Which Sleep Position Is the Best (Once And For All)
We all know your sleep position matters. The average person sleeps 229,961 hours or one-third of their lifetime. Considering that's in a static position, it makes sense to think about the best position while unconscious.
There's much debate about what position is best, but the truth is - it depends on you. If you snore, sleeping on your back is bad. If you have shoulder issues, sleeping on your side can be dicey. Here's what the different sleep positions do for you.
On your back with no pillow is usually considered the best way to sleep, according to the experts. The position allows your spine to stay straight without twisting or bending in any way. If you have back issues you can place a pillow under your knees to alleviate lower back pain. Also allowing your toes to point upwards during the night can help alleviate any ankle pain. However, if you snore or have sleep apnea, sleeping on your back is not recommended.
Side sleeping is a great alternative if you just can't seem to master the art of sleeping on your back. It's also a great position for pregnant women or people who snore. If you do choose to side-sleep, consider adding a pillow to support the dipped waist area. Also consider adding a pillow between your legs so your hips are in good alignment and not tilted. Keep a pillow under your head so your neck is not bent.
If you can't manage to sleep with three pillows under you, remember at least to change which side you sleep on every night. This helps to keep the spine neutral.
Unfortunately, this is not a great position to sleep in. The neck is twisted throughout the night and pressure is placed on your ankles as you point your toes downward. If you must sleep on your front, experts say, alternate which way your head is turned each night to avoid misalignment of one side of the body. Also try not to kick bend a knee out to the side as this tilts the hips and twists the spine further.
If you're a die-hard tummy sleeper but you want to learn to sleep on your back, consider transitioning to side sleeping and from there move towards the back position.
Other Tips and Tricks
If you sleep on your back, avoid heavy blankets when you sleep. Use light-weight doonas instead. This places pressure on your ankles and prevents your toes from pointing upwards.
If you sleep on your side, consider a memory foam contour pillow. Use the thicker side of the pillow to reduce the tilt of your neck.
If you are concerned about your sleep or have health issues that could be severely impacted by your sleeping positions, always chat with your GP for a treatment plan. Good luck and enjoy an easy night's rest.