When you sleep, do you lay on your back, your stomach, or your side? Although each person has their own preferred position, the way you sleep can have a huge impact on your health.
Most experts agree that sleeping on your back or on your side is the best for your body. But if you’re unaccustomed to sleeping in these positions, it can be difficult to get used to them.
Keep reading for a guide on how to properly sleep on your back or side.
How to Properly Sleep on Your Back
Sleep experts refer to laying on your back as the supine position. This position can be hard for people to get accustomed to but can be beneficial to your health and wellbeing.
What Are the Benefits?
If you’re someone who experiences neck or back pain, the supine position will help alleviate some of your pain. When you sleep on your back, your body is in a neutral position. This means that your body experiences less pressure and stress than in other positions.
Heartburn sufferers can also benefit from sleeping on their backs. By propping your head up with a small pillow, you’ll help eliminate the severity of acid reflux. This can lead to a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Sleeping on your back also keeps your face off of the pillow. This can help cut down on skin issues, such as acne, as well as the buildup of facial creases and wrinkles. It can also make sleeping more pleasant for allergy sufferers.
Are There Any Disadvantages?
No sleeping position is perfect, and although it comes with many advantages, there are some potential downsides to sleeping on your back.
If you’re not on the right mattress, the supine position can worsen existing lower back pain. To find the perfect comfortable mattress, check out Mattress Clarity best mattress reviews.
Sleeping on your back can also exacerbate sleep apnea and snoring problems. If you’re someone prone to snoring, you (and your partner) might benefit from a different sleep position.
How to Train Your Body
Are you a usual stomach or back sleeper? If so, it can take a while to transition to the supine position.
Make sure that your mattress provides you with enough support. Although soft mattresses are comfortable, if they’re too soft, it can cause your back and neck muscles to tense up. You also need a pillow that provides you with proper support.
Instead of sleeping with your arms and legs in a straight line, you can also try spreading them out. This might feel more comfortable, letting you fall asleep easier. This position also better distributes your body weight, which can lead to less sore joints in the morning.
How to Properly Sleep on Your Side
Sleeping on one’s side is the most popular sleeping position. Sleep experts refer to this position as the lateral position.
What Are the Pros?
Sleeping on your side can combat some of the issues that stomach sleepers and back sleepers face.
If you’re someone who snores, sleeping on your side can help you breathe while you’re asleep. Most people agree that sleeping in the lateral position is the most comfortable. If you have aches or pain from sleeping on your back or stomach, the lateral position may alleviate them.
But which side is best? Studies have shown that sleeping on your left side can help with digestion. Due to your stomach and organ placement, sleeping on your left side allows food to digest easier. You can also enjoy lowered heartburn severity.
What Are the Cons?
Like with other sleeping positions, if you’re not sleeping on a comfortable mattress, sleeping on your side can cause additional stress on your neck, back, and shoulders. It should be firm enough to support you, but soft enough to be comfortable. The lateral position can also be difficult for people with arthritis.
If you do wake up feeling sore, there are some steps you should take during the day. Try exercising or stretching, paying particular attention to the sore region of the body. This can help relax your joints while increasing healthy blood flow.
Although only a part of your face is on your pillow, side sleeping can lead to facial wrinkles and more severe acne. Make sure you wash your pillowcases every week to keep them as clean as possible.
How to Get Used to It
As with sleeping on your back, it can be difficult to get accustomed to sleeping on your side if you’re trying to transition into it.
Try putting additional pillows in front of and behind your body. This can help you resist the urge to roll over on your back or stomach during the night. You can also try using a pregnancy pillow if you toss and turn often throughout the night.
Another method you can try is sleeping on a narrow surface, such as a couch, for a few nights. This forces you to sleep on your side but prevents you from sleeping in other positions on account of the lack of space. Try it for a few nights to get used to it then move back to your bed.
Sleep Better and Healthier
Sleeping on your back or side can benefit your body in a number of ways. However, it can be difficult to get used to new positions. If you’re curious as to how to properly sleep on your back or side, following this guide can be a good place to start.
Do you have any other tips on how to get used to sleeping on your side or back? Let us know!
For more helpful guides and tips, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts.