While we sleep, we unconsciously change positions multiple times throughout the night. Study says an individual shifts positions at least 20-40 times. So, what defines our sleeping position? What gets us to sleep every night is our sleeping position.
Types of sleepers
Though, we have a lot of different sleeping positions, all of us come under at least one of these 3 main type of sleepers. Side sleepers, Back Sleepers & Stomach sleepers.
Here we have listed what’s so great (or not) about our preferred sleep position.
1) Back sleepers
A total of about 13-16% of the people are back sleepers. This could be an ideal aligned position with head facing up, spine straight and weight equally distributed.
- The neck and spine are aligned so this is a good position for those suffering from neck pain.
- Elevating the head with a pillow can reduce heart burn, acid reflux. This position allows gravity to pull down on your upper body and helps those suffering from acid reflux.
- Helps when you’re moody and suffering with menstrual cramps
- Prevents sagging and wrinkles as there is no pressure on the face and breasts.
- This position is prone to more snoring
- May not be an ideal position for those with back pain
2) Stomach sleepers
8-10% of people sleep on their stomachs. Neutral alignment of the spine keeps discs, muscles and nerves in ideal positions. Sleeping on the stomach leads to awkward bends and twists that could be discomforting to some.
- Helps people suffering from sleep apnea – a sleep disorder where a person pauses breathing or takes periods of shallow breathing during sleep.
- Reduces snoring
- As your head is turned to one side for long period it can cause neck pain and headaches
- Can also cause pain in joints and back
- Puts added pressure on some organs and breasts
3) Side sleepers
Most people and even wild animals sleep on their sides. Study says 65% of the people are side sleepers. There are different variations on the side sleeping position. While some sleep straight like a log, others curl up in a foetal position. Experts recommend sleeping on the left side as this facilitates optimal blood circulation – this is because of the reduced pressure on the heart allowing it easily pump blood, lessens the pressure on the liver and facilitates proper functioning of the kidneys.
- Decreases Acid Reflux and heartburn
- Reduces Snoring
- Recommended for people with sleep apnea
- Improves Digestion
- Can cause sleep wrinkles because of the pressure on the face. Read about how pillows can cause wrinkles.
- Shoulder compression can lead to shoulder pain
- Sagging breasts
What your sleep position says about your personality
A simple test which can reveal a lot about who you are. Find out here
Best position during pregnancy
Experts recommend sleeping on the side (SOS) during pregnancy preferably the left side. In this position, the uterus is not pressing against the liver and thus eases blood circulation to the foetus.
Best sleeping position
Each position has its own advantages and disadvantages so there is no best sleeping position. Depending on your comfort and your concerns, you can choose the best sleeping position.