Why Sleep Position Matters For Longterm Health

Which Sleep Position Is Best For The Most Regenerative Sleep?

best sleeping position

The sleep position which we choose, or which our body tends to choose, is very important to our quality of sleep as well as how we feel in the morning.

Many people don’t realize it, but pain is the leading cause of insomnia, and this pain can be generated from our sleep positions.

Sleeping in a sleep position which is conducive to restorative sleep and decreased pain is an important subject; unfortunately it’s one which it’s given much thought by most people, except for perhaps chiropractors and sleep specialists.

However, sleep position is important, and learning how to sleep better (deeper and with less pain) is truly vital to our health, as important as eating right, engaging in regular exercise, and keeping up with our dental hygiene; it’s important because sleep is our greatest source of regeneration.

During sleep critical hormones are released, our ability to learn and remember things is improved, our wounds and injuries heal, and our entire bodies are renewed.  But, if we’re not sleeping well, these processes can be compromised and diminished.

Types of Sleep Position

sleeping positions

We all sleep a little bit differently, and some of us will take on more than one sleep position during the night, however, there are a few typical positions — back, side, and stomach.

We often hear that sleeping on our backs is good for our backs, and if we achieve deep restful sleep in this position, that can potentially be true, however, it can also contribute to a devastating sleep disorder, which we’ll get into later, so for some it’s just not a good choice.

Types of back sleeping positions are the starfish, where the limbs are spread out, and the solider, in which the arms are kept in at the sides.

Sleeping on one’s stomach is probably the worst sleep position of all, in fact, in certain religions sleeping on your stomach is outlawed by religious law.  When we sleep on our stomach there is a very good chance we will develop lower back and neck pain because of the angle and stress which we put on these body parts.

If you do currently sleep on your stomach then it’s best to put some effort into becoming a side sleeper, as becoming a back sleeper is probably going to be very difficult.

Sleeping on one’s side is the preferred sleep position, as postulated by many experts and doctors.  But, simply sleeping on our side is not the whole story, to truly benefit from this sleep position it’s all about keeping the spinal curves maintained and aligned.

best positions to sleep

Sleeping on one’s side with knees to the chest is called the fetal position, and it’s naturally conducive to sleep.

Our neck should be raised by our neck pillow, but not too high, the spinal curve should be maintained with our ears above our shoulders; a body pillow placed in between the legs, spreading the hips will take pressure off of the lower back.

Of course, it’s also important to buy as good a mattress as you can afford, and swap your old mattress out every ten years or so, as this will aid your back and sleep in addition to proper sleep position.

The Back Sleep Position and Sleep Apnea

As was mentioned earlier, sleeping on the back can lead to a very destructive sleep disorder, its called sleep apnea.

Just sleeping on one’s back won’t necessarily lead to sleep apnea, but if someone is overweight, smokes, and is over 40 the risk of developing an apnea go up dramatically and back sleeping can become dangerous.

Solutions to Sleep Disturbance & Back Pain Through Sleep Position

The most important thing for us to remember is for us to keep our spines aligned during sleep, whatever helps us do that will minimize sleep disturbance, back pain, and even some sleep disorders.  This position allows us to obtain the deepest sleep possible.

In addition to proper sleep position, it’s important that we eat right and exercise during the day, as what we eat and how we move affects our sleep.  Also, sleep in as dark a room as possible, as this will allow the most melatonin to be released.

If you’re having trouble finding deep sleep try herbal remedies and supplements first, as they tend to be non habit forming.  5 htp, melatonin, and Valerian Root extract are all proven, start with a small dosage and see how you’re affected, increase dosage if necessary, but don’t take more than allowed.

Special Tips for Sleep Position For Pregnant Mothers

Pregnancy sleeping positions

Pregnant mothers, especially women who are pregnant for the first time are usually concerned with sleep position, as they want the best possible health for their baby.

As with the rest of us, sleeping on your side is best; sleeping on your back can compress your spine.  Using a maternity pillow with this side sleep position is even better.