What’s your go-to sleep position? Most of us prefer curling up on our sides or lying on our stomachs to lying flat down on our backs. It may even seem odd to some of us. Lying on your back may seem perfectly natural for watching Netflix or reading a book, but can falling asleep really be as simple as lying down in bed and closing your eyes? Unnatural as it seems, it turns out sleeping on your back is arguably the healthiest sleeping position. Find out why and what you can do to make the switch.
Your sleep position affects a lot more than just your comfort level. A bad sleeping posture impacts the quality of your sleep and can also lead to neck and back pain, headaches, cramping, poor circulation, and possibly wrinkles. If you’re already experiencing some of these issues, changing your sleep position could be the key to freedom.
Sleeping on your back is considered the best sleep position for a few reasons, as long as you’re doing it right. You need to make sure that your head and neck are propped up enough to promote a healthy circulatory and digestive flow. Besides that, sleeping on your back will help with a few things:
● Spinal alignment.
This is important to maintain good posture and overall spine health. When you sleep on your stomach or your side (unless your body is completely straight), you’re putting the spine in an unnatural position for a long period of time. This can lead to back and neck pain.
● Reducing tension and pressure.
Lying straight means there’s no extra pressure on any body part, like there would be if you were at all twisted. This is important for anyone who suffers from headaches, migraines, or chronic conditions.
● Improved skin.
Unless you wash your pillow daily, there are bound to be some oils and dirt on the cover. Lying with your face up promotes healthier skin as there is less contact with bedding. Your skin will also look younger; lying with your face pushed into a pillow can lead to premature wrinkles. Sounds great, doesn’t it?
But changing your sleep position is easier said than done. Old habits die hard and if you’re used to sleeping on your side or stomach it will take some adjusting. Here are a few things you can do to train yourself to sleep on your back.
● Invest in a good pillow.
As we mentioned, if you sleep on your back you need to be propped up a certain amount. Too high creates strain on your neck, but too low will run the risk of sending food back up your digestive tract. Get yourself a good pillow that you can sink into without feeling the need to adjust your head.
● Create a fort around your body.
Make it harder for your body to turn to the side by surrounding yourself with pillows and blankets. Fun and helpful!
Take some time to get your body used to this position by simply lying in it without the sole intention of falling asleep. Maybe you will eventually drift off.
There are a few exceptions to back sleeping. Every sleeping position has its negatives and there is no cookie cutter formula for everyone.
You should avoid back sleeping if you’re pregnant (the fetal position is actually healthier for both mother and baby), suffer from sleep apnea (breathing may be obstructed), or if you have a tendency to snore (it may become louder).
If you’re looking to get a proper beauty sleep, try sleeping on your back. Sleep tight!