How to Find the Best Sleep Posture
Everyone sleeps in a slightly different position. You have the back sleepers, the stomach sleepers, the straight out sleepers, the curled up sleepers, and everyone else in between. However, the majority of Americans – 63% to be exact – tend to sleep on their sides. So why exactly does this matter? Well, while most of us tend to crawl under the covers and drift off to sleep without a second thought of our posture, the position you sleep in can have a lasting effect on your body and quality of sleep. This guide will help you determine the best sleep posture for you to ensure a restful sleep every night.
What Feels Natural to You?
The first step to determining the best position is actually quite easy – learn what feels comfortable for you. While some studies suggest that sleeping on your back can prevent wrinkles, it is in fact more harmful to the overall quality of your sleep to defy the position that feels most natural to you. Go with the flow of what your body is telling you, and don’t expect to be sitting in that one fixed position all night. Moving around a bit at night is natural and trying to stay locked into one fixed position is bad for circulation in general.
Some basic guidelines are that sleeping on your back could make a snoring problem worse, and sleeping on your left can generally help to relieve heartburn and improve blood circulation than sleeping on the right. However, despite these recommendations, fighting against your natural inclinations towards one position or another is a recipe for disaster and you will know it when you wake up in the morning. The only exception pertains to those with medical conditions that prevent sleeping in their natural position, and women who are pregnant are advised to sleep on their left side to improve blood flow: good for both themselves and the baby!
To help provide the best sleep posture once you find the best position, it is recommended to make use of pillows. Where you place your pillow depends on the contours of your body, and you should generally aim for aligning your ears, shoulders, and hips, keeping the spine straight and allowing for a much better night of sleep with less chance of back pain. What position you normally use (back, stomach, or side) will impact the best places to put these pillows. Back sleepers benefit most from neck pillows, looking to fill the space primarily between the neck and mattress. Sleeping on your side creates a need for a pillow between your ears and the mattress, something thicker than what you would use for sleeping on your back. For stomach sleepers – a head pillow is also advisable, though how thick this pillow needs to be largely depends on the firmness of your mattress. Your ultimate goal is to fill that space between the mattress and your head, allowing your body to fall into its natural alignment and supplying you a much better night of sleep.
As a final note for helping to determine what your best sleeping position is: keep your mattress in mind. An old and worn out mattress that sags in the middle is going to create problems for your sleep quality, and it will serve you well to replace it at least once every decade. Furthermore – before buying be sure to try out the mattress first to make sure it’s comfortable: memory foam and custom mattresses aren’t for everybody. Finding what is best for you will pay off in the long run.
This article was written by Brennen Kliffmueller. Once a sufferer of insomnia, Brennen spent years researching and learning how to naturally get better sleep. Now on a healthy sleep schedule, he uses his knowledge to help others with their sleep problems as a professional writer for SaatvaMattress.com. To view more of his work, be sure to visit his Google+.