Pro Tips For Sleeping On Your Side
Many of us actually already favor side sleeping. A 2017 study deduced we spend more than half of our time in bed in a side or fetal position. If youre a side sleeper, you likely do a little flip-flopping during the night. Thats fine. Just try to start out on your left side to pamper your gut.
Directions for side sleeping
Measure the length between your neck and the end of your shoulder, Fish says. Find a pillow that supports this height so that your head and neck can stay aligned with your spine.
How You Should Sleep If Youve Had Heart Failure
If youve had heart failure, you should speak with your doctor about any sleeping positions that you should avoid.
Sleeping on your right side may be the best option for people with heart failure. Although some people think sleeping on your right side could restrict blood flow back to the heart, theres not enough evidence to prove that its harmful.
If you dont have sleep apnea or any breathing problems, sleeping on your back may also an option for you.
A 2015 study examined the effects of lying face-up in participants with stable chronic heart failure. The researchers found that lying face up was associated with poorer blood oxygenation, respiratory mechanics, and blood movement compared to sitting.
Sleeping on your stomach may alleviate sleep apnea and snoring, but can also cause neck or back pain. Untreated sleep apnea is associated with an increased risk of heart failure , and many people deal with both.
If you have an implantable cardioverter defibrillator , you may find it more comfortable to sleep on the opposite side that its implanted. Most of ICDs are located on the left side.
Benefits Of Sleeping On The Back
- Even weight distribution: Sleeping on the back takes pressure off the hips and shoulders.
- Stable spine position: The head, neck, and spine can rest in a neutral position.
- Better pain management: A person is less likely to experience pain.
- Reduces grinding of teeth: A person is less likely to clench their jaw or grind their teeth while asleep.
- Helps prevent facial wrinkles: It reduces pressure on the face, resulting in fewer facial wrinkles.
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If You Experience Heartburn
When people with GERD sleep on their left side, they experience fewer instances of heartburn than when they sleep on the right side or on their back. Not only are heartburn episodes more frequent on the right side, but they also last longer.
Pregnant people can also experience heartburn, since pregnancy causes the digestive system to move more slowly. Sleeping on the left side can relieve their heartburn, while also making it easier for their heart to pump blood to the fetus.
The 3 Main Sleeping Positions: Which Is Best
At night, sleep may feel like zero work. But to your body, its precious healing time. From supporting memory formation to muscle repair, quality sleep helps your body function at its bestand your position can affect that quality.
Whether youre a one-trick pony or versatile snoozer, its important to understand the different resting postures: back sleeping, side sleeping, and stomach sleeping.
In this guide, well learn more about the importance of your sleeping position, review the three main types of sleeping positions in depth, and discover the best sleeping position.
Good sleep starts with support. Whether you sleep on your back or your side, Caspers selection of mattresses will provide you with the support you need for a proper snooze.
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How To Make The Switch
If you are ready to make the switch, youll find that it may take some time to build the new habit of sleeping on your left side. Implementing a few simple strategies can help ensure a smooth transition. For instance, you may want to experiment with putting a body pillow behind your back so that its harder for you to roll off of your left side during sleep. It can also be helpful to try sleeping on the opposite side of the bed than you normally do that way your sleep orientation wont feel much different .
It will also be important to choose a mattress thats ideal for side sleeping. Because sleeping on your side can put pressure on the hips and shoulders, its important to choose a softer mattress that will help relieve pressure in those areas. Also be sure to look for a mattress that allows the spine to rest in natural alignment. And of course, make sure that whatever mattress you choose feels comfortable to you. The combination of a comfy bed and a health-promoting sleeping position is sure to increase your chances of sleeping well and feeling great whenever you wake up.
If you make your own coffee in the morning, chances are youre only making the same boring kind everyday. Now its time to put an end to the cynical habit and turn you into an instant coffee connoisseur.
The only difference here is taste. And when it comes to coffee, taste matters. A lot.
How You Sleep Matters
A Stony Brook University study suggests how you sleep could reduce your chances of developing cognitive concerns later in life.1
The study, published in The Journal of Neuroscience, found that the way a persons body is positioned while they sleep could affect the brains waste clearance system, also known as the glymphatic system. While we sleep, toxic substances are flushed from the brain through tiny lymphatic vessels called glymphatics. The brain releases around three pounds of toxic chemicals and plaque each year.
The scientists used rodents to test how different sleep positions affect this process and found that lying on your side while you sleep may be the most efficient position for flushing toxic substances out from the brain through the glymphatics.
The study found that rodents sleeping in the lateral position cleared certain proteins about 25 percent more than when they slept on their backs or stomachs. These proteins may contribute to the build-up of brain plaque, strongly linked to age-related cognitive decline.
Further studies on humans still need to be done to confirm these findings. Fortunately, most people find sleeping on their side most comfortable.
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It May Reduce Heartburn
A study published in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that lying on the left side can help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Again this is because our stomach lies on the left side. Conversely, lying on the right side may aggravate these symptoms. The effects are fairly immediate if youre struggling with heartburn after a meal, try taking a 10-minute lie-down on your left side.
Sleeping In The Fetal Position
Side sleepers who curl inward with bent legs are sleeping in the fetal position. Sleeping in the fetal position has many of the same benefits as sleeping on the side. Research also has found that sleeping in the side position significantly reduces the frequency of sleep apnea breathing irregularities.
Unfortunately, sleeping in the fetal position may cause joint pain or stiffness for some people. To reduce the risk of discomfort, curl in a relatively loose position or with a pillow between your knees.
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Best Sleeping Positions For Back Shoulder And Neck Pain
If you have back pain, sleeping on your stomach or back may aggravate your pain. Switch to side sleeping to minimize your risk of back pain.
For further relief, put a pillow between your knees to keep your hips in alignment. If you must sleep on your back, placing a pillow under your knees will take some strain off of your back.
Shoulder, Neck, and Upper Back Pain
Arthritis and other painful conditions along your upper spine can worsen or improve while you sleep. Studies seem to disagree, though, on what positions are ideal.
One large study found that people had less shoulder pain who slept in the starfish positionon their backs, with hands up near their chest or head. But it couldn’t explain if those people had less shoulder pain because of the way they slept, or if they slept that way because they had less pain.
A later study found that people who slept on their backs with their arms at their sidesthe soldier positionactivated their shoulder muscles less, and thus may experience less shoulder pain.
But How Do You Change Your Sleep Position
Its hard to do, said Aleksandar Videnovic, MD, director of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Its a habit weve developed since infancy.
As such, changing your sleep position might actually require a combination of training, the use of mechanical or electronic devices, and the proper selection of bedding most likely, youll have to mix and match these techniques .
You should also understand that nobody sleeps in any single position all night long. Most folks change positions between 10 and 40 times nightly. And we tend to go back to our instinctive postureswhich, for about 50 to 70 percent of us, is on our backs most of the night, depending on which study youre consulting.
A note on back-sleeping: A lot of this advice would indicate that side-sleeping is superior. And in many cases, it is. But if you are healthy and have no breathing issues, theres no immediate problem with back-sleeping, Videnovic said.
If you want to change your sleep position, the results will likely be incremental but worthwhile. Here are three ways to do it:
Compared to … the TBT … disease alleviation, sleep quality, and quality of life are significantly improved with the , write the studys authors. Several other companies make similar devices, and while we havent tested any of them, recent studies have shown them to reduce sleep apnea by more than 50 percent in most users.
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The Best Way To Sleep On Your Side
Sleeping on your side is by far the most popular way of sleeping, but it isnt necessarily the healthiest way to sleep for your body. As mentioned earlier, theres a chance you will increase the pressure exerting on your joints, organs, and muscles, and this can result in aches, soreness, and pain the next day.
To prevent this you should ensure that you arent tucking too tightly if you sleep in the fetal positions, and its a good idea to place a pillow or two between your knees so your back doesnt twist overnight as your legs roll to lay on the mattress.
In terms of which side you sleep on, your left or your right, there is a general consensus that its far better to be sleeping on your left side. The main reason for this is because of the position it leaves your internal organs in. Those who sleep on their left, for example, are far less likely to experience troubles with heartburn, but those who sleep on their right side are likely to experience it more often.
Do You Sleep On Your Stomach
Approximately 7% of people sleep on their stomach. This is sometimes called the prone position. It may help ease snoring by shifting fleshy obstructions from your airway. But sleeping in this position may aggravate other medical conditions.
Your neck and spine are not in a neutral position when you sleep on your stomach. This may cause neck and back pain. Stomach sleeping can put pressure on nerves and cause numbness, tingling, and nerve pain.
It’s best to choose another sleep position if you are a stomach sleeper. If you can’t break the habit, prop your forehead up on a pillow so your head and spine remain in a neutral position and you have room to breathe.
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What Your Sleep Position Saysabout Your Personality
Believe it or not your sleep position can say a lot about your personality. Its not surprising when you think about the fact that the average human spends a third of their life sleeping. While you might not be able to change your personality, what you can change is how you support your sleep position with the right pillow.
When it comes to sleep positions, the one you tend to favor at night says a lot more about you than you may realize. The way we choose to sleep at night is an intimate question of what we find comfortable and what is comforting to us. The way in which we snooze is something that we do while we are unconscious, making it an honest expression of our innermost selves.
For example, those who rest in the shooting star position tend to be trusting and good communicators. They are open to others and let their guard down easily. They are generally very amiable, likeable people. On the other hand, those who sleep in the baby position, tend to be a bit more reserved and cautious when it comes to new people. Their exterior is tough but its only to shelter their kind, sensitive, and cuddly interiors.
Which Side Is The Best To Sleep On
Side sleeping continues to attract raving reviews from Medical Professionals and Sleep Therapists. This is because several studies have shown the benefits of sleeping in that position. But, are you wondering whether lying down on one side of your body is more beneficial than the other?
Well, were not surprised because curling up on the sides is the number one sleeping position in the world.
Naturally, the majority of people who prefer this position are drawn more to their left side.
Which side is the best to sleep on? The answer is your left side. Medical studieshave consistently revealed that lying down on the left side leads to better digestion, improved bowel movements, and optimum sleep.
No one sticks to lying down on one side of the body throughout the night. It is normal to switch from left to right which allows sleeping on each side at some point.
Whichever side you find yourself has its benefits and drawbacks. But does left-side sleeping give you the upper hand compared to the right? Lets delve into it to find answers below.
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Sleep Disorders And Sleep Positions
The National Sleep Foundation has carried out polls since 1991 to identify peoples sleeping habits in the United States. In 2020, they highlighted that significant numbers of people in the U.S. feel sleepy about 3 days per week, which often impacts their daily lives.
With such high numbers, it is no surprise that people are interested in which sleeping positions work best. A 2017 cross-sectional study investigating sleep positions and movement has shown that the predominant sleeping position is on the side.
Helps The Lymphatic System
As the left side of our body is the dominant lymphatic side, and unlike the other common sleeping positions, sleeping on your left side allows better filtration of toxins, lymph fluid, and waste food from your body, and as a result,the lymphatic systems efficiency increases.Keeps your Heart HealthySleeping on the left side is extremely important in promoting your overall heart health. It makes sense that if you sleep on your left side, the lymph drainage toward the heart will again be helped by gravity, taking some of the workload off the heart as you sleep. According to health expert Dr. John Douillard.
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Cold Or Upper Respiratory Infection
Symptoms of a cold or upper respiratory infection tend to worsen at night. This is because mucus accumulates in the sinuses and throat when a person lies down. Sleeping with the head elevated can help alleviate associated symptoms, such as a stuffy nose.
Sleeping with the head elevated
Raising the level of the head can help drain the sinuses, preventing nasal blockages and associated headaches. Propping two or more pillows under the head before going to sleep should be effective.
People who have sleep apnea or a tendency to snore should avoid sleeping on their backs, especially when they have a cold. This is because the position may cause the tongue to partially block the flow of air, making breathing difficulties worse. Experiment with various positions to find one that feels comfortable.
Which Side Should I Sleep On
The left and right sides dont have equal benefits and most people are better off sleeping on their right side. It places less pressure on your heart than lying on the left does.
As we previously mentioned,ScienceDirect researchVerified SourceScienceDirectOne of the largest hubs for research studies and has published over 12 million different trusted resources.View sourcefound that patients with congestive heart failure avoided sleeping on their left side. It also linked sleeping on your left side with higher sympathetic nerve activity. The sympathetic nervous system governs your fight-or-flight response, so less activity keeps you calm.
However, the best side for pregnant women to sleep on is the left side. By lying on her left side, a woman increases blood flow to the fetus, providing the baby with more nutrients.
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Digestion Benefits And Left
Many people believe that sleeping on the left side is the best option for digestion. However, whether a person chooses to sleep on their front, side, or back, it is imperative that they get themselves in the correct position, have supportive pillows, and a firm mattress.
- Gut health: There is no medical evidence to support that sleeping on one side is more beneficial than the other. However, the location of the stomach is a clue. The stomachs natural position is on the left side, where it can digest food more effectively. Gravity helps the waste travel from the small intestine to the large intestine.
- Help with heartburn: People who experience heartburn should sleep on their left side, as right-side sleeping relaxes connecting muscles between the stomach and the esophagus. When these muscles contract, they help control the acid reflux process. Research from the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology has shown a higher likelihood of acid reflux from sleeping on the right side.
The National Sleep Foundation have carried out polls since 1991 to identify peoples sleeping habits in the United States. In 2020, they highlighted that significant numbers of people in America feel sleepy about 3 days per week, which often impacts on their daily lives.