Sleeping Positions and Their Effect on Health

It’s a well-known fact that it’s very important to get enough sleep on a nightly basis, but many don’t know it’s not necessarily how much you sleep, it’s also how you sleep that affects you as well. How you sleep is a vital factor that can impact your health. Here are eight common sleeping positions and what they do to to your body:

1. On Your Back, Arms at Sides

This position is considered to be the best sleeping position for spine health. It’s also good for your neck too, as long as you don’t use too many pillows. That being said, back sleepers tend to snore more than those in other positions, and sleep apnea is strongly associate with sleeping on the back.

2. On Your Back, Arms Up

This position, also known as the “starfish,” is good for the back and can prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. Much like the other back position, this can also result in snoring and problems with acid reflux.

3. Face Down

Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion but the way you’re positioned, you can’t help but be tilted in one direction, which can put strain on the neck. Sleeping with your face down can also cause back problems because the spine is not being supported.

4. Fetal Position

This position may be comfortable, but can pose problems on your back and neck. Sleeping this way can also restrict deep breathing. It’s perfect if you have problems with snoring or if you’re pregnant.

5. On Side, Arms at Sides

This position can definitely help reduce neck and back pain as well as reduces sleep apnea. The downside is that sleeping this way can contribute to skin aging to gravity – complete with facial wrinkles and sagging breasts.

6. On Side, Arms Out

This position has a lot of the same benefits as sleeping on your side with arms down does. That said, any side sleeping position can cause shoulder or arm pain due to restricted blood flow and pressure on the nerves.

7. On the Right Side

As a side-sleeper, which side you choose to sleep on makes a big difference. Sleeping on the right can make heartburn worsen, while sleeping on the left can strain internal organs like your liver lungs and stomach.

8. Pillow-Supplemented

No matter which position you prefer, you can get a better night’s sleep with less pain by supplementing your body with a pillow.

Photo by Johannes Simon/Getty Images



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