Sleep is vital for us to replenish the exhausted body with essential rest and charge it up to take on the challenges of the next day. According to safe estimates, we spend 25 years of our life getting that precious shut-eye. It is a significant part of our life and we can reap many benefits if we can practice proper sleeping habits. Similarly if we neglect this all too important aspect which is so integral in our daily life we face certain undesirable health issues. We have compiled different sleeping positions with their pros and cons so you may decide what is better for your health.
1. Sleeping on Your Back
Aptly named as a soldier might sleep in a bunker, it entails sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides. It is one of the most desirable sleeping position from medical perspective since it has numerous health benefits.
It is the most suitable position to rest your spine, neck and arms. Sleeping in this position for an extended period of time also helps in improving your posture. Since you are not sleeping on your stomach you also avoid acid reflux. It also helps women maintain their breast’s pertness for a longer period of time. It also acts as a cure for insomnia to a large extent and reduces chances of headaches.
The only disadvantage of sleeping in this style is it may induce snoring or aggravate snoring in people who already suffer from sleep apnea. It may also adversely affect the fetus so pregnant ladies should avoid sleeping in this manner. Apart from this it may also cause lower back pain. To avoid snoring you should try to sleep without a pillow and if you place the pillow under the back of your knee you will see a definite improvement in your lower back pain.
2. Sleeping on one side
This involves sleeping preferably on your left side with your legs slightly bent and arms at your sides. It is also one of the ideal positions that has its fair share of advantages and disadvantages.
The biggest positive we can derive from it is the way it allows the spine to rest in its natural curve. You could further enhance that by putting a pillow between your legs. Apart from this it prevents snoring and aids in sleep apnea. It is highly effective in avoiding neck and back pain. This is the most highly recommended position for pregnant women.
If we come to the cons, since your upper leg is not getting the same support as the rest of the body it may cause hip pain. To overcome this it is better to place a pillow between the two legs. Besides this side sleeping may lead to facial wrinkles and also result in sagging of breasts. In certain cases where the pillow is not of suitable height, it may even cause neck pain.
3. Fetal Position
It is a slightly modified versio of sleeping on one side. The only difference is that you bend your knees and tilt your chin towards your chest. Apparently 41% of adults prefer this position over others.
It is one of the most preferred position for pregnant women. Although sleeping on your left side will also help reduce acid reflux but it is better to keep shifting to the right and left so as to better rest your vital organs. It also helps in reducing snoring.
It may cause slight body ache if one sleeps in a very tight curl. It is always a better idea to place a pillow between your legs and not bring your knees too close to your chest. Otherwise it may put a strain on your lower back and neck and cause pain in them.
4. Sleeping on Your Stomach
This is medically the least favorable position for sleeping for a number of reasons. The fact that it is only good in slightly improving your snoring problem the rest is pretty much harmful for you. First of all sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of strain on your neck and lower back as your spine is not at all resting in a neutral position. It also leads to unnatural pressure on muscle and joints and certainly causes skin aging and wrinkles. If you like falling asleep in this position at least place a pillow between your torso and bed so as to prop yourself slightly to one side and minimize the harmful effects.