Best Positions for Sleep and Why it is Beneficial for our Health
Sleep is a very vital part of our daily lives and is badly needed by our body in order to regenerate itself at the end of the day. Having a total of seven to eight hours of sleep each night is the most acceptable and ideal amount of time that a person needs to fully recover, replenish and recharge. Once attained, our bodies will be ready for the next day ahead.
In addition to sleep, there is a certain and particular way that each and every person goes to bed with. One differs from another and not everyone has the same sleeping position. In reality, the best sleeping position that you can do is the one that fulfills your REM stage of sleep. REM is also called rapid eye movement and during this time is where we are “most asleep”. When you are able to reach REM, this is the time you are “actually asleep”. But in order to achieve it, there are a lot of factors to consider and your sleeping position is a major player involved.
Sleep Deprivation Issues
Having lack of sleep due to you positioning can cause several issues that you will sooner or later on feel. Here are some of the most common beginning problems of being deprived of sleep.
- Easily irritable
- Feeling of grogginess
- Increase in weight
- Higher blood pressure
- Deceased skin health
- Earlier signs of aging
- Memory loss
- Deceased sex drive
- Prone to heart diseases
- Higher risk of having cancer
- Body pain
If you want to know if your sleeping position is healthy, all you need to do is to read along and take into account all the pros and cons your sleeping position gives you.
Sleep Positions and Their Pros and Cons
Like what was previously mentioned, how you sleep can greatly affect you and your health. Listed below are the top sleeping positions that a person uses. It will also give you a brief and meaningful idea as to why it is beneficial or not.
The back position is the most common of all sleeping position. This us when you lie flat on your back with you head slightly elevated using a pillow.
1. Prevents neck and back pain
With your neck and back in a neutral position, chances of pain on those particular areas are minimize. In addition, there are no other additional forces that your back can receive.
2. Decreases chances of acid reflux
This position allows your head to be elevated higher than your esophagus and stomach.
3. Lowers chances of early wrinkles formation
Since you face is free from any outside forces like a pillow, you will less likely have the chance to experience premature wrinkling.
4. Maintains breast perkiness
Since you are lying on you back, the weight of your breasts is fully supported. Thus preventing and lowering chances of sagging.
This position heightens the instances of snoring because of obstructed airway passage and your tongue sliding backwards to your throat.
The fetal position, like the name implies, is when you are lying down like a baby. Your head is tucked to the point that your neck is almost touching your chest and your legs are flexed with your knees touching your chest. A lot of studies say that this is not an ideal positon for sleep.
1. Lesser snoring
Because of this sleep position, your airway is not obstructed and your tongue is not inhibiting air from passing through it.
2. Best position for pregnancy
This position allows lesser force of your stomach to your body. In addition it helps you breathe more comfortably.
1. Back and neck pain
Because of the one sided placement, your back and neck will loose its alignment. In addition, your flexed neck will add more unwanted pressure to it.
2. Increase chances of wrinkle formation
Whether your sleep on your left or right side, your face will come in direct contact with your pillow. This will increase your chances of having premature wrinkle formation.
3. Sagging breasts
Adding weight to your chest will unfortunately stretch its ligaments and will end up giving you sagging breasts.
4. Additional pressure on vital organs
Sleeping on your side will give addend and unwanted weight to your vital organs. Some examples includes your liver, stomach and lungs.
5. Restricts diaphragm breathing
Keeping your legs extremely flexed to your chest restricts your diaphragm and will give you a harder time to breathe.
Of course there are simple remedies that you can do to prevent such health issues from happening. Here are some useful solutions you can do if this is your favored sleeping position.
- Do not tuck your body to an extreme curl.
- Try your best to keep your spine and neck aligned.
- Make sure to straighten your body as much as possible.
This position is more commonly known as the “Stomach position” and is said to be the worst possible sleeping position there is. This position is achieved when you are lying on your stomach with your arms either raised upward or on your sides.
1. Lesser snoring
Similar to what was previously explained, a clear and unobstructed airway is the key to preventing snoring episodes.
2. Prevents sleep apnea
Similar to snoring, sleep apnea can be prevented. This us done with the help of clear air passageways and absence of tongue obstruction
1. Back and neck pain
Because of the difficulty of neutralizing an appropriate position for the spine and back, pain can be felt. It also adds additional pressure to the joints and muscles. This will give your affected area a painfully numb and tingling sensation due to irritated nerves.
2. Increase chances of wrinkles
With your face fully exposed to your pillow, you have an even higher chance of forming wrinkles on your face.
3. Sagging breasts
Your body’s entire weight will be on your breasts when you use this sleeping position. This will further stretch and elongate the ligaments found on your breasts.
Side-Lying Position: The Best Advisable Position
If there is a winner for the best sleeping position then the side-lying takes the award. What’s even better is that when you do this on your left side, it is all the more favorable. The reason is that anatomically speaking, most of our organs that need a little help when functioning are all located on the left side of our body.
In addition, if you are pregnant then this is the best way to sleep. Not only will it lessen the weight of your stomach from your body and provide an easier way of breathing but it also has a big “plus” in relation to your baby. Sleeping this way will help promote better blood flow and circulation from your body to your child. Think of it this way, you feed your baby way better because of this position and it will benefit both you and your baby.
The proper position and the right way to do it can truly make a difference and this difference can be felt not only physically but also internally. This means that you will not only feel relaxed and refreshed but your body will also function more effectively and to its optimum potential. Here is a quick breakdown on the possible health benefits you can get from lying sideways on your left side.
It facilitates lymphatic drainage
Found at the left side of our body is the majority of our lymphatic system. This particular system helps carry protein, glucose and other essential metabolic waste products which are purified by our lymph nodes. Afterwards, it will be transferred to the left side of the heart to be fully incorporated into the blood and be pumped throughout the body.
Aids in blood circulation to and from the heart
When you sleep on your left side, you are doing you heart a big favor by helping it pump blood out and back your whole body. With the help of gravity, your heart with only need a minimal amount of force to be able to pump blood thus decreasing its workload.
Promotes better bowel movement due to proper digestion
While you are on your left, you are allowing your food to be easily digested with the help of gravity once again. First it will smoothly transition from tour small to large intestines. Afterwards, it will travel to your descending colon which is also found at the left side of your body. This smooth process will promote better and easier elimination in the morning.
With regards to better digestion, this is because our stomach and pancreas can also be found on our left side. Once more, with the help of gravity, this position will allow the optimal and most efficient digestion possible. The food you consume will seamlessly travel from your stomach and at the same time the pancreatic enzymes will also be produced. This will result in a better digestive process.
Helps in spleen function
Another lymphatic system member, the spleen is also conveniently located at the left side of our body. Its primary purpose is to filter the blood flowing through our body. Sleeping on your left side will promote better filtering and drainage.
How to Sleep Left Side-Lying Style the Right Way
Of course, if you want to have no pain with additional health benefits then you should start sleeping right. For those who either have been used to this position or will be trying it out for the first time, here are some tips that you can use to promote optimal sleep experience.
- Keep your back as straight as possible. Try your best to maintain the neutrally straight alignment of your back starting from your neck all the way down to the end of your spine.
- Invest in one major items. This particular item is a good mattress that can support curvature of the body and lessen pressure on the hip and shoulder.
- Prop a pillow in between your legs. This will level out your hips in relation to your legs by keeping a neutral line from your hips all the way to your legs.
- Use a tall pillow to support your back, neck and spine. Use this pillow to promote additional support for proper back alignment.
Sleep is both a privilege and a responsibility given to each and everyone of us. It is also up to us to figure out how to properly promote sleep without endangering our body and its functions. In fact, we need to be more keen and observant as to how we can be healthy even during sleep, which now you know is all possible. Make sure to give your body its deserved reward of a good, long and uninterrupted sleep. Because having a good night’s rest will predetermine how you and your body will function and act the following day.