Getting the proper amount of sleep is important, and can mean the difference between a productive day and one that’s plagued with back pain. If you’re always tired or sore when you wake up, chances are you’re not sleeping in a good position at night, and this can affect you regardless as to how expensive your mattress is. Here are the best sleeping positions for optimal rest (and the worst ones for all day backaches).
Best Sleeping Positions
If you enjoy sleeping on your back, you’ll be glad to know that doctors agree this is one of the best positions. Back sleeping helps keep your neck and spine aligned, and also relieves pressure on your back. Most people who sleep in this position have fewer occurrences of lumbar pain, and experience an overall more restful sleep. Some medical conditions, however, like acid reflux and sleep apnea, can keep you from enjoying this position.
Side sleeping is considered the second best way to rest because it’s not stressful on the body. This position helps back pain by elongating your spine. It’s an excellent position for anyone who suffers with lumbar and neck pain, acid reflux, and those who have problems with snoring.
You should, however, be aware that not all side sleeping is the same. If you’re going to sleep in this position, try doing it on your left side. First off, sleeping on your left side helps reduce heartburn and acid backup in people with acid reflux. Sleeping on the left side is also recommended for pregnant women because it promotes good blood flow to the heart.
BetterSleep.org reports that 41% of side sleepers rest in the fetal position, as this seems to be the most comfortable for the average person. Doctors do also advise sleeping with an ergonomic pillow when positioned on your side.
Worst Sleeping Positions
If you’re a stomach sleeper, chances are you have regular back pain. Doctors say this is the worst position to sleep in because it misaligns the spine and adds pressure to your muscles and joints.
Overarching of the spine can lead to severe back pain, and this is very common in people who sleep this way. On the other hand, stomach sleeping may be beneficial for people who snore, as it it helps to open the upper airways, reducing snoring.
When it boils down to it, people naturally sleep in the position that’s most comfortable for them, regardless as to what doctors and scientists have to say about it. However, you should at least pay attention to how you feel in the mornings and check for any aches and pains that may be due to your sleeping position.
A back ache in the middle of the day that can be avoided by simply rolling over to your side at night is something you don’t need a doctor to diagnose.
Of course, your mattress also has a lot to do with this, as certain positions can be absolutely impossible if you don’t have the right bed. For example, sleeping on your back is a burden if your mattress is lumpy and old, and this would even make side sleeping uncomfortable.
Likewise, a mattress that’s too soft and doesn’t provide enough support can cause back pains regardless as to what position you sleep in.
Take all of this into consideration when deciding to change your sleeping position. In doubt about the positions that are most beneficial to you? Just remember that left side fetal sleeping, and sleeping on your back are your best choices.