Ever woken up with pins and needles? Or a neck that only turns one way? Maybe you feel like your posture is bad?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, it’s worth considering the positions in which you sleep, as they can impact your quality of slumber and your overall health.
Inevitably, you fall asleep in the way you are used to but with training you can change this. Read our guide to see which sleeping positions are safe and why.
Sleeping on your side
This is a great way for people with backache to sleep as it takes the pressure off the muscles and nerve endings around the spine. Sleeping on your side also follows the natural curvature of your spine, so it’s a comfortable way to snooze.
The thing to remember when sleeping in this position, is to try to keep your head in line with the rest of your body, as this reduces the risk of your head dropping and causing you to wake up.
If you sleep on your left side, you might also have fewer problems with heartburn.
This position is also great for pregnant women, as sleeping on your left side allows the baby to get the nutrients it needs from the placenta.
Sleeping on your stomach
People worry that if they sleep on their stomach, their natural spinal curve can flatten. However, sleeping on your stomach has some good points.
If you suffer with pain in your lower back, you may find that sleeping on your stomach alleviates the pressure on the base of your spine.
However, if you sleep on your stomach, you naturally turn your head to the side which can put unnecessary pressure on your neck. This can result in a strange pins and needles sensation when you wake up and you may also find that you struggle to turn your neck both ways.
Sleeping on your back
Lying on your back for sleep is one of the better positions for keeping your spine in neutral alignment, but it may take some training and extra pillow support to learn to sleep this way.
It is an especially good way to sleep for back pain sufferers, who could also try using a pillow under their knees to maintain a natural curve of their lower backbone.
The foetal position
Sleeping curled up is one of the most popular sleeping positions for both adults and children. This too, is a super position for expecting women as it can improve the blood flow to deliver the nutrients that their baby needs.
This position can also help snorers – and their sleepless partners – as the sound is reduced in this position because the chin and neck are tucked into the chest.
However, the foetal position is not good for back pain sufferers as it causes extra strain to be placed on joints, resulting in aches and pains.
This isn’t a normal position for humans to sleep in and it may be that you fell asleep in this way reading a book or watching TV. It may be that your back ache is keeping you awake, resulting in you moving to a sitting position to sleep in the night.
However, when you sleep like this, your muscles are tense – even though you may not feel like they are. This results in you feeling achy when you get up. It is best to ensure you always head to bed before nodding off!
Sleeping without a pillow
Some people say that sleeping with no pillow gives you better quality sleep as your neck is in line with your body. According to Newhealthadvisor.com, sleeping without a pillow leads to less neck, back, and shoulder pain, higher quality sleep, and even fewer wrinkles!
If you wanted to give this a go, it may be a shock to go from full fluffy pillow to nothing, so you could start by using a folded towel, before removing this after a few days.
So now you know a little bit more about what sleeping positions are safest, you can try practicing the best ones for you. It is always best to ensure you have a comfortable sleeping environment, without annoying lighting or sounds keeping you awake. It is also important to have a comfortable mattress which gives you the right level of support, so you can sleep soundly night after night!