Everyone has their own sleeping style which makes them feel comfortable and allows them to fall asleep faster. Sleeping on your back, however, has more benefits compared to any other sleeping positions. Studies have shown that how sleep will play a crucial role in whether or not you will suffer from chronic neck and back pain, which is why you should learn to sleep on your back.
You may purchase the best pillows and mattresses on the market but it won’t be enough to alleviate your body pain if you do not employ the right sleep posture. We are going to explore the reasons why sleeping on your back is a good idea and why other common sleeping postures are not the best.
Why you should avoid sleeping on your side
It is a fact that most people prefer sleeping on their side but it is not the best choice. This is because this sleeping position often causes hip and shoulder pain. It has also been proven by numerous studies to increase the effects of heartburn especially if you sleep on your right side.
Most studies show that when you sleep on your right side it helps to loosen your lower esophageal sphincter which will then not prevent the acid from rising to your throat from your stomach. Sleeping on your left side doesn’t have this effect as it effectively shuts the connection between your stomach and through thus preventing left side sleepers from experiencing heartburn.
Why you should avoid stomach sleeping
Stomach sleepers are very few and this sleeping position has the worst side effects. Studies have shown that sleeping on your stomach will put pressure on your entire body and thus increase your risks of getting the numb and tingling sensation.
If the stomach sleeper turns his or her head from side to side to enable sleeping then he or she increases the chances of getting joint and muscle pain. Sleeping on your stomach may also put a strain on your breathing while you are sleeping, which may reduce the amount of oxygen your body receives.
Reasons to sleep on your back
There is a very small number of people who sleep on their back, despite it considered the best sleeping position when it comes to pain management and comfort. Sleeping on your back helps keep your neck and spine properly aligned while you are asleep and prevents you from waking up with neck and shoulder pain. This is the most comfortable sleep position for sufficient and quality.
Back sleeping also protects you from experiencing heartburn during the night because keeps the path between your throat and stomach effectively closed thus preventing backflow or reflux of stomach acid. Aesthetically, sleeping on your back will also do wonders for your face because you will develop fewer wrinkles thanks to your face not getting smashed between your pillows as you sleep. This will keep you looking younger for longer.
Though sleeping on your back is highly recommended, you should not do it if you snore or if you are suffering from sleep apnea as this position will worsen your condition.
How to teach yourself to sleep on your back
If you are not a natural back sleeper don’t worry as you can always train yourself to sleep on your back using the following simple techniques:
- You can use pillows to barricade your body in the back sleeping position to prevent you from rolling over in your sleep. Do this every night until sleeping on your back becomes something natural to you.
- You should also place a pillow under your knees to elevate your legs and secure you to sleep on your back and to alleviate the discomfort you may feel on your spine due to changing sleeping positions. This will be more comfortable than sleeping with your legs flat out on the mattress thus making it easier to fall asleep in this new position.
- You should also get a pillow to support your neck and head so as to keep it properly aligned with the rest of your body. This will help to improve your breathing while you sleep by keeping your airways open.
- Consistency is necessary when it comes to training yourself to sleep on your back. Changing sleeping positions does not happen overnight, it requires that you have a lot of patience and determination.
If you wake up in the middle of the night and you find that you have flipped over to your more natural sleeping position, either on your stomach or side, you should turn and sleep on your back again. Doing this for a number of consequent nights will help make it a habit to sleep on your back and then you will be able to enjoy the many benefits that come with sleeping in this position.
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You should also try different sleep postures when you are lying on your back to determine which one is more comfortable for you. You can choose to try the starfish position where you lie on your back and keep your arms and legs stretched or the goal post position where you stretch your arms above your head.
From numerous studies that have been done by sleep experts, it is clear that the prize sleeping position is sleeping on your back. If you are able to get yourself to sleep the whole night on your back you will be able to improve your general health as well as get yourself better quality sleep.
For you to be able to sleep comfortably on your back, you will need to invest in good quality pillows that will help support your head and neck. Be careful not to place too many pillows under your head as it may elevate it too much thus blocking your air passage.
Sleep experts say that although sleeping on your back is the ultimate sleeping position, you should always choose the sleeping position that works best for you. This is because a comfortable good night’s sleep is more important than sleeping in a position that everyone says is the right one.
There are those who may face some disadvantages to their health if they choose to sleep on their backs. This is especially the case when it comes to sleep apnea patients and people who snore in their sleep as this position worsens their condition.
If you want to learn to sleep on your back, you can use the tips we have given you and ensure that you remain consistent throughout the whole process.