Getting enough sleep is the most important thing – but did you know that how you sleep can also impact your health? Let’s take a look at eight common sleeping positions and what they do to your body.
1. On Your Back, Arms at Sides Sleeping on your back with your arms at your side is generally considered to be the best sleeping position for spine health and it’s good for your neck, too, as long as you don’t use too many pillows. That said, back sleepers tend to snore more than those in any other position and sleep apnea is strongly associated with sleeping on the back.
2. On Your Back, Arms Up This so-called “starfish” position is also good for the back. Whether you have your arms up around your pillow or not, sleeping on your back may also help to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. However, like the arms-down back sleeping position, this one can also result in snoring and problems with acid reflux. Plus, having your arms up can put pressure on nerves in your shoulders, leading to pain.
3. Face Down Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion but unless you’ve developed a way to breathe through your pillow, it most likely leads to you tilting your face in one direction or the other. This can put a lot of strain on the neck. Sleeping face down can also cause back pain, as the curve of the spine is not supported.
4. Fetal Position Sleeping all curled up into a ball with your knees drawn up and your chin tilted down might be comfortable but it’s probably one of the worst sleeping positions to consider as it can do a number on your back and neck.The extreme curl of the fetal position can also restrict deep breathing. That considered, sleeping like a fetus can have you sleeping like a baby if you typically have problems with snoring or if you’re pregnant.