The Best Sleeping Position for Your Health

Family members in bed sleeping in different positions

While a lack of sleep can ensure a grouchy mood the next day, sleeping on your sofa, boat or RV mattress in your favorite position for a long period of time can also negatively impact your life on the long run. For example, since I can remember I have been sleeping on my left side and lately I started to have shoulder pains, especially in my left shoulder, so I thought that this might not be just a coincidence and started to do some research and the findings led me to write this article, which I hope will help you too improve your health and/or decrease the frequency or intensity of the pains and aches you have been feeling.

Scientists have determined that there are both healthy and unhealthy sleeping positions. Yet each position might not be healthy or unhealthy for everyone. Your unique physical characteristics, including your current aches and pains will determine which sleeping position is the best for your body.

Face Up

Sleeping on your back might seem like the “adult” way to sleep, and it is considered the best sleeping position for many, but it is not ideal for you if you suffer from sleep apnea (brief breathing interruptions during sleep). It is also a bad position for people who suffer from restless legs and leg cramps.. Yet this position is perfect for people who suffer from joint pain as the body’s weight is distributed equally when you are on your back, causing less pressure to be put on aching joints. By sleeping face up, you also put your face through less stress by keeping it off of the pillow during the night. The result is less wrinkles, acne and other breakouts – every women’s dream 🙂

The Side Sleeper

Plenty of people will admit that they happily sleep on their sides. Studies have shown that people who sleep on their left side have more settled stomachs during the night as this position reduces indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux. Side sleepers also put less strain on the spine (if they use a proper pillow that is) and experience a boost in blood flow. So, people who live sedentary lives will benefit from this position as will pregnant women. Yet there is also a downside to sleeping on the left hand side as it adds pressure to the lungs, liver and stomach. It also stresses the back and neck and can restrict breathing. Try to avoid putting your arms and hands underneath your head and body while on your side as it can cause them to “fall asleep”, reduce blood flow and impact nerves and muscles, causing arm, neck and shoulder pains.

On The Stomach

The worst possible position to sleep in is on the stomach as it forces the person to place his head to the side which can result in neck and shoulder pains as well as headaches. You wouldn’t turn with your head to one side for 8 hours during the day, so why do it at night on your RV mattress, sofa bed mattress or boat mattress? Besides causing neck and head problems, sleeping on the stomach can also damage teeth, create back pain and discourage the spine from maintaining its natural curve. Yet there are a few benefits to stomach sleeping. It is ideal for people who suffer from sleep apnea, (although some people also find that sleeping on their stomach leads to snoring as well) and it slightly aids digestion.

In which position do you prefer to sleep in? What aches and pains do you usually have? Did you ever think that your sleeping position could cause them? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.