For some, sleep isn’t an easy thing to master.
This is a frightening fact, especially since a less-than-ideal quality of sleep can lead to a host of health issues. On top of that, a lacklustre snooze can also lead to major cognition (thinking) issues, such as decision-making and problem-solving, which might make your work day a little less productive. Never mind, compromise your mood.
While you can meditate before bed, switch off your digital devices and have a tea before ten, it turns out, that it’s not just the length and quality of your sleep that matters. The position you sleep in counts, too.
There might not be an ultimate position to guarantee those all-important zzzs, however, these three come close.
It’s no surprise that this is the most popular position to snooze in. Huddled under the sheets, curled up in a ball of sleepy goodness, this position helps to alleviate lower back pain and reduce snoring for those who do so. To make this position even more comfortable, experts recommend relaxing your posture, extending your legs and sleeping with a pillow between your knees.
The ultimate position for those who toss and turn, sleeping on your side helps those who might snore, have neck and back pain or are pregnant. Whether you sleep on your left or right side can play a part in your health too, as sleeping on the right side can worsen heartburn, and sleeping on the left side can put a strain on your body. If you are concerned about your health and wellbeing though, your first port of call should always be your GP, who will be able to advise a correct treatment plan.
The experts say that this is the best way for you to sleep (unless you snore, which will only make the problem worse). This position can also reduce pain in your back and shoulders.
And while many find sleeping on their stomach soothing, it’s to be reconsidered if you have a stiff neck, shoulders, or, are pregnant. According to the Mayo Clinic, this position is bad for your back too, as it places a “certain amount of strain and pressure on your spine.” The reason behind this, they explain, is because the middle part of your body is where most of the weight is, making it harder to maintain a neutral spine while you snooze.
Keep in mind that the way in which you sleep could be impacted by the way in which your partner chooses to, also. For example, if they like to kick the covers off leaving you exposed to sub-zero temperatures, you’re probably going to have a lighter sleep than usual. In addition, spooning might seem like the position of choice for most couples, however, recent studies showed that back to back sleep (42 per cent) was far more popular than facing the same direction (31 per cent). Other partners preferred facing one another during the night (4 per cent), while 2 per cent wanted the space, at 30 inches apart.
There are pros and cons for each sleeping style, whether solo or in your perfect pair. The most important thing to note before drawing the blinds and crawling under the covers, is to identify which position works best for you and your current state of health, so that you can get the best sleep possible. Rules of thumb as well for a good night's sleep is a cool, dark room with no noise or light pollution, with minimal exposure to tech. Sweet dreams.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.