Everybody has a tale or two about how their sleeping positions affects their general well being. I am not just talking physiological here. It’s common to hear frankly ludicrous stories linking the business deal gone awry with some unfavored sleeping positions. Some of the tall tales I’ve heard could make you toes curl in sympathetic reflex to the weirdness of the narrative.
I believe I am old enough to proclaim myself a veteran of all types of sleeping positions. But so far I have not being able to kick the problem of neck cramps I get some mornings. Sure you know what I am talking about. Those cramps that get progressively worst during the day. As if some deltoid muscles god is determined to slowly punish your neck for something you did while sleeping. The best solution I accidentally discovered was the use of those hard mattresses that I can’t in all honesty refer to as foams. They worked wonders on my aches. For some, it is the back aches they have to deal with frequently. I guess they are tired of being lectured about sleeping positions.
Therein lies the problem. Sleeping positions are your classic ‘different strokes for different folks.’ What works for you is unlikely to work for somebody else. The worst part is, your favored sleeping position could be your worst as far as your health is concerned. What a bummer! It is almost like saying my favorite locally made peanut butter is the reason I am overweight. However, the fact still remains, a particular sleeping position could be doing you more harm than good. Hopefully, the sleeping positions outlined below won’t force you to change how you love to sleep. Good luck.
Sleeping on Your Back
This is my favourite pre-sleeping position. That is when I am pretending to be thinking deeply before I finally fall asleep and assume my default sleeping position; on my side, curled up like I need to be loved desperately.
Most experts claim sleeping on your back with your arms by your side (as if you are wearing a loose straight jacket) is the outright best way to sleep. It is good for the health of your spine and waist. That is the generally recommended way to sleep if you suffer from back and waist Aches.
On the other hand, people who sleep this way tend to snore more than the rest of us. So one remedy to try out for those who snore is to make sure they don’t sleep that way. Another negative for this sleep position is the tendency to develop sleep apnoea. This is an uncomfortable condition where the airway is intermittently obstructed leading to sleeping problems.
‘Starfish’ Sleeping Position
Some experts claim sleeping like this does wonders in preventing facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. But like sleeping on your back, one is prone to the same problems of snoring and sleep apnoea. And of course, it only only logical that having your arms up would place enough strain on your shoulder nerves causing discomfort and pains.
The Face Down Sleeping Position
My second favourite sleeping position. This position is good for the digestive process. But how do you survive your neck being tilted to the side all through the night? I see a lot of neck pains for those who love sleeping this way.
Sleeping face down can also cause back pain because the natural curve of the spinal cord is not supported. However if you snore a lot, this is one position to explore. If only there is a solution to that strain on the neck, this could be my outright favourite.
The Foetal Sleeping Position
Sleeping like this is my outright favourite. But I’ve being advised that curling up my body with my knees drawn close to my chest puts a lot of strain on my neck and back. And curling your body to the extreme can also affect the way your breathe.
The major advantage of this sleeping position is you get to sleep soundly like a baby. It is good for pregnant women and if you have a snoring problem. I guess that accounts for why I don’t snore.
There are so many variations of this sleeping position and it is the most common. Depending on how your rest your arms, the effects on your health can be negative or positive. For instance, with the arms by the side close to the body, the spine is supported very well and this can help alleviate neck and back pain. Having your arms stretched out in front can also have the same benefits.
The negatives of this sleeping position include ageing due to the effects of gravity leading to facial wrinkles and sagging breasts in women.
Right/Left side Sleeping Positions
This is another variation of the side sleep position. Sleeping on the right side can exacerbate heartburn. On the other hand, sleeping on the left side can put strain on internal organs like lungs, stomach and liver.
Pregnant women are generally advised to sleep on the left side as this improves circulation to the unborn baby.
Like I said earlier, you just have to pick the position that best fits your body and gives you the greatest comfort. Sleeping positions for most of us is a combination of different positions as the body makes adjustments while we sleep. It is mostly about physical comfort at a particular time.