It is widely known that getting a good nights sleep can work wonders for your health, but does how you sleep have any effect on your health? Most people tend to feel most comfortable in a certain position in bed, and find it easier to fall asleep in this position. But lying still in this stance for a long period of time can put strain on certain parts of your body.
Poor sleeping posture can cause many health issues such as neck and back pain, headaches, fatigue, and poor circulation. It’s important to understand the importance of good sleep hygiene and adjust your sleeping positions accordingly.
Below are eight common sleeping positions and the potential health issues they could cause.
1. Lying ON YOUR BACK, ARMS AT your SIDES
Sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides is widely considered to be the best sleeping position for your spine. It benefits your neck as well as long as you only use one or two pillows. This is because the spine is straight and can realign itself whilst you are unconscious, undoing any misalignment that may have occurred from bad posture and general movement throughout the day. However, sleeping on your back also increases the likelihood of snoring, and is also associated with sleep apnoea.
2. ON YOUR BACK, ARMS stretched out to the sides
The so-called “starfish” position is also beneficial for your spine. Whether your hands are above your head or straight out to the sides however it can put pressure on the nerves in your shoulders and your joints. Sleeping on your back is believed to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts as the delicate skin on your face isn’t crumpled by lying on it, and your pores can breathe more freely. As with any position lying on your back, snoring can be an issue.
3. FACE DOWN
Whilst sleeping lying on your stomach can improve digestion, it can be harmful to your neck if you tilt your head to one side, as the vast majority of people who sleep in this position do. Sleeping face down can also lead to back pain as the position creates an unnatural inverted curvature in the spine.
4. FEOTAL POSITION
This is the most common sleeping position for children and adults as you conserve warmth and don’t put stress on your joints. The foetal position is particularly good for snorers and if you’re pregnant. However, sleeping in a curled up position can be damaging to the spine and if you curl up particularly tightly it could also restrict deep breathing.
Naturally we all move around during sleep and will probably lie in numerous different positions throughout the night. It is also difficult to control your sleeping position as you’re unaware of your movement when you’re asleep. There are bedding options like memory foam mattresses and mattress toppers that offer added support for whatever sleeping position you end up in, so it may be a good idea to invest if you find you wake up feeling sore and achy rather than rested and revitalised.
Miranda Holden is a sleep specialist. She recommends http://www.duvettalk.co.uk/ for people who have trouble with aches and pains due to sleeping.