If you’re like most Americans, you might be craving a good night’s sleep. According to a study by the CDC, 70% of Americans report that they suffer from a poor night’s sleep at least once a month. 11% of people say that they never sleep well.
For many people, enjoying a restful slumber can be as easy as trying a new sleeping position. But as different people enjoy different sleeping positions, it can be difficult to know which is the best.
Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of each of the different sleeping positions.
Are You a Stomach Sleeper?
For some people, sleeping on their stomachs may be their go-to position. Some sleep experts refer to this position as the prone position.
If you’re someone who snores, trying the prone position may give you (and your partner) some relief. When you sleep on your stomach, it shifts any fleshy obstructions around, giving you a silent slumber. Many people also find sleeping on their stomach to be the most comfortable.
Yet aside from comfort and snoring relief, there are few other benefits that go along with sleeping on your stomach. For one, your back and spine are not in neutral positions. This can lead to a buildup of pressure over time, which can cause other medical issues down the road. It can also exacerbate current aches and pains.
If you do sleep on your stomach, consider trying to switch to other positions. If that seems like a difficult task, try propping your head up with a pillow. This will ensure that your neck and spine stay in a neutral position.
Do You Sleep on Your Side?
Sleep scientists and experts refer to sleeping on your side as the lateral position. It’s the most popular sleeping position. If you prefer sleeping on your stomach or back, odds are you’ll also find sleeping on your side to be comfortable.
Sleeping on your side can help limit problems such as snoring and sleep apnea. If you can’t seem to get over nightly breathing problems, sleeping on your side may give you the relief you need. You’ll also enjoy fewer wrinkles and skin problems, as most of your face avoids touching the pillow.
If you sleep in the lateral position, which side do you sleep on? Studies have shown that sleeping on your left side is better. Due to your organ placement, sleeping on your left side can aid digestion. On the other hand, sleeping on your right side can restrict blood flow.
As is the case with other positions, if you’re not on a comfortable mattress, the lateral position can exacerbate existing aches and pains. People with arthritis may also find sleeping on their sides to be uncomfortable. Try to find a mattress that provides you with both comfort and support.
If you need help side sleeping, check out this guide on the best side sleeping position.
Do You Prefer Sleeping on Your Back?
Sleep experts refer to sleeping on your back as the supine position. Although it carries some disadvantages, many people believe this position to be the healthiest for your body.
When you sleep on your back, your body stays in a neutral position. Your neck, head, and spine stay in alignment, which can minimize the effect of aches or pain. If you’re someone who suffers from heartburn, you’ll find that sleeping in the supine position with a small pillow elevating your head can alleviate some of the pain.
Sleeping on your back also keeps your face off of the pillow. If you suffer from acne or are prone to allergies, the supine position may help. It’ll also protect your face from the development of wrinkles and creases.
If you’re sleeping on an uncomfortable bed or mattress, sleeping on your back can worsen existing lower back pain. Make sure that you have proper support throughout the night. Women who are pregnant should also avoid the supine position, as it can worsen discomfort.
If you know someone who snores, you’ll know that the loudest snores come when they’re sleeping on their back. Snoring and sleep apnea are two common conditions associated with the supine position. See a sleep doctor to receive treatment.
Which Position Is Best?
Although many people have different opinions as to which sleeping position is the most comfortable, most experts agree that on your back or on your side is the best for your body. Both of these positions promote proper body alignment, while still being comfortable.
It’s also important to note that each of the three main sleeping positions has different subcategories. For example, the lateral position can also include the fetal, log, and yearner position. Each of these comes with additional advantages and disadvantages.
If you’re looking to transition into a different sleeping position, consider using things such as pillows to make the process easier. Try placing pillows around you to either prevent or promote your body from moving in a certain way.
You can also try sleeping on a narrow object, such as a couch. If you’re trying to train yourself to sleep on your side, the lack of space will prevent your body from rolling over.
Different Sleeping Positions Come With Different Pros and Cons
Different sleeping positions can have a dramatic effect on the quality of your sleep, as well as your overall wellbeing. As this guide explains, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each position. Then, you can choose the one that’ll help you feel the best.
Which sleeping positions do you think are the best? Let us know in a comment below!
If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips.