How Do You Hit the Sack? A Guide to the Different Types of Sleepers

You know that all humans go to bed, but did you know we don’t all sleep the same way? Are you sleep-deprived and wondering why?  Here’s a guide to the different types of sleepers.

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and well-being. However, it’s not always easy.

Between 50 and 70 million Americans experience trouble sleeping or suffer from some type of sleep disorder that makes it almost impossible to sleep soundly.

Sleeping in the right position for your body can make a huge difference in the quality of sleep that you get. Different types of sleepers choose different positions and the more you can understand your preferred position, the easier it will be to start getting more restful sleep.

Here’s what you need to know.

Back Sleepers

Sleeping on your back is widely considered to be the ideal sleeping position. These kinds of sleepers get support from the mattress along their entire body, making it easier for them to relax through the night.

They also tend to wake up with fewer aches and pains and often are less stiff in the morning than other types of sleepers. If you sleep on your back, you can get a good night’s rest on just about any type of mattress, whether it’s firm, soft, or in the middle.

Though sleeping on your back is ideal, it can lead people to snore or increase their risk of developing sleep apnea over time. That’s why back sleepers should make sure to invest in a good supportive pillow to use every night.

Without the right head and neck support, snoring and other upper respiratory issues can get worse.

Side Sleepers

Believe it or not, most people sleep on their sides for most of the night. The position can be almost as good for you as sleeping on your back.

The position naturally puts less pressure on your spine and neck, helping you avoid those unwanted aches and pains in the morning. Even better, it allows your stomach to digest properly without dealing with excess pressure throughout the night.

For these kinds of sleepers, better digestion often means less frequent heartburn and acid reflux. It’s also thought to be better for people struggling with insomnia as it’s a more natural and comforting posture.

Despite the benefits, there are still a few drawbacks. The position puts tons of pressure on one arm throughout the night. This can lead to numbness in the morning.

Further, it can cause lower back pain if you don’t support your knees throughout the night. A knee pillow, body pillow, or even a thick bit of comforter will do the trick perfectly.

Child Pose Sleepers

Child pose is similar to sleeping on your side, but it’s a much tighter position. These sleepers pull their knees up close to their chest and often wrap their arms around their pillow.

It’s the most natural position and is widely thought to promote the most restful sleep.

Unlike side sleepers, most child pose sleepers won’t wake up with numb arms as they tend to sleep slightly more on their back. This alleviates pressure and helps them get a restful sleep each night.

If you sleep in this position, you will want to invest in the best mattress for side sleepers to help keep your spine in the proper alignment. Otherwise, you could end up experiencing lower back, hip, and knee pain over time.

Stomach Sleepers

Stomach sleepers lay flat on their stomach and often hug the pillow with their arms throughout the night. Though it’s incredibly comfortable, at least in the short-term, it’s not the most common sleeping position.

This is because it puts a serious strain on the lower back the entire time you’re in this position. The way you hold the pillow can also put a strain on your neck and leave you with more pain in the morning.

Though sleeping on your stomach isn’t the best way to fall asleep, it can help alleviate snoring. That said, it’s best if you actively try not to sleep in this position. Try falling asleep on your side or back first and only move to your stomach if you absolutely can’t get comfortable.

It might take some time, but you’ll eventually get used to it.

If you’re dead-set on sleeping on your stomach and can’t get comfortable in any other position, it might be worth upgrading your mattress. Look for a medium-firm to firm bed that can support your body without causing additional stress on your spine.

Rolling Sleepers

Not everyone falls asleep and stays in the same position every single night. Some people roll around in bed and change things up to suit their bodies’ needs. They might not even be aware that they’re doing it!

Rolling sleepers tend to switch between all sleeping positions throughout the night. All that movement can result in less restful sleep, but it’s more likely that you’ll wake up in less pain and with less stiffness than you would with other positions.

If you know that you tend to move around a lot at night, consider looking for a slightly softer mattress. A medium-firm bed will be more than enough to support you in all positions without causing strain or discomfort.

You may also want to invest in a body pillow as it can help cradle you in more comfortable positions. This results in less movement throughout the night and can help you sleep more soundly for months to come.

Understanding Different Types of Sleepers will Help You Sleep Better

Your sleeping position says a lot about your body and the challenges you’ll face when you wake up. Now that you understand the different types of sleepers out there, start thinking about which category you fall under.

Once you identify your preferred position, you’ll be better able to start tailoring your bedding to your unique needs. This will help you sleep better, longer, and wake up more rested.

Tips to Have a Good Sleep

A good night’s sleep is as essential as working out regularly and eating well. Research shows that not getting enough sleep affects your hormones, your ability to exercise, and how your brain works immediately. It can also make kids and adults gain weight and result in some severe illnesses. On the other hand, having enough sleep can help you eat less, work out more effectively, and be healthier. In the last few decades, the quality and amount of sleep have decreased. A lot of people have trouble getting a night of good sleep. Here are some tips to help you get a good restful sleep.

1. Do yoga and exercise regularly

Yoga is a system for relaxing, breathing, exercising, and healing. Yoga has been described as joining the mind, body, and spirit. One study showed that yoga could help relieve insomnia symptoms and help you sleep better at night. In contrast, people who exercise regularly sleep better and are more accessible at night than those who don’t.

2. Increase daytime exposure to bright light

Your circadian rhythm stays healthy when you get sunlight or bright light during the day, which is how your body keeps track of time. It changes your brain, body, and hormones, which help you stay awake and tell your body when it’s time to sleep. This gives you more energy during the day and enables you to sleep better and longer at night. Studies prove that people with insomnia sleep better and longer when exposed to bright light during the day. Try to spend some time in the sun every day, or buy a bright light device or bulbs if that’s not possible.

3. Don’t drink caffeine in the evening

Caffeine has shown some health benefits; a single cup of coffee can give you more energy, help you focus, and make you better at sports. But drinking caffeine late in the day can wake up your nervous system and keep your body from relaxing naturally at night. One study showed that drinking caffeine up to six hours before bed can make it much harder to get a good night’s sleep. Caffeine levels can stay high in the blood for six to eight hours. If you need help sleeping or are sensitive to caffeine, it is not a good idea to drink a lot of coffee after 3 or 4 p.m.

4. Reduce the temperature

As you fall asleep, your body heat changes. When you lie down, your body cools down, and when you get up, it warms up. If your room is too hot, it might be hard to fall asleep. People have different tastes, so find the temperature that you like best. Getting into a warm bath or shower helps the body’s temperature change more quickly. Afterward, when your body cools down, it can tell your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.

5. Avoid taking random or long naps during the day

Even though short power naps can be helpful, taking long or frequent naps during the day can hurt your sleeping pattern at night. Sleeping during the day can throw off your body’s internal clock, making it hard to fall asleep at night. In fact, in one study, napped people felt sleepier during the rest of the day. Another study found that napping for 30 minutes or less can help your brain work better during the day, but napping for longer than 30 minutes can hurt your health and sleep quality. The effects of a nap vary from person to person.

Health Benefits of Sleep

A baby sleeping peacefully image

Getting good sleep is essential to overall health, just like eating healthy food, drinking water, and working out regularly. The average adult should sleep between seven and nine hours every night. During sleep, the body does many things to fix and maintain itself that affect almost every part of the body. So, a good night’s sleep or a lack of sleep can have mental and physical effects on the body.

1. Sleep helps reduce stress

Sleep is a great way to deal with stress. Good sleep makes focusing easier, stabilizes mood, and helps make better decisions. Getting enough sleep not only makes it harder to think clearly but also makes it harder to deal with stress. Cortisol levels increase when we sleep badly or don’t get enough sleep. High cortisol levels are helpful in the short term because they make us more alert and raise our heart rate and blood pressure. But over time, they can cause inflammation throughout the body and throw off the balance of our hormones.

2. Improves a person’s mood

Sleep repairs the body and gives you more energy, so waking up after a good night’s sleep can make you feel better. On the other hand, people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to feel mental distress. Lack of sleep can cause anxiety, depression, and irritability if it goes on for a long time. But most of the time, these symptoms go away when you get into a regular sleep schedule.

3. Sleep improves a person’s memory

A lot of evidence shows that sleep helps you improve your memory. Sleep gives the mind a chance to sort through all the information it has taken in while a person is awake. It also causes changes in the brain that strengthen neural connections, which helps you remember things.

4. Good Sleep Promotes a Healthy Heart

Heart health is improved by getting enough sleep. During sleep, the heart rate and blood pressure both slow down. This means that the heart and blood vessels can rest while we sleep. But not getting enough sleep is a risk factor for unwanted heart events. When you don’t get enough sleep, your blood pressure stays high for a long time. This makes you more likely to get heart disease, a heart attack, or heart failure.

5. Revived the Immune System

Restorative theories about sleep say that sleep fixes the body, making people feel better when they wake up. During sleep, the body produces growth hormones that help kids and teens grow and get bigger. People of all ages also use these growth hormones to fix their cells and tissues. During sleep, the body also makes cytokines, which help the immune system fight infections. Lack of sleep can make fighting off infections harder for the body. People who don’t sleep enough for a long time are more likely to get common infections like a cold. 

Looking for more tips and tricks to help you improve the quality of your sleep? Check out our latest posts.