Don't Roll Over on Sleep: The Low Down on All the Different Sleep Positions

by Tyler Moyer | | | 0 Comments

25% of Americans will get insomnia this year.

That’s right, one in four people develop this debilitating sleep condition every year. Thankfully, the vast majority recover in time. Nevertheless, those are some shocking statistics!

After all, a lack of sleep has all manner of repercussions on our physical and mental health. We all know how irritable and unfocused we become. However, in extreme situations, sleep deprivation can increase the risk of anxiety, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease, among others.

Clearly, it’s in our interest to overcome our insomnia, and improve our sleep, however possible.

Did you know that our sleep positions can play a big role in achieving this? That’s right, the way we sleep has an impact on how we sleep. As a result, changing the position in which we sleep can make a positive difference. But first, you need to know which positions are best!

Keep reading to get the full lowdown.   

The Best and Worst Sleep Positions for a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is crucial for our physical and mental health. Here are the best positions to help you get enough. However, life is never simple. As you’ll see, there are pros and cons to all of them.

Oh, and you can learn about your personality too! Click here to read what your sleep position says about you.

On Your Back

People who sleep on their back tend to fall into one of two categories: soldiers and starfishes.

No, we didn’t make those up.

They’re genuine positional descriptions for particular back-sleeping styles. The soldier position means you’re on your back, nicely tucked in, with your legs straight and arms to your sides…Like a soldier standing to attention. Except you’re in bed.

Starfishes are less regimented. These guys sprawl all over the place, with arms and legs spread out…like a starfish.

Regardless of style, back sleeping (sometimes referred to as supine, or a savasana pose) is pretty common. That’s good news. Get ready to enjoy a well-supported spine. You’ll revel in better back and neck health as a result. You also get air to your face throughout the night, which can prevent wrinkles from forming. Sleep on your back to look and feel younger!

Okay, so back sleepers benefit from better physical positioning. However, that doesn’t necessarily equate to better sleep. Indeed, this study found the opposite: people who slept poorly spent more time lying on their backs.  

Equally, anyone who has ever slept next to a snorer knows its worst when they’re on their backs. Sleep apnea worsens too, thanks to tongues successfully obstructing our airways.

On Your Side

Do you sleep on your side with your arms next to your body?

Yes? Well, you’re officially called a log in sleep vernacular. That’s because you look a bit like a log of wood at night. A charming description, right?

However, amusing name aside, whether you’re a log or not, side sleeping is reportedly the most common position to sleep in. There are some nice benefits too. For instance, it’ll help with acid reflux and reduce symptoms of heartburn. Likewise, pesky snorers should roll from their back to their side to reduce their snoring.

Likewise, pregnant women are sometimes encouraged to sleep on their left side. It’s said to take the pressure off their back (versus back sleeping).

Logs may suffer from arm-numbness too. Have you ever awoken with an entirely numb arm? It’s like it’s disappeared. You can’t feel a thing and can lift and waggle it around like a rubber limb. In a semi-conscious state, it can be downright panic-inducing.

Moreover, sleeping on one shoulder can impact the muscles over time. After all, your body weight is all on one side.

In the Fetal Position

The fetal position means you literally sleep like a baby.

It’s essentially a form of side-sleeping, but it deserves its own mention. You sleep on your side, with legs tucked up in front of you. The fetal position is remarkably common, especially among women. That could be because it creates the same sense of safety we got as a young’un.

It offers physical benefits too though. Curl up like a baby and reduce snoring, sleep apnea and acid reflux. Amazingly, it’s thought that side sleeping offers neurological benefits too, such as going some way to prevent neural disease like Alzheimer’s.

On Your Stomach

Stomach sleepers enjoy the coolest positional name, in our opinion.

You’re officially in ‘freefall’ position. You know, like someone skydiving. On your front, head turned to one side, with arms tucked to the side or under the pillow, the name seems apt.

One upside of stomach-down sleeping is the significant reduction in snoring. Your airways are more likely to remain unobstructed, facilitating easier breathing.

It’s not very common though, despite feeling particularly comfortable to some. The lack of stomach sleepers is probably a good thing though. It’s meant to be the worst for your body! It flattens the spine, which can lead to back pain over time. Likewise, a head turned to the side can damage your neck.

However, as we know, we don’t often get to choose our body position when we sleep. We just end up there! If you know that you tend to sleep on your front, then the right pillow can make a difference.

Time to Get Sleeping

There you have it: the best sleep positions to get a good night’s shut-eye.

Hopefully, you didn’t fall asleep as you were reading…

Sleep is a crucial component of staying physically and mentally well. But millions of us around the country continue to struggle to get enough. Insomnia becomes a burden for many more people every year.

Thankfully, there are lots of things to do to help. For instance, your body position can make a difference. We hope that the information here has been enlightening, and will support your sleeping in the process!

Are you a stomach sleeper in need of a new pillow to help you sleep? Click here to see what we have on offer.

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