Catching some ZZZs sounds simple enough, but there’s more to a good night’s sleep than meets the eye. A solid slumber isn’t just based on how long you sleep for, but also how you sleep. Yup, that’s right, the way you position your body while snoozing makes a difference.
Do you prefer to curl up into a cozy ball before dozing off? Or maybe you face plant into the pillow and spread your arms and legs out in every which way. Well, the bedtime position you usually never give a second thought to might need some tweaking. According to the experts at Medical Daily, these are the most common sleep positions, ranked on a scale of best to worst for your health. So, how well are you sleeping?
Worst: Sleeping on Your Stomach
More pressure is being put on your muscles and joints than usual because your spine isn’t in a supported position—causing it to overarch. You’re also contorting your neck so that your head is resting on its side for hours at a time. This position just screams morning aches. So even if it feels only natural to belly flop into your bed and fall fast asleep, try to avoid doing so.
Not-So-Great: Sleeping In the Fetal Position
The fetal position may seem harmless, but think about it, your spine is curled up for hours at a time. You’re harming the back and neck because of the strain being put on them throughout the night. Wrinkles and sagging breasts are also effects since you’re laying on your side. The fetal position doesn’t sound so appealing anymore, does it?
[Related: 5 Hidden Benefits of Sleep]
Good: Sleeping on Your Side
If you’re pregnant or a snorer, this is actually the first position you should try. But if you don’t snore, sleeping on your side actually helps prevent snoring. Regardless of whether you are a soft or heavy sleeper, laying on your side will also reduce acid reflux.
The downside of this position, is that the unfortunate side of your face being pushed up against the pillow is more prone to aging wrinkles—yikes. And for the ladies, lying on your side for an extended period of time isn’t so great for the twins—AKA sagging breasts. Yup, I think we’ll just let nature take its course on that one instead of speeding up the process.
The Crown Jewel: Sleeping on Your Back
The goal is to align your back in a neutral position with the spine parallel to the mattress—that means no contortion whatsoever. If you’re like me, who finds it necessary to toss, turn, and twist until I’m comfortable, this position could feel a bit restricting at first. But there’s no denying the benefits—i.e. no pillow-induced face wrinkles and a reduction of acid reflux.
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