt when you climb between the sheets at night can have a big impact on how you feel during your day. Here, we take a look at the most common sleeping positions and the effects they can have on your body.


Back

Many experts suggest that nodding off on your back is best. This can help to prevent neck and back pain, minimise wrinkles and reduce acid reflux. However, this position is not recommended for snorers or people with sleep apnoea because it can cause your airways to narrow and make breathing more difficult. Also, if you do adopt this position when you’re preparing to doze off, it’s important to use support under your knees. This is because your spine is naturally S-shaped and lying completely flat can force it into an unnatural posture, straining your joints, muscles and nerves. To prevent this from happening, consider raising your knees slightly by placing a pillow underneath them. Alternatively, for a more convenient and long-lasting solution, you might want to think about getting an adjustable bed. For example, the adjustable beds from Adjustamatic enable you to elevate your legs to reduce the pressure on your spine.


Also, as with any sleeping position, make sure there are enough pillows under your neck and head to support them in a neutral position.


Side

Most of us sleep on our sides. This position tends to feel natural and many people find they fall asleep more easily like this. However, if you’re not careful, this posture can lead to neck or shoulder pain and there is a risk that it will give you pins-and-needles in your arms if you accidentally lie on them. To avoid this problem, try to keep your arms out in front of you. Also, to ensure your spine stays in alignment and to reduce the risk of backache, it’s a good idea to bend your knees and place a pillow between them. If your mattress is very soft, you could also put pillows under your waist to give extra support to your body.


Stomach

For most people, stomach sleeping is not recommended. This is because lying on your front can cause you to twist your neck and it can put added strain on the arch at the bottom of your spine. If you insist on resting in this position, it’s a good idea to raise one side of your body slightly with a pillow. This should help to lessen the strain on your neck. You might also benefit from using thinner pillows.


Especially if you tend to move around a lot while you’re asleep, it can be hard to maintain good positions throughout the night. However, by making an effort to fall asleep in a healthy posture, you could get your body into better habits.

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