We all have a favorite sleeping position. Some like to feel their entire body aligned, with extra pillows to ensure comfort. Others merely prefer falling face-first on their bed, happy to sleep at least a bit.
Your sleeping position dictates more than how comfortable you feel. Your favorite sleeping position likely has considerable health implications. You’re probably going through some benefits or disadvantages from how your sleep.
Today, we’ll go through the four standard sleeping positions. My goal is to teach you the best sleeping position for your health.
Sleeping on your left side
left-side sleepers can rest assured that science has their back. There’s plenty of documentation on the benefits of sleeping on your left side. For instance, left-side sleepers usually enjoy better digestion.
Essentially, left-side sleepers have gravity on their side. It drives waste seamlessly through your colon. It also keeps annoying disturbances out of the way.
left-side sleepers enjoy better digestion and less heartburn. The ileocecal valve hangs in our abdomen’s lower right. It handles intestinal waste transfers. Lying on your left side might lessen heartburn symptoms if you’re a right-side sleeper.
Our brains also accumulate waste, known as interstitial waste. Sleeping on your side helps you clear out this waste accumulation. It lowers the risk of neurological diseases, like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
No more snoring
Finally, sleeping on your side helps you snore less. It frees your airways regardless of which side you prefer. If you suffer from sleep apnea, sleeping on your side might also help.
Sleeping on your right side
Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research behind right-side sleepers. Most studies focus on side sleeping in general or its left counterpart. However, there’s a reason for that. For both sleeping positions, the benefits are largely overlapping.
However, the advantages for right-side sleepers seem to be smaller. Luckily, there’s one special benefit for this group. Other than snoring less, sleeping on your right side keeps your heart happy.
Right-side sleepers have one exclusive benefit: circulation. While left-side sleepers also enjoy better heart health, right-siders might come on top. It increases the space in your chest cavity, reducing heart muscle pressure.
Sleeping on your back
For many, back sleepers have reached nirvana. Despite being the worse position for snoring, back sleeping has outstanding benefits. Just remember that sleeping on your back stresses your airways.
That said, the pros outweigh the cons for many people. Your back is the best sleeping position if you want to keep your body aligned. Just remember that it might require extra work getting used to it.
Sleeping on your back keeps your spine aligned, reducing stress throughout your back. You can complement it with a pillow below your knees as well.
Keeping your body aligned reduces general tension. This benefit is better in the mornings, as you might wake up with fewer headaches. It also minimizes muscle compression and sinus buildups.
Sleeping on your side or stomach means your face presses against the pillow. This tension can result in premature wrinkles and irritated skin. That’s not a problem when you’re a back sleeper.
Sleeping on your stomach
Finally, stomach sleepers may feel like they’ve been wrong all along. Sleeping on your stomach causes a plethora of health concerns. It strains your spine, disrupts your breathing, and more.
If you don’t believe it, let’s try something. Turn your head to one side. It doesn’t matter which side, but align your chin with your shoulder. Don’t use your hands to keep it in place, either.
How quickly do you feel your neck strained? Imagine that for the 6-8 hours you’re in bed. That’s how bad it is.
Less snoring and sleep apnea
The only benefit of sleeping on your stomach is that your airwaves remain open. It beats back sleepers in that, but it’s not exclusive. Side sleepers still reap this benefit.
The holistic takeaway
The best sleeping position depends on you. Keeping your back aligned might feel underwhelming if you simply can’t fall asleep. However, you can train yourself and use supplements until you get used to it.
I won’t push you to any sleeping position. I just advise you to stay away from sleeping on your stomach. There’s a reason why our preferred sleeping position changes with our age.
Remember to listen to your body. Consult with a professional if you feel constant muscle pain. Changing your sleeping position might change your life for the better.