What position do you sleep in? Do you feel cozy curled up in the fetal position, or do you like to sprawl out on your back? Whatever your preference, did you know that your favorite sleep position can actually have a big impact on your health, and even your appearance? For example, if you’ve noticed more back pain, or even more wrinkles recently, your sleep position could be to blame.
The Impact of Different Sleep Positions on Your Health
Research suggests that more than 60% of people sleep on their side, around 40% sleep on their back, and fewer than 10% of people sleep on their stomachs. These different sleeping positions can have certain effects on your health, and while it might not always be possible to control how your body moves when you’re asleep, you should be mindful of these effects.
When settling yourself into bed, consider this:
- Sleeping on your stomach can reduce snoring and help with sleep apnea, but it causes you to bend your neck and spine in abnormal ways. Not to mention, sleeping in this position can also reduce blood flow, which can lead to waking up with numb limbs, and even eventually lead to nerve issues.
- Sleeping on your side is great for reducing heartburn and snoring, but it can cause neck and shoulder pain. It can also increase the appearance of wrinkles, because sleeping this way causes you to push your face against your pillow.
- Sleeping in the fetal position is good for circulation, but if you bring your legs too close to your chest, this position can cause stiffness and soreness. This position can also create a curve in the spine, and lead to a sore back.
- Sleeping on your back can increase snoring and aggravate sleep apnea symptoms.
Which Position Is Best?
Out of all the positions mentioned, sleeping on your side is probably the best one for most people, because it allows you to keep your spine in a neutral position. With that being said, as we have already pointed out, you don’t have much control over how your body moves when you’re asleep, so the best thing you can do is to place pillows that can help you stay in proper alignment. If you sleep on your:
- Stomach, place a pillow under your hips to lift the lumbar area of your back.
- Back, place a pillow under your knees to align your spine.
- Side, place a pillow in between your knees.
Your sleep position plays a role in your health and how you look. As you age, you’ll inevitably have to deal with aches and pains and wrinkles, and the last thing you need is to make these issues worse just because of the way you sleep. You might not be able to train yourself to sleep in a different position, but there are other solutions, like pillows that will not only give a good night’s sleep, but will also help improve your alignment and even overall health.