Self confessed sleep geek, Tara Youngblood shares her insights.
Want to know whether sleeping on your back, side, or stomach is best for quality sleep? Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but the truth is, there is no one universally accepted sleeping position that has been proven to lead to better sleep.
After digging through research papers and reports I actually discovered that movement is best while sleeping – it’s recommended that you alternate between your back and side so there is less stress on your spine while sleeping.
But, as a self confessed sleep geek I wasn’t quite willing to accept that conclusion – to simply be a pancake flipping around all night. And so, based on my own research and experience I’m giving a slight advantage to side sleeping. Yes, I’ve made a call and that’s because it has been shown to boost your cognitive abilities.
Research has shown that sleeping in the lateral or side position may remove brain waste more effectively while also being an important practice to help reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.
So with that in mind, let’s look at two side sleeping positions and what else they are good for.
Good for: pregnancy, back pain and snoring
According to UK Professor Chris Idzikowski, the fetal sleep position is the most popular position and offers the most benefits. This makes sense since we all did this in the womb.
It’s a great position for pregnancy (also the safest, back pain and can also help reduce snoring.
If your hips tend to hurt in this position, you can place a pillow between your legs to help relieve the pressure.
Good for: breathing issues
This position is described as sleeping on your side with both of your arms outward in front of your body as if they are reaching for something. If you have breathing issues this could be a good position for you however those with arthritis can wake up in pain sleeping like this.
While I favour and recommend side sleeping, my husband and I joke that the best position is a restful one so at the end of the day you need to be in tune with your body and do what works for you. So, what other sleep positions can you consider?
Good for: digestion and snoring/sleep apnea
Freefall is a position where you sleep on your stomach with your head turned to the side, and your arms are wrapped around the pillow. While lying in this position your digestive track is stretched out which can make digestion easier and lessen the chance of gas and air getting trapped. It’s also a good position for those who suffer from snoring or sleep apnea.
Good for: shoulder, neck and lower back pain, avoiding wrinkles
Individuals who sleep in the starfish sleeping position are on their back with their arms over their head. It can protect against shoulder, neck and lower back pain and is unlikely to cause wrinkles. But like sleeping on your back, this position is prone to snoring.
The Log Position
Good for: snoring
The log position is described as sleeping on your side with your arms to the side. With this position, sleepers are less likely to experience numbness because of their arms down at their side. It is a good option if you or your partner snores, but if you suffer from arthritis, you could wake up in pain.
Good for: acid reflux, avoiding wrinkles, healthy spine alignment
This is another back position. You sleep on your back, and your arms are down close to your side in this position. A great position for healthy spine and body alignment as there are no unusual curves in your spine for prolonged periods of time. For those with acid reflux this is also great as your head is elevated by the pillow but beware not to use more than one pillow as you don’t want to be propped up too much.
Source @womenshealth.com.au: Read more at : womenalive.org