Best Sleeping Positions ( 5 Great Advantages To Sleeping On Your Left Side )
Sleep plays a vital role in maintaining a person’s good health. Without getting sufficient sleep, you are putting yourself at the risk of developing chronic health problems. Sleep deficiency will also hamper the way you think, react and learn. You may get better sleep if you know about the different types of sleeping positions.
Professor Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, conducted a survey with 1000 participants to study the six most common sleeping positions. He found out that the way we sleep not affects our health, but also indicates our personality type.
Which Is The Best Sleeping Position?
Sleeping on your back is said to be the best position to sleep. Your head, neck, and spine are in a neutral position when you sleep on your back. You won’t have any feelings of uneasiness when there’s zero pressure being applied.
However, there are some disadvantages to laying on your back. You are prone to snore more often, and you may also experience some breathing difficulties. This reason is why sleeping on the left side is preferred to be the best side to sleep on oversleeping on the back.
Sleeping On Left Side
There are many advantages of sleeping on your left side. Let’s take a look at some of these benefits in detail.
1. Facilitate Lymphatic Drainage
Thoracic duct, which lies on the left side of our body is the largest lymphatic vessel of the lymphatic system. Most of the body’s lymph fluid drains into this duct. Sleeping on the left side increases the lymphatic system’s efficiency.
Modern studies have also shown that sleeping on the left side can help our body process waste material from the brain.
2. It’s Good For Your Heart
Sleeping on the left side takes stress off the heart. Doctors have even suggested that pregnant women lay on their left side. Gravity helps the lymph drainage towards the heart and the aortic circulation away from the heart.
3. It May Aid In Digestion
The effect of gravity helps to digest food when you’re lying on your left side. When you’re sleeping on the left side, food can easily move from the large intestine into the descending colon.
Also, our stomach lies on the left side of our body and sleeping this way allows it to develop pancreatic enzymes smoothly.
4. It’s Ideal For Pregnant Women
Sleeping on the left side prevents the uterus from squeezing the liver and increases blood flow to the uterus. It also alleviates the pressure on the back and improves a pregnant woman’s circulation. Doctors often suggest pregnant women make a habit of sleeping on their left side. This reason is why sleeping on the left side is considered to be the best among all sleeping positions during pregnancy.
5. It May Reduce Heart Burn And Back Pain
Since our stomach lies on the left side of our body, it may help to sleep on the left side to minimize chances of heartburn. A study published in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that lying on the left side can help reduce acid reflux symptoms.
People suffering from back pain should immediately consider sleeping on their left side if they want to get relief from the pain. Laying on the left side takes pressure off your spine and makes you feel good in a matter of days.
Sleeping On Stomach
Sleeping on the stomach is the worst of all positions. It is wearing to your neck and back. You’ll start to feel pain in the joints, neck or back. This pain also determines how much sleep you get. Sometimes, when the pain is severe, you might have to wake up in the middle of the night.
Sleeping on stomach mostly creates a strain on the spine. Since the spine is an integral part of your body which consists of millions of nerve fibers, you may experience pain anywhere in your body.
When sleeping on your stomach, you need to turn your head to the side to breathe. The head-spine alignment is totally out of place when you tilt your head. The twisting of the neck is sure to create problems after repeatedly sleeping on the stomach.
How to sleep on your back
Use Pillow For Positioning
It can be extremely hard to get used to a new sleeping position. Make the use of pillows to your advantage. Strategically place the pillows to help you get used to the new position. You can try placing them under your arm, under your knees and even on each side of your torso.
Provide Support To Your Neck
The most important thing about sleeping on your back is making sure that your neck has got some solid support. A supported neck will help to reduce stress on the spine by keeping it straight.
Check The Mattress
Sleeping on your back is probably not a good idea if your mattress is not firm. You should not have a mattress that absorbs your body shape when you lie on it.
Avoid Late Night Heavy Meals
If you are thinking of adopting this new sleeping position, you should avoid eating heavy meals before sleep. Food that is too fatty or acidic will make you uncomfortable when you’re lying on your back. Make a habit of going to sleep two hours after you’ve had dinner.
You may find it extremely difficult to sleep on your back at first. But you will be able to adjust in no time if you have a little patience. Learning a new thing requires commitment and patience, which many people lack.
Choosing The Right Pillow And Mattress
Best Mattress For Side Sleepers
Firmness: Slide sleepers should look for something soft to moderate while talking about firmness. If you pick the right mattress, you will be able to get relief from your neck and back pain.
Support: A mattress with good support will keep your spine, neck and back in alignment. Support and firmness are two different things. A mattress might have some great support but still may lack firmness.
Pelvic rotation: A mattress should be supportive enough to prevent pelvic rotations.
Best Pillow For Side Sleepers
If you a have a great mattress, but not a good pillow, you will still not be able to sleep soundly. Pillows made from memory foam, latex or other poly foam help to provide steady support while sleeping. You want a pillow that can handle the varying pressures of your neck and head. You can also put a pillow between your legs to get relief from the lower back pressure.
Sleeping Positions Meaning: What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About You?
Position: The fetus position was the most common position adopted by the people taking part in the survey. Almost 41 percent of the 1000 people curled up on their sides.
Person’s character: The sleepers in this position may appear tough on the outside, but are shy and sensitive on the inside.
What it says about your health: Try turning to the right side of your body, if you have a habit of sleeping in the fetus position.
Position: Sleeping on your side with both arms down. 15 percent of the people slept in the log position.
Person’s character: If you adopt the log position, you are a social, easy-going person who trusts almost everyone you see.
What it says about your health: Since this position keeps your spine straight, you may get relief from back pain.
Position: 13 percent of the participants slept on the side with both their arms out in front.
Person’s character: Yearners take a lot of time to reach decisions. But when they do, they almost never change their mind. They are cynical, suspicious and also stubborn.
What it says about your health: Sleeping in the yearner position can help you get relief from acid reflux and sleep apnea.
Position: 8 percent of the participants adopted the soldier position. These sleepers lie on their backs with their arms down.
Person’s character: They don’t like to make a big deal out of things and are usually reserved and quiet.
What it says about your health: Soldier sleepers may have difficulties breathing. They are also more likely to snore and have a less restful night’s sleep.
Position: 7 percent of the participants laid on their belly with their hands wrapped around a pillow and head turned to a side.
Person’s character: If you have a habit of sleeping on stomach, then you’re probably outgoing and unable to handle any criticism.
What it says about your health: The freefall position is said to aid the process of digestion.
Position: Lying on the back with both arms up. 5 percent of the people in the survey adopted the starfish position
Person’s character: These people are good listeners and great friends. They are very helpful but often try to avoid being the center of attraction.
What it says about your health: The starfish sleepers snore often and also have difficulties breathing.
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