Is Sleeping on Your Back the Best Sleeping Position?

Is Sleeping on Your Back the Best Sleeping Position?

Well, let’s find out. Many people sleep on their sides or stomach because they are comfortable positions for them. Sleeping on your back doesn’t naturally come to most of us and only 14% of the general population is categorized as back sleepers. Is sleeping on your back the best sleeping position? Well, sleeping on your back has many benefits to it and maybe that’s why it’s known as the best sleeping position.

Sleeping on your back keeps your head, neck and spine in a neutral position. So, it prevents the chances of you getting neck pains and back pains. It also reduces acid reflux since your head is elevated and your stomach is below your esophagus, so food and acid won’t come back up. Sleeping on your back also minimizes wrinkles since nothing is pushed against your face. It also reduces tension headaches, avoids facial creases. There are many more to the list such as less muscle tension and support after hip replacement recovery. Because of all these benefits and many others, sleeping on your back is considered as the best sleeping position. But this varies depending on your situation. For example, if you are pregnant, it causes pressure and discomfort to your stomach. Also, if you have back pain or sleep apnea, it’s better you avoid this position.

How To Become A Back Sleeper

If you are naturally not a back sleeper, but you want to practice it, follow the step by step guide below for optimal comfort and adequate sleep.

Lay down flat on your back (obviously). When you lay down, make sure your head and neck align and rest in a neutral position. Don’t twist or turn your head or knee sideways. Now you need to experiment with what position suits you the most.

Experiment with Positions

Some people choose the ‘goal post’ position which is raising your arms up and towards your head. If it gives you shoulder pain, it’s not your position. Some people are comfortable with the ‘soldier position’ where your arms straight down by your side. If you usually wake up with your pinky or ring finger prickling, it means your ulnar nerve is compressed while you are asleep. It happens when your arm is bent for too long. Therefore, you can try the soldier position and see how it goes. Another popular position is the ‘starfish position’. Stretch your arms and legs into an ‘X’ formation and you are in the starfish position! For many people this is a very comfortable position.

You can also mitigate lower back pain and make sleeping on the back more comfortable by performing stretching exercises before you go to bed. Moving further, you can use a pillow to keep your head raised and put a pillow under your knees and lower back for proper alignment. Placing a pillow under your lower back will reduce stress on the spine and support the natural curve of your lower back. The best type of pillow to use in this position is a puffy pillow. Don’t forget to shop for the best pillow as well because not all the pillows are made for your comfort. It’s perfectly normal for you to find yourself rolling right back over to your old position. Just shift back and try again!

Is It For Everyone?

Well, no, it’s not for everyone. If you are pregnant or if you have certain medical conditions, you should avoid sleeping on your back.

Medical professionals suggest that pregnant women should avoid sleeping on their backs. It makes sense, doesn’t it? This position can cause backaches and digestive system issues for pregnant women. Also, if you are pregnant, it puts unwanted pressure on major blood vessels which will lower your blood pressure. So, if you are pregnant and a dedicated back sleeper, it is advised you start transiting to a side sleeping position. It is very common for many of us to snore while sleeping. Unfortunately, recent studies have found that back sleeping positions can worsen snoring issues. If you are experiencing sleep apnea, it is highly recommended that you avoid sleeping on your back since it can lead your tongue and soft tissues of your throat to cause airway obstructions. Seek medical counseling if you show symptoms of sleep apnea. 

In conclusion, sleeping on your back is right for you but you need to make sure you are on a comfortable mattress, especially when you sleep on your back. Also make sure you have supporting pillows to ensure everything is aligned properly.

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