Whoever knew that even how you sleep determines your health status. How fascinating! This is quite true as studies have shown that certain positions of sleep taken by certain people, have caused them to be healthier compared to those that take less healthy positions during sleep. The following are the major sleep positions taken by a lot of people and their respective side effects:
1.On Your Back With Arms At Side
Sleeping on your back with arms at the side, is generally considered to be the best position for spine health and your neck as long as you do not make use of too many pillows. That said, it is also known that back sleepers (that is, those that sleep on their backs tend to snore more than those who sleep in other positions). These sleepers are more prone to sleep apnea (brief interruptions of breathing during sleep).
2.On Your Back With Arms Rested Upwards
This so called ‘star fish’ sleeping position is also good for the back. Whether you have your arms up around your pillow or not, sleeping on your back will help prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. However, like the arms down back sleeping position, this type can also result in snoring and problems with acid reflux. Plus, having your arms up can place unnecessary pressure on nerves in your shoulder, causing pain and discomfort.
3. Face Down
Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion. But unless you have developed a way to breathe through your pillow, it most likely leads you to tilting your head in one direction which can put a lot of strain on your neck. Thus causing what we fondly call ‘stiff neck’. This is when after sleeping, one is unable to move the neck in any direction. It can also lead to back pain since the curve of the spine is not supported.
Sleeping curled up like a ball with your knees raised to your chest is what is referred to as the Foetal Position. Sleeping this way with your chin tilted down may be comfortable but it does strain your back and neck. The extreme curl of the foetal position can restrict deep breathing. This results in what we refer to as having shallow breaths during sleep. That considered, sleeping in the Foetal position, could have you sleeping like a baby if you experience problems with snoring or you’re pregnant.
5.On Your Side With Arms At Side
When you sleep on your side with both arms at side, the spine is well supported at it natural curve. This definitely reduces the risk of back pain and neck pain while also minimising occurrence of sleep apnea. The downside is that, sleeping on your side can contribute a great deal to ageing, causing face wrinkles and sagging breasts.
6.On Your Side With Arms Out
This position has many of the same benefits as sleeping on our side with your arms straight down. However, any form of side sleeping can cause shoulder or arm discomfort due to the restriction of blood flow on the side that is rested upon cause by pressure on the nerves in that area which may be exacerbated if you have your arms out in front of you.
7. Right Side
If you are a side sleeper, the side on which you sleep can also make a difference. Sleeping on the right aide can worsen heart burn, while Sleeping on the left side can put strain on internal organs like, liver, lungs and stomach (although minimising acid reflux). For pregnant women, they are advised to sleep on their left side so as to increase circulation to the foetus.
8. Pillow Supplemented
Regardless of which sleeping position you prefer; it is 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 pillow under the arch of their spine, side sleepers can place a pillow between their knee and stomach sleepers can place theirs under their hips to support the joint and allow for a pain- free relaxation.
We all fall into one of these categories, which category do you belong to and what are the effects? Leave your comments, answers and questions below.
AFOMA AND ODDIE.