As you get under the sheets at night, you most probably settle into your preferred way to sleep. However, some sleeping positions might be better than others, considering your posture plays a huge role in overall health and minimizing the risk of back pain.
Below, we’ll discuss the best sleeping position for your age group and the best way to sleep if you suffer from any health condition.
Factors That Impact Your Sleeping Position
When you’re younger, your sleeping position might not matter as your body is still fit and healthy. However, seniors need to be careful about the way they sleep since they’re more prone to getting medical issues.
Here are some factors you must consider before slipping under the covers.
If you suffer from neck or back pain, finding the right sleeping position can be a bit tricky. People with neck pain might find it painful to sleep on their backs. However, the same position may alleviate lower back aches, making it suitable for patients with back pain.
If your spine feels sore, you should try different positions until you find the best one for you.
Sleeping on the right side is a huge no-no for people who suffer from heartburn and reflux. On the other hand, if you sleep on the left side, you’ll notice the effects going away.
The same applies to pregnant women too.
People who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are prone to snoring due to a collapse in the airways. To prevent this, sleep on your stomach or side as it helps keep the airways open and lowers the likelihood of snoring.
Most people are surprised to hear this, but your sleeping position also impacts your appearance. If you sleep on your stomach or side, you’ll wake up with creases on your face.
Although not instantly impactful, this could lead to chronic skin changes over the years. Plus, you may experience breakouts too.
If you want to delay wrinkling on your face, it’s best to sleep on your back.
Best Sleeping Positions
Choosing the best way to sleep for your condition can have a noticeable effect on your health and activeness levels. Here are some expert-suggested sleeping positions.
Fetal Sleeping Position
Reading the name should have formed an image in your head. In this position, you’ll start by laying on your back and then rolling over to your side. Make sure to do this gently if you have a herniated disk.
After that, curl your upper body towards the knees while tucking the knees into the chest – just like a fetus. You can shift from one side to another to maintain a balance.
The fetal sleeping position helps people with a herniated disc since it opens up the room between the spinal vertebrae. Sometimes, one of the discs might slip out of its regular space, leading to weakness and nerve pain.
When you’re in the fetal position, the intervertebral space opens, allowing the disc to slide back into its designated spot.
Sleeping with Knee Support
Most experts suggest sleeping on your back as the best sleeping position. Since it evenly distributes the body weight, it reduces pressure on your joints and aligns the head, spine, and neck properly.
Here’s how you can settle into a comfortable sleeping position. Lay on your back with your face upwards. Make sure it’s facing the ceiling and not your sides.
Keep a pillow under your neck and head. Then, place another pillow under your knees. It doesn’t have to be as big as the head pillow – you can also use a cushion.
Doing this will align your knees with the spine’s curvature, offering a good night’s sleep.
Sleep On Your Front
Let’s preface this by saying that sleeping on your front is the worst way to sleep. But if you can’t seem to be comfortable in any other condition, this could help you rest well at night.
Plus, it may be a good sleeping position for people with degenerative disc disease.
Start by rolling onto your front when you get in bed. Then, keep a pillow – something slim – under your abdomen, raising the middle part of your body. As for the head, you can either skip the pillow altogether to use a flat one.
Sleeping In a Recline
Although not always the best sleeping position, a recline can be useful for people suffering from isthmic spondylolisthesis.
If you have a recliner at home, sleeping on it is the best way to benefit from this position. Alternatively, you can invest in an adjustable bed to follow this sleeping position.
However, sleeping this way isn’t feasible for every night as it can lead to back pain.
How To Choose A Pillow?
Having the right pillow under your head, abdomen, or back also plays a role in enhancing the quality of your sleep. Ideally, a head pillow should maintain your spine’s natural curvature while keeping the neck aligned with the rest of the body.
If you sleep on your back, consider getting a thinner pillow as something bulky will put excessive strain on your neck by raising the head too high. Memory foam is an excellent pick in this regard as it conforms according to the head’s shape.
On the contrary, if you sleep on your side, choose a thicker pillow as it will support your posture well. In this case, opt for a gusseted pillow for extreme comfort.
Finally, if you sleep face down on your stomach, you don’t need a pillow. If you still want to use one, make sure it’s thin as a thicker pillow will push your head backward, causing tension build-up on the neck.
Most importantly, change your pillow every year or after 18 months.
The sooner you start sleeping in the right sleeping position, the better it will be for your health. You don’t have to wait until you’re sixty with arthritis to start sleeping correctly.
We’ve discussed the best sleeping positions in this guide that you can start following from tonight to prevent back pain while ensuring an undisturbed sleep.