It’s not always easy to establish what type of sleeper we are, since the positions we manage to spend the nights in can look totally weird, and we tend to change them quite often while searching for the most comfortable one. However, all of those can be placed into one of these three categories by concluding on which part of our body we spend the most time while lying. There are back sleepers, stomach sleepers, and side sleepers. If you are wondering what are the benefits and what are the shortcomings of sleeping a certain way, we are here to provide you with answers.
The most common position people sleep in is the one that includes spending the majority of time on the back. It’s the position where a huge number of individuals feel most comfortable. The experts claim that if you are a back sleeper, you will probably have the best night’s rest because your body will be entirely relaxed and well supported from the top of your head to your fingertips. Certainly, this depends a lot on the quality and construction of your sleeping surface.
They say that the best mattress for back sleepers is the one that’s a bit firmer, so your spine remains well-aligned, but it also needs to have some cushiony effect in order for your back and your neck not to be in pain. Besides that, sleeping this way can reduce tension headaches as well as pressure and compression that can help with some chronic conditions, and you can prevent wrinkling and having facial skin irritation of any kind if you choose to remain on your back. Also, staying on your back with your head slightly elevated with a good pillow is what’s recommended in case you suffer from heartburn.
But if you are experiencing sleep apnea and serious snoring problems, this is not the best position for you, and you should consider changing it. That’s because it can make these conditions even worse. The same applies to a heavily pregnant woman since back sleeping can increase the pressure on your belly and make them feel uncomfortable. Some even say that it’s not good for the baby to sleep on the back given this position can interfere with the normal blood flow of the mother, which can affect babies too.
- Whole-body well supported
- Spine well-aligned
- The absence of back pain
- Lower chances of heartburn
- The absence of facial wrinkling
- No tension headaches
- Worse snoring problem
- Pressure on belly on a pregnant woman
- Sleep apnea worsened
The very low percentage of people tend to sleep on their stomach, and that’s good because the majority of experts don’t recommend spending the entire night in this position. In case you don’t have the ideal mattress for stomach sleepers, the one that can hold your entire body in its natural alignment, you will probably experience some problems. Stomach sleepers are often facing serious low back pain because the curvature of their spine is flattened, but also excruciating neck pain, given their head remains unnaturally turned on one side for many hours.
Also, if you tend to lie on your stomach through the night, the pressure on this body area can cause the incensement of acid reflux. Then there is the problem of numbness since stomach sleeping can create great pressure on some limb nerves and cause some unpleasant sensations in your hands or your legs. Again, a pregnant woman should avoid sleeping this way because it can make the baby feel uncomfortable while being squeezed between your spine and the mattress, and they can possibly be endangered.
Certainly, there are some good things about sleeping this way. For once, you won’t be able to snore when on your stomach, and you probably won’t experience sleep apnea. Also, you will be likely to fall asleep more easily and quickly because this position may provide you with the coziest and comforting feel. Now, if you are unwilling to shift to another position, we suggest you make some changes that can help you with all the possible problems stomach sleepers can face. Use a flatter pillow so that your neck and back remain in a less angled position, place a pillow under your pelvis in order to take the pressure off your spine, and make sure you get the best possible mattress that won’t make your body sink in it during the night.
- No snoring
- No sleep apnea problem
- Cozy feel
- Bad spine alignment
- Back and neck pain
- Higher chances of acid reflux
- Numbness in limbs
As it seems, the most desirable position to sleep in is on your side. There are so many variations you can place your body so that you are turned to your left or right, and feeling very comfortable. And sleeping on the side will bring a huge number of advantages. Research showed that this way, there will be fewer chances of experiencing insomnia, the sleep apnea shouldn’t be something to worry about, and you will be less sleep-deprived. Also, let’s not forget that this is the best possible position for couples since it can allow them to fall asleep while cuddling.
Sleeping on the left side is what most experts suggest because of our internal organs and the way they are positioned. Laying on the left will provide us with the best blood flow, improved digestion, and there will be fewer chances of having acid reflux. Of course, owning the adequate mattresses for side sleepers is a must, unless you want to experience all the shortcomings of spending the night this way. One of the problems you may be feeling is numbness and pain in your shoulder and your hips because of the great amount of pressure you created on one side of your body. That can lead to decreasing your blood flow and pressing down on your nerves. The adequate solution, besides getting the right sleeping surface, is to place a pillow between your knees so you can keep your spine well-aligned and lower the chances of meeting with these disadvantages.
When you are all curled up on your side, you may not be able to breathe correctly, given that your diaphragm can be restricted. Also, there are some esthetic problems side sleeping can lead to. Your facial skin will probably be all wrinkled out, and it can happen it expands over time. Another issue affects women, and it refers to having sagging breasts. The breast ligament can stretch over time if you always sleep on your side, and that can lead to having your boobs a bit more saggy-looking. Some women tend to prevent this by sleeping in their bras, or by using a pillow that can support their breasts.
- Less chance for insomnia
- No sleep apnea
- Improved digestion
- Good blood flow
- Less chance for acid reflux
- Best position for cuddling
- Numbness and pain in hips and shoulders
- Disruption of breathing
- Sagging breasts
In the end, if you wonder what type of sleeping is overall the best, there is no right answer. As you can see, there are some advantages but also disadvantages of spending the night in every mentioned position. You should not try forcing yourself to sleep a certain way if you don’t find it comfortable enough. The only important thing is how you feel and how good of a night’s rest you have. It would be good to determine what type of sleeper you are in order to purchase an adequate mattress and additional bed equipment. There are sleeping surfaces that are specially made for each sleeping type, and they are based on different structures so that they can provide your body with what it needs the most. If you invest in a good sleeping mattress, you probably won’t have problems regarding the position you sleep in.