Are you one of those people who love making pros and cons lists? Us too!
There are pros and cons to everything in life — even to the position you sleep in.
It might not seem like a big deal, but the position you sleep in can have long-term benefits or consequences on your health. Scientists and researchers have done plenty of studies on which position is best, and they have come up with a conclusive answer.
So, let’s look at the different main sleep positions and the pros and cons of each.
Sleeping on your back is not too terrible and with the right firmness of mattress and supportive pillow, sleeping on your back can be very comfortable. But there are downsides to it!
- Less back pain and fewer back problems
- Fewer wrinkles (!)
- Lower risk of heartburn
- Can worsen sleep apnea and snoring
The pros seem to outweigh the cons for back sleepers, but sleep apnea and snoring are serious conditions. Sleeping on your back (again with the proper support for your head and body) does give your spine and your limbs the chance to rest and relax fully.
However if you are prone to sleep apnea or snoring, it might be best to find another position.
Sleeping on the stomach isn’t for everyone, only around 17% of people sleep on their stomachs regularly. Which is good, because it’s not that great for the body.
- Can reduce snoring and sleep apnea
- Strain on the spine
- Stiff joints and sore back
It is pretty clear that stomach sleeping is not the best and should be avoided if you can help it. The position is not natural for your body so an extended period of stomach sleeping can cause aches and pains and your limbs to hurt.
This is the position that the majority of people naturally choose. But what’s interesting to note is that one side has more benefits than the other.
- Decreased heartburn
- Better blood flow — easier on the heart
- Better brain health
- Reduced constipation
- Should damage and arm numbness
- Wrinkles and sagging breasts
For side sleeping, the pros really outweigh the cons, except for the most vain of us who are worried about wrinkles and perkiness (thanks, gravity).
Thanks to the placement of organs in our bodies, sleeping on our left side reduces strain on our hearts and allows for better flow through our intestine so that we become more “regular”.
After examining our pros and cons lists, it’s clear that left side sleeping is the position for a person’s health and wellbeing. If that’s not your normal position, you can help make it a habit by using body pillows as a barrier to encourage yourself to stay on your left side throughout the night.
While the effects on your body of your sleep position may not happen overnight (ha!), they add up over time. So why not do what you can to help your body out. And don’t forget to get yourself a good, supportive mattress while you’re at it!