Guest post by Batool Ali
The importance of getting enough sleep each night is universally acknowledged; no doubt
It is necessary for proper functioning of the body and maintaining good physical as well
as mental health.
What is often not looked at is how the sleeping position you take on affects your health.
Yes, there are healthy ways of sleeping and some not so healthy ones.
“Sleeping on your back
is considered the
best possible way to sleep.”
On your back
This is the best possible way to sleep.
Sleeping on your back keeps your whole body comfortable.
Your head, neck and spine are properly aligned and in a neutral position.
This ensures that your back is not exposed to any kind of pressure.
The natural alignment works well for your body.
Besides the back being in a good position, sleeping on your back also prevents facial wrinkles
and skin breakouts as well, and works against acid reflux.
The latter is due to the elevated position of the head and because the stomach is lying below
the esophagus, that does not allow the digested food to come up.
One drawback of sleeping on your back is that you might snore and you could be prone to
Also, if your arms are up it could cause shoulder pain due to the nerves being exposed to
“Sleeping on your side
has actually been termed
the second worse position
to sleep in.”
The problem of sleep apnea can be resolved by sleeping on your side instead of on your back.
In fact, this position is recommended for those with sleep apnea, neck and back pain as sleeping
on the side opens up their oropharynx and the spine feels elongated, reducing the symptoms.
According to a recent study, side sleeping is helpful for the brain.
Sleeping on your side also comes with disadvantages.
Skin aging is one result mainly because wrinkles develop due to one side of your face on the pillow.
Similarly, your breast may also sag due to the same reason.
That is not all.
When sleeping on your side, you could do so on your right or left.
“Although it may help with sleep apnea,
sleeping on your side may cause skin aging,
wrinkles, breast sagging and also
strain internal organs .“
Sleeping on the right means worsening heartburn while the left side, though prevents acid
reflux, also strains internal organs including liver, lungs and stomach.
It is advised for pregnant women to sleep on their left side as that helps with blood flow.
Then there is the fetal position, in which you are basically sleeping on your side only but
with your knees drawn up to your chest.
Although it feels very comfortable at that time, in the long term this position strains your
back and joints.
It is important for the shoulder and neck to be in proper alignment, and the opposite happens
when sleeping in this position.
This has actually been termed the second worse position to sleep in.
“There could not be a
worse position of sleeping
than on your stomach.
Refrain from this position
at all costs if you are prone to,
and looking to avoid,
backache and neck pain.”
There could not be a worse position of sleeping than on your stomach.
It causes your spine to overarch because the position is not in line with its natural curve
and leads to the joints and muscles being exposed to pressure, causing pain.
Until and unless you can breathe through the pillow, your neck has to be rotated on a side
and is in a tight position, making it difficult to breathe.
However, if you snore, you could try sleeping this way for some time since it helps in opening
up upper airways.
Just keep it this way for a short duration only.
Refrain from this position at all costs if you are prone to and looking to avoid backache and
“When all is said and done,
the sleeping position you assume
is really up to you because while a
particular posture might be comfortable
and beneficial for someone, you may
not feel the same way about it.”
The sleeping position you assume is really up to you because while a particular posture
might be comfortable and beneficial for someone, you may not feel the same way about it.
Sleeping positions are not really thought of as per the health benefits they offer.
Rather, people opt for the posture they feel comfortable in and which allows them proper
and enough sleep.
It is a good idea to try out different postures to find out which one suits you the best.
And unless your doctor particularly instructs you not to sleep in a particular position,
it is probably okay for you to continue if you are comfortable that way and it doesn’t
cause physical pain.
About the Author:
Batool Ali is a passionate blogger who loves to write on health and medical related topics.
What is your favorite sleeping position?
Did anything read make you rethink your sleeping posture?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.