Sleepng on your stomach s the least common and likely the most dangerous way to fall asleep. Laying on your stomach and keeping your head in one direction for extended periods of time puts strain on your back and neck, putting you at risk for chronic pain.
So, ts important to sleep on your back. But what are the advantages?
What are the benefits of sleeping on your back?
Although side sleeping is the most popular sleeping position, there is no absolutely perfect position, and ts dependent on your individual health requirements. If you have acid reflux, snoring, allergies, or heartburn, for example, side sleeping is generally the greatest option, and it’s placed alongside back sleeping as the optimum posture in most circumstances.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, resting on your back is healthy because it helps to ‘maintain your spine in alignment and equally distribute your body weight, preventing any potential neck or back problems.’ It can support your spine, relieving strain on the spinal tissues and allowing your muscles to relax as a result.
dr Lindsay Browning, a psychologist, neuroscientist, sleep expert, and author of Navigating Sleeplessness, claims that, in addition to helping those with back discomfort, the supine position (the technical term for sleeping on your back) can also aid persons with hayfever and others allergies This is because, according to Dr. Browning while talking to Metro.co.uk, “sleeping on your back with an elevated head position can help to encourage drainage of your nasal passages during the night, reducing sinus build-up.”
Switching to sleeping on your back can also assist with your beauty routine. Studies have shown that pressing your face against the pillow or mattress for hours at a stretch every night can cause facial lines and wrinkles, as well as transport bacteria from the dirty pillow to your face. Sleeping on your back can help clear up acne and reduce indications of aging while also minimizing the appearance of wrinkles.
Who should stay away from sleeping on their backs?
Back sleeping is not suggested in some situations, such as for those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), as it can exacerbate symptoms and cause airway collapse.
Sleeping on one’s side rather than on one’s back is also recommended for pregnant women, as the baby’s weight might put strain on the mother’s organs and hinder blood flow.
‘If you sleep on your side, you can maintain better spinal alignment by making sure your pillow and mattress giving you the right level of support to keep your spine and neck neutral durng the night,’ adds Dr. Browning.
For those who suffer from acid reflux, side sleeping is preferable to back sleeping, as a supine position can exacerbate symptoms such as coughing and chest pain.
How to get into the habit of sleeping on your back
It can take up to four weeks for a person to adjust to a new sleeping position, and it is not always easy to make the adjustment permanent.
We normally develop our favored sleeping position early in childhood, and like any hard-wired habit, abandoning it in favor of a new one is difficult.
However, there are a few tactics we can employ.
Start by making sure you’re using the correct pillow, according to Dr. Browning:
‘You may find that sleeping with one less pillow or using a softer/flatter pillow will help your neck to be in the right position,’ she tells us, ‘which will help encourage you to stay in a back sleeping position during the night. ‘
If you decide to remove a pillow, instead of putting it away, try putting it beneath your knees to support your lower back and keep your legs flat on the bed.
If you sleep alone and don’t have claustrophobia, you could try encircling yourself with cushions to limit your movements during the night. This may make it easier to maintain a single posture.
Dr Browning also says, ‘a heavier duvet over a light one, or covers that you can tuck yourself into bed with, as this could also help restrict your natural movements in the night and encourage you to stay in the same position that you fell asleep in’.
Finally, you would believe that the temperature in your bedroom has little to do with your sleeping posture, but you’d be surprised: if you put up the heat, you’ll be more likely to wake up feeling hot and try to shift yourself throughout the night.
According to Dr Brownings, ‘Natural fiber bed covers and pajamas can help keep you cool, since they allow air to flow and also can wick away sweat.’ which could assist to decrease the dreaded tossing and turning effect and keep you on your back.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, check to see if you’re lying on your back, and if not, reposition yourself. It’s critical to adjust your position whenever you have the opportunity, as it will help you adapt to the switch.