Did you know that the position you sleep in can affect your health? Whether you sleep on your side, back or stomach, each can hurt or help your health when your head hits the pillow. Your sleep position can positively or negatively impact your snoring, symptoms of sleep apnea, neck and back pain and other conditions. Read on to find out more about your sleeping position — and your health!
Sleeping on your side.
The recommended way to sleep is on your side, and 54% of people follow this advice. The spine can remain elongated and relatively neutral while on your side with the right mattress to help reduce neck, back and shoulder pain.
People that struggle with loud snoring and sleep apnea can benefit by sleeping on their side since the airway is less likely to become restricted. Additionally, people with arthritis, acid reflux, neck and back problems are advised to sleep on their side.
Sleeping on your back.
This is the second most common sleeping position as nearly 38% of adults do this. Sleeping flat on your back with your head supported by a pillow can help reduce problems associated with acid reflux. However, this position intensifies snoring and sleep apnea since your tongue and soft tissues in the throat relax and are pulled into the airway.
Sometimes this sleeping position may cause lower back pain for some. Use a low pillow or cervical cushion to support your neck and a pillow to prop up your knees. This should help alleviate some discomfort and strain on your lower back.
Sleeping on your stomach.
If you prefer sleeping on your front, then you’re in the minority. Roughly 7% of adults sleep on their stomach, and although it can decrease the sound of snoring, it’s not recommended, according to Sleep Health Solutions.
Sleeping on your stomach forces your head to be raised and can make it difficult to keep your spine in a neutral position. Over time, this sleep position can lead to pain and nerve issues due to your spine overarching. Also, turning your head to one side can limit blood circulation and reduce your airway.
The next time you try to count sheep, keep in mind which position you normally fall asleep in to practice good health.
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