On this blog we have given great attention to the topic of insomnia and other sleeping disorders (read my beginners guide to insomnia here).
This is because one third of our day is spent sleeping, if you don't have any disorders that is. Anyway, this is one of the most important periods for your overall health and well-being. Since it is such a long and important period it only makes sense that the position you spent that one third of the day is also something to consider. In fact, your position may be causing a wide variety of problems that range from joint pain to respiratory conditions, and got forbid - wrinkles!
There are 4 common sleeping positions and most of them have a significantly different impact on your sleeping pattern and on some of the processes that occur during that period. Let's start off with one of the most popular ones- sleeping on your back.
This is a great position for people with back pain as it doesn't put any strain on your spine and neck. joint pain and arthritis. Furthermore, because it distributes your weight evenly you won't put pressure on any specific joint in your body so its also good for people with
It is also great for people with acid reflux, because it keeps your head elevated, thus your stomach is below your esophagus and food can't come up.
The last two benefits of sleeping on your back are more important to the ladies I suppose- it prevents wrinkles (because the pillow is not pushing against your face) and it prevents breast sagging.
The cons of this position are that it promotes snoring, sleep apnea (pauses in breathing), asthma and heart diseases. All of these side effects are caused by the narrowing of the throat due to the effects of gravity on it.
Sleeping on your side
This position can help minimize acid reflux and improve digestion. It is also good for people that snore and for pregnant women (because it improves blood flow to the fetus). Last but not least, it is spine friendly.
There are a bunch of negative side effects from sleeping on your side. First, it contributes to wrinkles. More precisely, it increases the pressure on your nasolabial folds, or as you may know them- the laughter lines. Sleeping on your side also promotes breast sagging because your breasts will be "hanging" downward, stretching the ligaments and tissue.
The side which you sleep on also seems to be important. If you sleep on your left side, you will have less problems with heartburn, but it will put more pressure on your vital organs such as the heart and liver, than it would if you are sleeping on the right side.
Sleeping in the fetal position
Sleeping on your side with your knees to your chest is called the fetal position. It is very good for your lower back, if you are pregnant, and It also prevents snoring.
On the downside, it can cause neck strain which could lead to tension headaches. It also prevents deep diaphragmatic breathing which can have a devastating effect on your sleep pattern and overall health. And of course, just like sleeping on your side, the fetal position promotes wrinkles.
Sleeping on your stomach
This is the worst positions. It stimulates acid reflux and digestive problems, causes back and neck pain, nerve compression and once again- wrinkles.
It is, however, good for people who snore and who suffer from asthma as it opens the airways.
As you see the position you sleep in really does matter, and I do realize that once you fall a sleep you probably don't have much control over your position, but I believe that if you are making a conscious effort to fall a sleep in the right position for you, then chances are that your body will get used and stick to it.
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