Did you know your sleeping position says a lot about you? Your sleep position can tell how well you sleep, whether you or not you snore, and if you will wake up in pain. Everyone sleeps differently, and some people rotate through multiple different positions in the night.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to sleep positions, but some positions can have negative effects. Luckily, the negative effects of certain positions can be avoided by using a high-quality pillow or mattress to support your head and neck. When you sleep, you are putting pressure and weight on certain parts of your body, often for extended periods of time. This can lead to shoulder damage, spine strain, and even acid reflux. To determine if your sleep position is causing you to have restless nights or neck pain, keep reading! We have compiled a list of common sleeping positions and helpful tips on what you can do to reduce pain and sleep more comfortably. Let’s get into it.
The Side Sleeper
Sleeping on your side or in the fetal position is one of the most common sleep positions, with about 75% of the population preferring this position. Did you know you should sleep on your left side (and not your right), if you have just consumed a big meal or if you suffer from indigestion and acid reflux? Sleeping on your left side can help you have a better night’s rest. Due to your stomachs shape, you digest food more effectively when lying on your left. When you lay on your right, stomach acids can spill out into our esophagus causing heartburn – ouch!
Side sleepers experience good blood flow, brain health, and bowel functions. It’s a pretty solid sleep position with one major downfall – shoulder damage. Without a good pillow, sleeping on your side can cause shoulder and neck pain. Putting a lot of pressure on your shoulder can also lead to neck and jaw pain which can trigger headaches and migraines. To prevent this, you need to ensure your pillow is providing enough neck and head support. Without it, your head will fall to your shoulder, bending you neck and putting pressure on tendons. Your head and neck should be aligned between your shoulders. Although the fetal position is comfy to some, if you can loosen up a bit and extend your legs, you will help reduce risk of back pain. A good pillow between your knees will provide even more support. A pillow in which you can customize pressure and firmness will allow you to get the support your body needs. Buckwheat pillows can help as you can adjust the amount of buckwheat hulls to ensure you have enough support to keep you head aligned and supported, but not too much so it pushes it the other way.
To optimize your sleep as a side sleeper: a buckwheat pillow under your head that is adjusted to support your body as well as a pillow between your knees will work wonders for your neck, shoulders and back leaving you well rested and pain-free.
The Back Sleeper
Those who snore tend to sleep in this position, or at least roll onto their back at some point in the night. Sleeping on your back makes sleep apnea and snoring worse. If you sleep next to a snorer, you know that by turning them on their side the snoring often stops!
Sleeping on your back is one of the best positions for your spine, so long as you have a good pillow. If your pillow is too big, small or soft, it can cause your head and neck to become unaligned resulting in a stiff and painful morning. A millet pillow is a bit less firm than a buckwheat pillow yet still provides an excellent amount of support for your head and neck. These adjustable pillows are designed for all sleeping positions so if you are like me and fall asleep on your back before rolling onto your side – this pillow is perfect! No matter what position you end up in, a good pillow like a millet pillow, will keep you aligned and comfortable.
To optimize your sleep as a back sleeper: a good pillow, like a millet pillow, will keep your head, neck and spine in alignment so your back can rest without putting undue stress on your neck. Adjust the height and support to get the perfect fit!
The Stomach Sleeper
The rarest of sleeping positions, approximately 17% of people sleep on their stomachs. When you sleep on your stomach you strain your back, neck and spine which can cause stiffness, numbness and pain. In order to breath, stomach sleepers twist their neck to the side. This position can cause a great deal of neck pain. If you are a stomach sleeper, there is some good news. With a good pillow, like an ultra thin pillow made of all-natural Dunlop latex, a stomach sleeper will receive the comfort of a pillow while minimizing strain on their neck. Also, snoring and sleep apnea can be reduced when sleeping on your stomach. To loosen up, do some light stretches for your neck, shoulders and pain when you wake up.
To optimize your sleep as a stomach sleeper: Use an ultra thin pillow when you sleep on your stomach. If you switch positions in the night, you can also have a buckwheat pillow or millet pillow on your bed to provide the support you need when sleeping on your side or back.
Many of us don’t stick to only one sleep position. When you watch a time lapsed video of someone sleeping through the night, you can really see just how often we move around. Our sleep position can impact the quality of sleep, digestion, and whether we will wake up in pain the next morning! A good pillow that’s versatile and adjustable like a buckwheat pillow or millet pillow are perfect for those who switch between sleeping on their side and back. Having multiple pillows can benefit your body and improve sleep. A thin pillow for laying on your stomach and one between your legs will keep you aligned. The secret to a good sleep, not matter what your sleeping position is, is a good pillow!