We all have different bodies and different sleeping positions that we prefer. Many psychoanalysts believe that your sleeping position reveals a lot about your personality and state of mind. People who curl up, spooning a pillow or their partner are affectionate and at ease, whilst people who sprawl out on their backs are confident and open to the world. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but what is undoubtedly true is that your sleeping position can affect a whole host of things. From reducing neck and back pain to helping you breathe well at night, adopting the correct sleeping position is extremely important.
In this article, we will explain why your sleeping position matters so much, and suggest some easy tips to help improve it.
1. A Good Sleeping Position Ensures You Get a Good Night’s Sleep
First and foremost, adopting the right position when you sleep is going to help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. At the end of the day (please excuse the pun!), the most important thing about your sleeping position is that it enables you to get a good night’s sleep.
Whilst certain positions are better for your neck, spine, and other parts of your body, they are going to be useless for you if you can’t even fall asleep in those positions. It is vital therefore that whatever position you prefer to sleep in, you have the right bed setup to facilitate a quality night’s sleep. This means choosing a quality mattress, nice comfortable bedding, and the right number of pillows for you.
2. Sleeping in the Right Position Supports Your Neck and Back
The biggest issues that an incorrect sleeping position causes are problems with your neck and back. Especially these days with so many people working at a computer all day, chronic neck and back pain is more common than ever, and whilst bad sleeping positions can exacerbate the problem, the correct sleep positioning can help to relieve the pain and provide much needed overnight relief. Sleeping on your side is the best position to reduce back pain and to improve overall back health. Many people tend to hug their arms and legs in as they sleep, which keeps tension in your back muscles and spine, and so if this is the case with you, try hugging a pillow or your partner instead to relieve some of the tension.
3. The Right Sleeping Position Helps You to Breathe
There is a range of breathing problems that people suffer from, including angina, respiratory problems, and asthma. Nighttime can be a very difficult time as lying down can often make these issues flare up which causes a long, uncomfortable, sleepless night. There are, however, certain sleeping positions that are better than others for people with breathing problems.
Side sleeping is usually considered to be the best position for breathing as in this position your airways are more open and there is no pressure on your chest like there would be if you were sleeping on your front. Try squeezing a pillow between your knees as you sleep because many sleepers with breathing problems have found that this loosens the chest. Elevate your head and support your neck on one pillow and you should find that you can breathe more easily at night.
4. The Correct Position Can Help with Nighttime Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are a huge problem for so many people and the effects of mental, physical, and emotional health can be detrimental. One reason why stress and anxiety can be so harmful is that not only do they affect us during the daytime, they also keep us awake at night, which stops our bodies and minds from being able to recover, and leaves us in a state of constant nervousness and exhaustion. Nighttime anxiety affects 1 in 3 people and can lead to serious illness if not addressed.
The best sleeping position for nighttime anxiety is any position that allows you to sleep, but the important thing is to try and relax your muscles and quieten your mind. Many people with anxiety tend to sleep in a fetal position, and if this is you, hug a pillow to yourself and try to slow your breathing as this will help you to relax and ultimately fall asleep.
There is no one sleeping position that is better than others, it depends on you and your body, but there are certain positions that are better for you depending on any issues that you have. If you have problems breathing, experience neck or back pain, or suffer from nighttime anxiety, take into account the information in this article and try to use it when you go to bed tonight.