Ah, that age-old question – what is the best sleeping position? Ever wake up with mysterious pains in your back and wonder if it’s just another unfortunate side effect of growing old? Fear not! It’s a common problem, especially when we accumulate long-term strain on our back from sitting in front of screens the whole day. Yep, good posture during sleep is important, too.
Is There a ‘Best Sleeping Position’?
Last week we covered the importance of choosing a good mattress for sleep quality, but optimizing your sleep position is equally as important.
As always, there are always dubious articles citing the latest scientific studies giving advice that end up contradicting another source (mmm, thank you Internet). The bottomline is that you need to figure out how you can best align your body. A good question to ask yourself: What’s the best way to make sure my ears, shoulders and hips are aligned? In this sense, the sleeping position you choose might not matter all that much.
Whether you fancy sleeping on your side, back, or front, get into the details of your position. If you sleep on your side, for example, it’s recommended that you only bend your knees slightly. It’s best to keep your spine straight. The right pillow will help with this! If you like sleeping in a fetal position, use a pillow or bolster between your knees to reduce the stress on your lower back and hips. The biggest proportion of the population choose to sleep on their side — and it’s beneficial for those with sleep apnea.
If you’re sleeping on your back, take care to support the natural curve of your back. You can use a pillow or towel to pad up the gap between your back and mattress. Some say this is the ‘healthiest’ option, but again it depends on your health needs. It might make snoring worse, for one!
Sleeping on your front is probably the least popular option for most – and with good reason. Unless you have snoring issues or are trying to ease an upset tummy, it’s best to avoid this position. Sleeping on your front can increase the chance of you developing back or neck pain. This is because it’s difficult to keep your spine neutral here. Avoid, avoid.
Your sleeping position is but one factor to consider for your sleep health. When considering your best sleeping position, you should also think about whether your mattress and pillows are supporting your body for optimal alignment.