Which Sleep Position Will Give You A Better Night’s Sleep
We all have a preferred sleep position that we've most likely grown up sleeping in. However, is the side you sleep on causing your bad night's sleep? There are many benefits to breaking the habit and changing the way you sleep.
Here our sleep expert discusses the advantages and disadvantages of each sleep position. With added tips to help you change your position and find the best side to sleep on.
Sleeping On Your Back
Typically, GPs favour this position, as it allows you to get your back into a neutral, relaxed posture with the neck and torso in alignment especially with the right pillow.
- Use a pillow that fits your neck – if it is too high or too low it will harm your neck muscles and joints
- Put a small pillow under your knees, this will help keep the right curvature in your lower back
- If you suffer with lower back pain, place a small pillow under the lumbar spine, as this can ease the pain
Sleeping on your side straight legs and straight torso
“After speaking to my clients I have found whilst over the population claim to lie on their side, most will start on their side and often end up slightly face down as we roll in the night.”
- Put a pillow in between your knees, this will help keep your pelvis in alignment with your lower back and prevents you rolling onto your stomach
- Use a medium firm pillow to allow your head and neck to keep in alignment with your spine
Sleeping on your side foetal position
Most of us prefer sleeping in the foetal position. This is regarded as the best position for pregnancy and tends to be best for sufferers of lower back pain.
- Put a pillow in between your knees to minimise rolling onto your front. This keeps the upper leg from pulling the spine out alignment and reduces stress on the lower back and hips.
Sleeping face down
It is best to avoid this position, as it is not possible to keep your spine and neck in a neutral alignment. This can significantly increase the chance of tightening your neck muscles and irritating your lower back. Sleeping face down means the neck rotates to one side causing strains and stiffness. Your lower back will then be pushed into extension, which aggravates the joints.
- If you’re lying in this position, keep you face down rather than turned to the side, as this will keep your airways open. To do this, prop your forehead up on a shallow pillow to give you enough room to breathe.
Sleeping on your left hand side with a pillow in between your knees
“This is my preferred position, especially if you’re a lower back pain sufferer. For me, lying on my side with pillow in between my knees is easier to maintain than lying on my back with pillows under my lower back and knees.”
Further benefits of lying on your left hand side includes draining of the brain’s glymphatic system, which is the system which cleans waste out of the brain. Sleeping on the left side also helps with blood flow from the hart, facilitates lymphatic drainage and helps elimination from the large intestine into the colon.
What are the best and worst positions?
If you suffer from the following problems then these are the best and worst sleeping positions…