Do you stretch your limbs out to all four corners of the bed, or curl up in the fetal position? What does that say about the quality of your sleep? Well, scientists know a few things for certain. The quality of your sleep affects your overall health, including things like memory, weight maintenance and mood. And there are a few key differences about each sleeping position too.
THE SIDE SLEEPER
Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position. It helps open up your airway and reduce snoring, which is why it’s recommended for those struggling with heavy snoring or potential sleep apnea. Side sleeping is also recommended during pregnancy, and strategically placed pillows can make sleeping on your side even more comfortable. For proper spinal alignment, pull your knees in slightly and add a pillow between them. Avoid arm numbness by hugging a pillow and avoid propping your head up with your arms.
THE BACK SLEEPER
Back sleeping is also a common position, and while it can relieve pressure on your joints, it can also exacerbate snoring and sleep apnea. It can, however, relieve tension in your lower back, if you tuck a pillow under your knees. It also cuts down on heartburn, as it keeps your head elevated above your chest.
THE STOMACH SLEEPER
While not as many people are stomach sleepers, there is an advantage to this sleeping position if you struggle with snoring. The disadvantage is that it can cause neck strain and, if you sleep with your arms overhead, numbness and tingling. To better align your spine, try sleeping with a flat pillow underneath your hips and another low-profile pillow underneath your head.
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