The sleep position that you naturally gravitate to is kind of a random thing, and no one is really sure why we tend to prefer one position over the others. Each position definitely has its own benefits and drawbacks, however. And depending on what your personal health and medical circumstances are, you may want to re-train yourself in a new sleeping position to make sure you are as healthy as possible.
There are three basic positions you can wind up sleeping in — stomach, side or back. Health experts generally advise sticking to the position you are naturally inclined to take, with the exception of stomach sleeping in certain medical circumstances. Below we’ll take a more detailed look at the pros and cons of each position.
Everyone can benefit from a good night’s sleep, but that is hard to come by for many of us. Individuals with insomnia in particular may toss and turn trying to find the most comfortable sleeping position. What exactly is the best position for sleep? Is there a correct way or an incorrect way to sleep? While science can tell us a little about the pros and cons of the various resting positions of back, side, or stomach, ultimately, you need to stick with the one that feels most comfortable to you.
Lying on Your Back
Technically speaking, sleeping on your back with minimal pillows is the best for the spine, provided the mattress is supportive. Lying on your back will keep your face from getting smashed and wrinkled, so the cosmetically conscious may choose to sleep on their back for this benefit. However, sleeping on one’s back is not recommended for those with sleep apnea or snoring problems.
Many people settle onto their sides for sleep. This position is particularly helpful for those with lower back trouble. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees can alleviate the pressure on the lower back. Side sleeping is also best during pregnancy. While pregnant, mothers should try sleeping on the left side to improve circulation as a benefit to mother and baby. Sleeping on the left side can also help those who struggle with heartburn. Reflux symptoms can worsen when sleeping on the right side, though.
Snoozing on Your Stomach
A small percentage of individuals sleep on their stomachs. This sleeping position is hazardous for pregnant women and can leave anyone’s neck sore from resting with the head turned out to the side. Those who are stomach sleepers may get into the habit of sleeping on their stomach because it is the most comfortable to them.
However you find yourself falling asleep, it can be deleterious to your sleep to think too much about your sleep position except to find a restful pose that helps you get some shut-eye.