Sleeping positions and how they can affect your health

Sleeping Positions for better health

Do you ever think that your sleeping position could affect your mental and physical health? Most of us go to sleep without considering how you place your body can influence its health, you likely sleep in a position that makes you the most comfortable. You may not know it though, but your position eventually determines your breathing posture and blood circulation.

These are some of the common sleeping positions

sleeping positions for better health
Sleeping Positions for Better Health

On your back with your arms to the side

This position is also called the soldier. This position is generally considered to be the best sleeping position, but let’s try and prove this narrative.

Sleeping in this position may provide excellent support for your back, but it causes snoring. Snoring can disrupt your sleep and limit the blood supply to your face and neck. Therefore, this position is not good for people with respiratory problems such as asthma and sleep apnea.

Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue to block the breathing tube making it dangerous. If your pillow is too big, your back will strain, causing back problems. On the other hand, the position can be healthy for your digestive system, leading to minimal acid reflux and heartburn.

Do you feel that this might be the best position for you? Place a pillow under your knees to support your spine your and reduce back pain.

On your back with your arms up

The starfish position is not that different from just lying on your back. You can choose to have your arms above or below the pillow if you like. This position may help you prevent wrinkles and breakouts.

However, it may result in snoring, heartburn, and acid reflux issues. Your arms in that position can also place pressure on your shoulders resulting in discomfort and pain. Minimal blood flow to your forearms may cause a little numbness in your stomach.

Face down, on your stomach

Have you tried sleeping on your stomach? How did you position your face? Sleeping in this position can be especially tricky because you face down on the pillow. Facing down may be difficult and strenuous for your breathing.

You are more likely to toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position. Tilting your head to the side can also cause you to strain your neck. This position is not healthy for your back. Your unsupported spine will cause you to have back pains.

If you find this position more convenient, avoid high and stiff pillows that will cause your back to arch.

Fetal position

The fetal position is the most popular position among women. In this position, your body is curled up with your knees and elbows close to your chest. This position allows your spine to align naturally.

This position is healthy for the brain. It is good for people with neurological issues. Research shows that sleeping on your side is more vigorous than sleeping on your stomach. This position is healthy for pregnant women. Sleeping on your side while pregnant helps your fetus in blood circulation and prevents strain on your liver.

On the side with arms at the side

This position is best for supporting your natural spine curve. If you experience neck and back pain, then this might be a good sleeping position for you.

Why is it bad though? It can put pressure on one shoulder and arms leading to numbness and irritation. This position causes weak blood flow to the side of the body that is experiencing stress.

Sleeping positions and their effect on dreams

People who sleep on their side experience more positive dreams. People who sleep on their right side experience fewer nightmares than those who sleep on the left. People sleeping on their backs experience more nightmares and find it harder to recall their dreams.

Changing your sleeping position could influence your dreams. Sleeping in multiple positions in one night could make you experience weird dreams. Changing sleeping positions during the night could affect you to have several dreams at once.

sleeping positions for infant
Sleeping Positions for Infants

What is the best sleeping position for your infant?

Babies need a lot of sleep to grow and develop fully. They spend most of this early part of their life sleeping up to 16 hours a day. You should make sure that your baby gets enough sleep. You should also make sure that they are in a comfortable position, reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Poor sleeping habits and patterns are responsible for up to 70% of SIDS.

Some of the habits that increase the risk of SIDS include having your baby sleep on his or her stomach or side, covering the baby’s face or head with a blanket as they sleep, and putting your baby to sleep on an incredibly soft surface.

You should have your baby sleep mainly on their back. This is the best position for them, as it keeps their respiratory system open. You should occasionally reposition your baby to prevent the back of their skull from flattening. You may also need to change their view to stimulate their brain.

Since you should change the baby’s position, you could consider monitoring them while they lie on their stomach and encourage tummy time. This should only be an additional sleeping position for your baby.

You should keep the sleeping area free from dust since your baby could get sick. Another option when changing your baby’s sleeping position could be having them lie on their side. You will need to change the side they are resting on regularly. You can join in and share cuddle time with your baby in this position.

Final thought

Some sleeping positions may not be perfect for you as an individual. Pay extra attention to what your body needs. Make sure you adopt a sleeping position that is healthy for your back and will influence a good posture and good blood circulation.

Reinforcing your position with a pillow may help rid dangerous effects of some of the sleeping positions. Putting a soft cushion between the knees, under your hips, or under the arch of the spine may help you achieve a more comfortable sleeping position.

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