First Position! Your Guide to the Different Sleeping Positions and their Pros and Cons

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After a tiring day at work or a long day at school, you probably want to go to bed, close your eyes, and get the sleep you so deserve. Sleeping is an essential part of everyone’s schedule, and this is not just for argument’s sake. There’s more to it than just giving you rest.

There is now a lot of scientific evidence pointing out that sleep can promote optimal health and well-being. It does not only refer to physical recharging but is also linked to mental health. However, it is not uncommon for adults to get insufficient sleep, especially in this modern society. 

Commonly, this condition is associated with some form of medical disorders, work schedules, or a 24/7 lifestyle. On the other hand, not many of you know this, but your sleeping position at night contributes to your sleep quality. If you want to know the ‘fors and againsts’ of your sleeping position, you can read further in this article to learn more.

Types of Sleeping Positions

Every individual has their favorite sleeping position, and as a general rule, the best one is considered the position that could give you quality rest. Here, you will find out facts about the different types of sleeping positions and how they could benefit or disadvantage you. 

Side-sleeping

Side-sleeping is the most common among the different types. Aside from comfort, it also gives many health advantages such as reduced snoring, better digestion, and even decreases chances of heartburn, sleep apnea, or acid reflux. If you are a side-sleeper, paying close attention to the type of mattress that would best suit this sleep style could also prevent body soreness when you wake up. 

Planning to purchase a new mattress? Check out News Week to help you pick out the best mattress for side sleepers. Meanwhile, here are the three basic types of side-sleeping position:

Fetal

One of the most popular side-sleeping positions is the fetal type, where you sleep either on your right or left side while curling inward and bending your legs. This position, particularly when you lie on your left, improves breathing irregularities, keeps the spine in its natural alignment, and is mostly prescribed for pregnant women.

On the flip side, some experience stiffness or muscle pains when they lie in a fetal position. To prevent this, it is best that you loosely curl forward and avoid pulling your body tight. Putting a pillow between your knees could also do the trick.

Log

You practice log position when you lie on your side with your arms down and close to your body. Your legs are also extended straight. This position supports the neck and back alignment, and therefore potentially reduces pain in these points. On the contrary, it can also cause shoulder or neck pains and numbness in the arms.

Like the fetal position, you can place a soft pillow between your knees or under your arms to help ease the pressure on your hips. 

Yearner

This sleep position is somehow related to the log, but your arms are stretched in front of you. Typically, it offers the same advantages as the log. This also means that they have the same disadvantages too. 

Back-sleeping

Like side-sleeping, this sleep type can also be subdivided into different categories and has its corresponding pros and cons. 

Soldier

When you practice a soldier-style back position, you sleep on your back with your arms straight down – pretty much like a soldier standing at attention. If you have enough and the right type of pillows, this sleeping position can help properly align your neck, head, and spine. Furthermore, it relieves the symptoms of acid reflux.

Starfish

Only a few people have this unique sleep style. The starfish position lets you lie on your back with your legs stretched out, and arms faced upwards. Like the soldier position, it helps with acid reflux and supports your spine when you sleep.

Generally, lying on the back isn’t an ideal sleeping position. Some even recount that they experienced pains in their lower back. Studies also show that it worsens sleep apnea and snoring habits. Still, a few people find this position comfortable. If you are a back-sleeper, you can put a pillow under your knees to lower the chances of back pains.

Stomach-sleeping

The third type of sleeping position is lying on the stomach, and the most common one is known as free-fall. In this sleeping position, you usually put your arms under your pillow and turn your head sideways. Despite being an excellent position to prevent sleep apnea and snoring, that’s how far its advantages could go.

When you lie on your belly, it puts pressure on your muscles and joints, which increases the likelihood of tossing around and shifting positions just to get cozy with that position. It also leads to neck and back pain. If you are one of those who like to sleep this way, putting a soft pillow under your pelvis reduces back discomfort. Also, try to use a thin head pillow or none at all to reduce neck strains.

Takeaway

Even though most adults prefer to sleep on their sides, a few but significant groups like to sleep on their back or stomach. Your sleeping position matters, and knowing what suits you best can help improve back posture, lessen muscle and joint pains, and wake up in the morning filled with energy and life. 

In addition to this, choosing the right mattress and pillows is also an essential factor to get high-quality rest.

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