The best sleeping position for you depends on different factors. Throughout this article, you will learn about the different sleeping positions, how your sleeping position affects your health, and the best circumstances to use each sleeping position.
Learn more about how iSense mattresses benefit each sleeping position here.
Health & Wellness Factors That Influence Sleep Positions
The best sleeping position for you may depend upon the health factors you experience. Side sleeping is the most common position for adults. However, as we grow older, certain sleep positions are better for some than others, depending upon these factors. A few examples can be found below:
Skin & Appearance: Sleeping on the side or on your stomach will result in your face and neck resting on the pillow all night. Waking up with creases demonstrates that sleeping on your face compresses your skin throughout the night and can cause chronic issues over time. If this is of concern to you, it is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach or side, opting instead for resting on your back.
Digestion & Heartburn: Sleeping on your left side may help your digestion and prevent heartburn, acid reflux problems, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is because your esophagus, stomach, and small intestines, are aligned on your left side, and sleeping on this side helps these muscles contract. Contracting muscles may help to prevent these issues. Sleeping on one’s right side, however, causes these muscles to relax.
Back & Neck: If you have concerns about upper or lower back pain, shoulder pain, or neck issues, the best sleep position for you is lying flat on your back. Sleeping in this position helps you to maintain proper spinal alignment and prevent neck pain, especially if you use a thicker pillow to keep your neck straight, as well as a small pillow underneath your knees. This second pillow can help to reduce the pressure on your back. Second to lying on your back would be sleeping on your side with your legs straight. This also maintains proper spinal alignment, with the added benefit of open airways for easier breathing. The worst position for back pain is sleeping on your stomach.
Snoring, Breathing & Sleep Apnea: Those who deal with mild snoring, sleep apnea, and other breathing problems could benefit from sleeping on their side or stomach, as these positions help to maintain openness in the airways. Sleep apnea is a result of the airways collapsing, so choosing a sleep position that helps these airways remain open is a small step you can take toward breathing better. However, more serious cases may require additional treatments.
Pregnancy: Those who are pregnant have added considerations to keep in mind in choosing their position for sleep. Some experts say it is better for pregnant women to avoid sleeping on their backs, which can prevent oxygen flow. The generally recommended sleep position is on one’s side, or fetal position, with the added support of pillows to reduce pressure.
The best sleeping position for you is likely different from others, depending on the health problems you may experience from the above list. However, health factors are not the only elements to consider when choosing whether or not you will stick with your current position or work toward moving to a different one over time.
Maintain Proper Alignment and Sleep Posture Using Pillows
Proper sleep positions promote proper spine alignment, without unnecessary pressure. Usually, you can maintain proper alignment using small pillows here and there to provide extra support.
Side sleepers: Use a thicker pillow that will keep your neck in alignment with your spine. You can also add a pillow between your slightly bent knees to keep from adding additional pressure to the spine. And lastly, sliding a small pillow under your waist can provide extra support and keep your spine straight.
Back sleepers: Back sleepers often do best with a firmer mattress that keeps the back from sinking into the bed in the middle. In addition, you can add a small pillow underneath your knees to cradle your spine and prevent building extra pressure on your lower back.
Stomach sleepers: A firm mattress will be most beneficial for stomach sleepers, as it helps to keep the spine aligned from head to toe. Using a flat pillow, or even no pillow, can assist stomach sleepers in not craning their necks and causing neck pain the next morning. Keeping your neck flat with the rest of your body maintains proper alignment.
As a general rule, it is best to avoid twisting your back, neck, or torso in your sleep and maintain a straight and aligned spine. Applying these tips can help you maintain that alignment and awaken refreshed when the morning comes. Selecting an adjustable pillow can also provide an extra way to customize your sleep environment to your specific needs.
When it comes to the best sleep position for you, you need to decide. You can choose what works best based on your unique sleep and body factors. Remember the tips for proper alignment, and you will be on your way.
Once you figure out your preferred sleeping position, consider whether it’s your mattress that might be causing some of the morning aches and pains. The benefit of an iSense adjustable mattress is the ability to adjust the firmness of your mattress as you and your body’s needs change over time. You can make your side more firm or soft until you find the perfect number to fit your sleeping position to improve the quality of your sleep and health and maintain a good night's sleep.
Learn more about your customized, adjustable mattress here.