Are you a starfish? I bet you are. You seem like a starfish to me!
No idea what I’m talking about? Your sleep position, obviously. You big starfish, you.
Fine then, I’ll be serious
The thing is, we spent a full third of our entire lives lying in bed asleep, or at least trying to sleep. Yet very few of us actively put any thought into how we sleep. And so for 6, 7 or 8 hours every night, we put our body into a certain posture and leave it there before floating off into dreamland, unaware of the damage we might be doing.
How we sleep can have a huge impact on how we live
Because poor sleeping posture can lead to poor daytime posture. Sleeping in an unsuitable fashion can also cause aches and pains, and if you have pre-existing health conditions – like a chronic backache – it can make them worse.
On an emotional level too, not sleeping properly can have all kinds of consequences. You might end up irritable, stressed out and unable to make wise decisions. Your relationships, work life, and health can suffer in a big way…all because sleeping in an uncomfortable way has made you sleep-deprived.
So, now I’ve scared you into thinking twice about your sleeping habits, you might wonder what best practices look like. How are you supposed to sleep? Well, just like each snowflake is unique, so is each body. The sleep position that works for your friend Diane might not be a fit for you.
Read on below for the pros and cons of each sleeping position. Then you can decide which one sounds most suitable for you before giving it a test run. Or rather, a test nap.
This involves sleeping on your stomach, often with your arms stretched overhead and cradling a pillow. It can feel incredibly comforting and it’s actually the best sleep position for digestion. So even if you’ve had a heavy meal before bed – which you should avoid, if you can – this position might be the best way to settle down with minimum discomfort.
On the flip side, front sleepers are at a higher risk of respiration problems (because you’re basically compressing the lungs). So if you have a condition like asthma or difficulty breathing anyway, this one is probably best avoided.
This position might suit those who suffer from a backache, especially with a pillow placed beneath the knees.
The downside to this position is that snoring is a common side effect. This is because the tongue can fall back easily and block the passage of air, causing a deep rattling sound that may give you a bruised arm when you wake your partner for the thousandth time!
This position should also be avoided by those with heart failure, respiratory conditions or gastroesophageal reflux.
Sleeping on your side is said to be the safest and most effective sleeping position for a number of reasons. Firstly, you’re not compressing the lungs nor are you blocking your trachea, so breathing comes more naturally.
Secondly, sleeping this way compliments the natural curve of your spine – which will lessen that “stiff back” feeling come morning.
Finally, sleeping in a fetal position, with your knees tucked in and a pillow between them can help with both back and hip pain. Plus, it just feels really comforting…especially if you’ve got a great foundation like the ones the Sleep Advisors suggest to sleep on!
Now that you’ve (hopefully!) figured out which position is right for you, give it a try for a week. Or try each of them for a week if you’re still unsure and see how your sleeping patterns change. Whatever one makes you feel more rested the next day, go for that one!
And before you even lay yourself down to bed, there are a few quick things you can do to ensure a better sleep:
- Turn off electronic devices an hour before bed (because the blue light they emit stimulates the mind rather than calming it down).
- Make sure to stick to the same bedtime every night (so your body and mind can get on board with the routine and respond accordingly)
- Try eating sleep-promoting foods, like bananas or almonds, as an evening snack to help you wind down even more.
- Make sure you have a bed with an Adjustable Bed Frame to get your ideal position.
That way, by the time you assemble your body into the sleeping position of your choice, you’ll already be set up for better sleep!
So enjoy experimenting with different sleep styles. And may the sweetest of dreams be your result.
Proper Sleeping Positions
If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, there’s some bad news for you: sleep experts don’t advise it because it puts stress on your lower back and could result in neck aches. People who shift over often while trying to find comfort while sleeping on their stomachs report feeling more restless. Use a very soft pillow, if you choose to sleep on your stomach, or none at all to prevent your neck from being in an uncomfortable position.
The position that puts the most strain on the neck and back while sleeping is on the stomach. If a patient has certain spine disorders or has recently undergone spine surgery, their doctor may advise them to avoid sleeping on their stomachs.
If lying on one’s stomach while sleeping or resting, the pillow should be relatively flat or the head should rest directly on the mattress to prevent tension on the head and neck. To help the lower back maintain its natural alignment in this posture, it is frequently preferable to place another reasonably flat pillow beneath the abdomen or pelvis.
Best Position to sleep
For, lying on your side with a cushion or blanket placed between the knees is the ideal sleeping position. Back or neck discomfort sufferers may find relief from their symptoms by sleeping on their sides. A pillow’s loft, or thickness, should correspond to the space between your neck and shoulder.
Sleeping on a side can lessen snoring and help prevent the airway from closing.
Overall, sleeping on the side is an excellent way to sleep, possibly with their head slightly raised if that is comfortable.
Especially in the final trimester of pregnancy, side sleeping is advised. And since it relieves strain on internal organs and encourages healthy blood flow, sleeping on the left side is ideal.
The uterus compresses your inferior vena cava while you lie on your back during the third trimester of pregnancy. The arterial system is being compressed.
It is also recommended to sleep on your side if you have neck or back pain, especially if you put a small pillow under your head.
Other types of sleeping positions
- Fetal position – You are sleeping in the fetal position when you are on your side and draw your knees to your chest. While in this position, some people may curl an arm beneath their pillow to support their head, but others may not.
- Freefall position – sleeps with his or her arms tucked behind the pillow, head tilted to one side. If you snore, this position is helpful for you because it helps with digestion. It’s not ideal, though, because of the strain it places on the neck and back.
- Yearner position – Stretching your arms and legs out while you sleep is known as the yearner position. They are less susceptible to being duped, yet they take a while to decide what they want. You cannot alter someone’s attitude once it has been formed.
- Soldier position – position describes lying on one’s back with the legs extended and the arms at one’s sides. This arrangement can make snoring worse or make sleep apnea worse. The health of your back and neck, however, may benefit from sleeping in this position.
- Starfish position – What Position Does a Starfish Sleep In? The starfish sleeping posture has the person lying on their back with their arms raised, giving the impression that they are a starfish. 5% of people reportedly prefer this sleeping position.
- Log position – A person who sleeps in the log position does so on their side with their arms and legs fully extended. Although the log sleeping position may appear to be very stiff, persons who prefer it frequently have gregarious, trustworthy, kind, and trusting personalities.
The ideal sleeping position for a particular person relies on a number of variables, including their personal preferences, their medical history, and any prospective health issues. Finding a supportive and comfortable sleeping posture that meets your specific needs is crucial for getting a good night’s rest.