The Best Sleep Positions

Getting a good night’s rest is essential to your body’s recovery. Those who sleep eight hours a night see improvements in concentration and productivity. Good sleepers metabolize food more efficiently than those who struggle with sleep. And sleeping the appropriate amount each night can assist in reducing depression. It’s simple; if you don’t sleep, your body won’t heal. While creating a comfortable environment for yourself is a good strategy, exploring sleep positions might help you to stay asleep for longer, and wake up without pain. And the quality of your sleep will improve if you’re not tossing and turning.

While you’re sleeping, your body cleanses itself of harmful toxins and repairs damage that’s done during the day. So, if you’re someone who deals with lots of aches and pains, it’s really important to find a natural and restorative way to sleep. When trying to find the right position, consider these factors: sleep apnea, snoring, and back pain. These common struggles can be worsened by choosing the wrong sleep position. But some of these sleep positions will aid in the management of these unique troubles more than others. To find the right option for you, take a look at the following options.

Sleep in the fetal position

ballerina-sleeping-on-the-floorThe fetal position is the most popular position for a reason; It improves circulation and encourages spine alignment.This position is also particularly useful if you’re worried about back pain.
According to medical experts, sleeping on your side or in the fetal position may offer more benefits than alternative sleep positions. The body clears itself of toxins and heals better while you’re sleeping on your side.

There’s also evidence that suggests that sleeping on your left side promotes digestion, eliminating the risk of acid reflux and constipation. Some sleepers suggest that this position might constrict your lungs more than other positions, but elongating your body may assist with the management of this phenomena.

This sleep position helps with:

  • brain health (allowing your body to fight diseases like Alzheimer’s)
  • digestion
  • blood flow

Sleep on your side with a pillow between the knees

part-of-female-body-on-the-bedSleeping on your side is one of the most popular sleep positions but finding the right alignment in this position can be tricky. Investing in a mattress that’s ideal for side sleepers is one solution. Placing a pillow between your knees helps to keep your body aligned, reducing any potential sore spots. This strategy keeps your pelvis, knees and spine in a natural position. Sleeping on your side can also reduce snoring, sleep apnea and acid reflux. Some sleepers even opt for a body pillow in this position, filling any gaps between your limbs.

To get comfortable in this position:

  1. Lie on either side of your body, allowing all of your heavy limbs to make contact with the surface. I usually tuck a pillow between my shoulder and my head.
  2. Next, slip your spare pillow between your knees or thighs.
  3. Try to adjust your setup to fill any gaps between your body and the mattress.

Sleep on your back with a pillow under your knees

man-sleeping-on-the-sofaSleeping on your back allows your body to rest in a neutral position; you’re not over- or under-extending any of your appendages this way. As long as your mattress is supportive, this position allows your body to rest naturally. Plus, if you slip a pillow underneath your knees, you’ll allow your lower back to release any pent-up tension. The weight distribution of your body equalizes in this position. This position can also relieve hip and knee pain, taking pressure off of your weight-bearing joints. But sleeping on your back could make apnea or snoring worse.

Fun Fact: This position is actually a common restorative yoga pose for those who hope to stretch and ease tension around their lower backs.

Sleep on your stomach

young-african-american-man-sleeping-in-bed-topIf you sleep on your belly with your arms lying flat at your sides, you might find yourself in great alignment. But this position is hard on your airways, which could worsen sleep apnea. Some sleepers like to slip a pillow under their bellies in this position to help with back pain. Other sleepers like to lay flat on their stomachs and then will tuck a pillow underneath their chest. While this position isn’t the most popular option due to comfort, sleeping on the stomach has been known to help those who snore.

For some sleepers, this position can actually make lower back pain worse. Or it can lead to numbness or soreness. If you struggle with any back pain or soreness, it might be better to explore alternative options. Opting to include a pillow could help with some of these issues, but you’ll want to choose a thin one in order to add cushion without making your alignment worse.

To sum it up

young-woman-sleepingGetting a poor night’s sleep can contribute to an array of issues. Among them are memory loss, increased risk of heart disease and cancer, weight gain, high blood pressure, weak immunity and others. So, finding a comfortable and natural sleep position is essential to quality of life. If you improve your sleep, your health will improve as well. While the furniture and mood in your bedroom can help determine how well you sleep, choosing the right sleep position is essential to getting a good night’s rest. If you have to continuously shift your position throughout the night, you’ll be losing time that could be spent sleeping.

But everyone is different, which means that not every sleep position will facilitate good rest for you. Some sleepers struggle with back pain, while others find their nasal passages constricted, making it difficult to breathe. Luckily, many of these issues can be resolved by changing your sleep system. By experimenting with the above sleeping positions, you might find a position that’ll address common sleep issues, giving you a better night’s sleep.