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What is the Healthiest Position to Sleep in?

Find out how your sleep position is affecting you

Sleep plays such an important role in both our physical and mental health and there’s nothing worse than waking up tired and achy after a poor night’s sleep. We spend around a third of our lives asleep – so it might not come as a surprise that the position you sleep in could be impacting the quality. Not all sleep positions are equal so find out if your side snoozing might be affecting your sleep and see how you can improve things and wake up feeling fresh every morning.  

 

1. On your side

Sleeping on your side is the most popular position and around 50-70% of people consider themselves to be side sleepers. There are pros to side sleeping, although these actually vary depending on the side you choose to lie on. Sleeping on your left side can help improve circulation to the heart and it’s for this reason that it’s the recommended position for pregnant women. Sleeping on your left with your head elevated on a pillow can also help reduce heartburn and acid reflux symptoms and give you some much needed relief. On the other hand, sleeping on your right side puts less pressure on your heart and stomach and can help with smoother digestion. One of the problems associated with side sleeping is that it can put pressure on your spine and potentially strain your lower back. You can also wake up with numbness or stiffness in your arms, shoulders and hips if they’ve been under the weight of your body – in fact it’s sometimes difficult finding somewhere comfortable to put your arms so that they’re not in the way! If you’re experiencing problems with side sleeping and want to improve things you can try placing a firm pillow between your knees. This raises the upper leg and restores the natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine to reduce pressure. Sleeping in the fetal position is a great option for side sleepers too. By lying on yourside with your knees tucked into yourchest you can reduce the pressure on your spine and help open up your joints as well.  

 

2. On your back

Lying on your back is typically considered the best sleeping position. Back sleeping helps to distribute your weight evenly and alleviates pressure points. It’s a great position for your spine and neck as the body is straight and not twisted. Back sleeping also has some cosmetic benefits – in fact spending all night with your face in the air instead of squashed into a pillow, can result in fewer facial wrinkles! Nevertheless, back sleepers can experience issues too. If you suffer with snoring or sleep apnea then sleeping on your back can aggravate things further and it’s best to avoid it. This is because gravity can make your tongue obstruct more of your airways making it harder for you to breathe, and noisier from snoring! You could try alleviating symptoms by elevating your head and back using an adjustable bed or extra pillows, but it may be that side sleeping is a better option for you. If you’re experiencing a strained or achy back then you could try elevating your knees with pillows, or using an adjustable bed to raise your legs slightly. This helps maintain the natural curve of your spine and is better for your back and sleep posture.

 

3. On your front

Unfortunately, about the only positive thing to say about sleeping on your front is that is eases snoring! Sleeping on your front is likely to be the worst position for your back. In this position the spine is poorly aligned which can result in lower back pain and your neck is twisted onto the pillow which causes increased strain and stress on the neck, shoulders and back. To improve things, you could try putting a pillow under the hips or stomach to try straighten your spine, but it may well be worth considering training yourself to sleep in a different position.  

 

4. The benefits of an adjustable base 

Whatever the position you choose to sleep in, an adjustable bed can help. Adjustable beds are not specific to any sleeping position and so you are able to adjust the bed to your own specific needs. Adjustable bed can contour to your body, offering increased support and helping the natural alignment of your spine which reduces pressure from your back, hips and shoulders. The greater flexibility gives you an easy way of raising your head and back to ease snoring or sleep apnea, or raising your legs to help sleep posture or circulation. They’re also amazingly comfy and practical for all the other things that you like to do in bed such as watching TV or reading.   In conclusion there is no ‘correct’ way to sleep and it’s a personal experience to you. If you are experiencing sleep problems you could try changing your position to see if it makes a difference, or investing in an adjustable bed to give yourself greater flexibility.   The Mode Bed is a UK smart bed that allows you to adjust your position and get the most comfortable night sleep possible. It also contains the latest technology; USB chargers, massage and under-bed lighting for the ultimate sleep experience.

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