Is it time to reconsider your sleeping position?
There are several tips online on how to better your sleep and in effect, wake up fully energized. However, there's a lot one can improve in sleeping positions alone and it's good to know the advantages and drawbacks of each.
Here's a quick rundown of the three most common sleeping positions and their respective pros and cons, according to CNN.
1. Side Sleeping
Generally recognized as the most common sleep position, it is identified as having the most health benefits.
- According to W. Christopher Winter, MD, sleep specialist and medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, sleeping on your side is the best choice for opening your airways if you're the type of person who snores or have breathing problems.
- Side sleeping is good for the spine and help eases low back pain. It also gives the spine a break from the tension of standing or sitting throughout the day.
- Curling up on the right or left could also be good for your brain. Studies on animals that sleep on the side reveal that it lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurological diseases
- Sleeping on the left side aids the flow of blood to the heart. Sleeping on your left side with your right side not squished is supposed to potentially increase blood flow back to your heart," Winter notes.
- Pregnant women are also advised to sleep on their left side because the baby is pushing their organs upward,
- Sleeping on your side can cause a "capillary crush" and thus give you a numb feeling when you wake up,
- Studies also reveal that side sleeping can increase acid reflux and heartburn at night.
- Those suffering from night indigestion should reconsider another sleeping position aside from side sleeping.
2. Back Sleeping
- Back sleeping aids in waking up feeling more refreshed than usual. It is recognized as the best position for acquiring high-quality sleep.
- Moreover, back sleeping is the only position you can sleep in without having to reposition yourself.
- When you sleep on your back, your weight is evenly distributed across your skeletal frame, unlike other positions.
- Back sleeping makes one's upper airway is the least stable, according to Winter.
- Back sleeping results to one snoring more or experiencing worse symptoms of sleep apnea.
3. Stomach Sleeping
- Back sleepers who can't sleep on their side can consider stomach sleeping as this restricts the airways, says Winter.
- Stomach sleeping is bad for the neck and may eventually lead to neck pain.
- This sleeping position is not great for the back, either and over time, it can cause lower back pain.
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