Sleep is very important for your health, as it is your body’s chance to recharge and take care of itself. It is important to make enough time in your schedule for adequate sleep so that you can be rested.
However, did you know that your sleeping position has a lot to do with how effective your sleep is? Take a look at these common sleeping positions and whether or not they are good for you.
More people sleep on their side than in any other position. In fact, according to the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, about two out of every three people sleep on their sides. Sleeping on one’s side has the advantage of lowering the incidences of snoring, sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea. It also helps open airways and is the most helpful position for expecting women to lower any pressure they feel from their wombs. Twice as many women sleep on their side as men.
The disadvantage of side sleeping is that most of the body’s pressure is on the arms and shoulders. This can cause neck stiffness and shoulder pain as well as loss of blood circulation in the arms. This, however, can be solved with a pillow specifically intended for side sleepers because it will allow the proper placement of neck, arms and shoulders.
Unlike the side sleeping position, sleeping on one’s back may promote snoring and even back pain. To sleep properly on one’s back, one needs soft but firm support for three important curvatures of the body: behind the neck, in the small of the back, and lower back. To help achieve this, an orthopedic pillow with neck contouring and a knee wedge may be helpful in letting a back sleeper lie in rest and comfort.
More babies and young people sleep in this position than adults. This position is often viewed as bad for the neck because it can lead to neck strain, pain and stiffness. It may also be responsible for or help contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in babies and young children, says the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.