In what position do you sleep every night?
Getting enough sleep is the most important thing. We spend one third of our lives sleeping.
Did you know that how you sleep can also impact your health?
Here are the main sleeping positions and their effects on health (Thanks to Men’s Health and Daily Health Post):
The Freefall (Facedown)
Position: Lying on your stomach with hands up around the pillow and head turned to one side.
Personality: Freefallers are often extroverted and brash people. They appear nervy, but are truly thin-skinned people who take criticism personally.
Health effect: Freefall—or any position in which you’re lying face down—is good for digestion.
Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion but unless you’ve developed a way to breathe through your pillow, it most likely leads to you tilting your face in one direction or the other. This can put a lot of train on the neck. Sleeping face down can also cause back pain, as the curve of the spin is not supported
Position: Curled up on your side. This is the most common sleeping position, adopted by 41 percent of the 1,000 people who took part in Professor Idzikowski’s survey.
Personality: Those who sleep in the fetus are described as tough on the outside, but shy and sensitive at heart. They may take time to warm up to people, but soon relax.
Health effect: Sleeping on your left side can cause stress on your vital organs (liver, stomach, lungs), so if fetus is your position of choice, curl up on the right side of your body.
Sleeping all curled up into a ball with your knees drawn up and your chin tilted down might be comfortable but it can do a number on your back and neck. The extreme curl of the fetal position can also restrict deep breathing. That considered, sleeping like a fetus can have you sleeping like a baby if you typically have problems snoring or if you’re pregnant.
Position: Lying on your side with both arms down by your side.
Personality: Log sleepers are social, easygoing people. The downside: their tendency to trust anyone—including complete strangers—makes them easy to fool.
Health effect: This position keeps the spine straight, which should be beneficial for those who suffer from back pain.
When you’re sleeping on your side with both arms down, the spine is best supported in its natural curve. This can definitely help reduce back and neck pain while also reducing sleep apnea. The downside? Sleeping on the side can contribute to skin aging due to gravity, meaning facial wrinkles and sagging breasts.
Position: On your side with both arms out in front.
Personality: Yearners are open to new things, but also suspicious and cynical. They take a long time to make decisions – weighing pros and cons repeatedly – but once they make a choice, they almost never change their mind or have regrets.
Health effect: Resting on your side can help alleviate some problems associated with acid reflux disease and sleep apnea. But if such symptoms are a common occurrence, you may need to see a specialist.
This position has many of the same benefits of sleeping on your side with your arms straight down. However, any side sleeping can cause shoulder and arm pain due to restricted blood flow and pressure on the nerves, which may be exacerbated by having your arms out in front of you
If you’re a side-sleeper, which side sleep on also makes a difference. Sleeping on the right side can worsen heartburn while sleeping on the left side can put strain on internal organs like the liver, lungs, and stomach (while minimizing acid reflux). For pregnant sleepers, doctors typically advise sleeping on the left side, since this can improve circulation to the fetus.
Position: Lying on your back with both arms at your sides.
Personality: Soldier sleepers are generally quiet and reserved. They don’t like to make a big deal out of things, and they set very high standards for themselves and others.
Health Benefit: Research shows that sleeping on your back may lead to snoring, difficulty breathing, and an overall bad night’s sleep. Is your snoring keeping someone awake at night? Try flipping over—you’ll both wake up more refreshed
Sleeping on your back with your arms at your side is generally considered to be the best sleeping position for spine health and it’s good for your neck too, as long as you don’t use too many pillows.
That said, back sleepers tend to snore more than those in any other position and sleep apnea is strongly associated with sleeping on the back.
This so-called “starfish” position is also good for the back/ Whether you have your arms up around your pillow or not, sleeping on your back may also help to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. However, like the arms-down back sleeping position, this one can also result in snoring and problems with acid reflux. Plus, having your arms up can put pressure on nerves in your shoulders leading to pain.
Regarless of which sleeping position you prefer, it’s highly likely that you can get a better night’s rest with less pain in the morning by supplementing your body with a pillow. Back sleepers can put a small pillow under the arch of their spine, side sleepers can place a pillow between their knees, and stomach sleepers can place a pillow under their hips to support the joints and allow for full, pain-free relaxation.