Turns out, there’s more to good sleep than how many hours of shut-eye you’re getting.
Studies show that your sleep position can either help or hinder your body’s ability to restore and repair itself while you’re catching Zs. When you sleep in a way that physically supports the natural curvature of your spine, you relieve stress on your spine and decrease the chances of pain or stiffness in your back, arms, and shoulders.
How you sleep says everything about your quality of sleep — and life.
We spend one-third of our lives sleeping, according to a study in the National Library of Medicine. It’s important to start treating and framing these hours as significant parts of our overall health and wellness. If you’re on the search for a deeper, more revitalizing slumber, try out one or both of these sleeping positions.
On Your Back
The healthiest sleep positions are ones that provide spinal alignment from your head down to your hips, which makes sleeping on your back one of the best options. Sleep Foundation states that snoozing on your back “keeps your spine supported and balanced, which relieves pressure on the spinal tissues and enables your muscles to relax and recover.” This position also evenly distributes the body’s weight. For even better results, try placing a small pillow under your knees to support your spine’s natural curve even more soundly. Although sleeping on your back can lead to snoring, you may find this position to increase your restfulness overall.
On Your Side
Just like sleeping on your back, sleeping on your side has major benefits. Side sleeping aids in reducing heartburn and snoring, and is great for those who experience lower back pain. To avoid strain on your lower back, Medical News Today suggests placing a firm pillow or blanket between the knees. This props up the upper leg, which provides natural alignment of the hips, pelvis, and spine. If you find yourself moving from your side to your front, hug a large pillow against your chest and stomach to stay in alignment.
How you choose to sleep will depend greatly on your personal health situation. Adjusting to a new sleeping position doesn’t happen overnight, but with a little bit of training (prop up lots of pillows) and willpower, you’ll be sleeping soundly in no time.
At the end of the day (or night), what’s most important to your health is getting sleep in general. So pick a position that is most comfortable for you. In addition to finding what works best for your body, don’t forget to set yourself up for a good night’s rest in other emotional and physical ways. Here’s to a big sigh of relief for your body. Sweet dreams.