How Changing Your Sleep Postion Can Mean A Better Morning


Adjustable king mattress

When was the last time you got really good sleep? I’m not talking about the last time you passed out, I mean the last time you woke in the morning and said, “I feel rested.” We have all heard the statistic: we need at least 7- 9 hours of sleep to function properly. Unfortunately for many Americans, good sleep is an elusive thing. 43% of Americans ranked their sleep quality as poor, stating that they rarely get a good nights sleep. We try to go to bed early, we take the sleep aids, we have our sleeping masks and calming sounds, but still we wake up in the morning feeling tired, groggy and just plain not rested. What many people don’t realize is that your sleeping position may be just as important as anything else related to getting undisturbed sleep.

How Your Sleeping Position Influences Your Rest

Recent studies have shown that at least 91% of Americans wake up at some point during the night. This shouldn’t necessarily be alarming considering that our bodies have certain alarm systems built in. For instance one of the major causes of waking up from sleep is temperature, whether it is too hot or too cold. For things such as temperature or having to answer nature’s call there are quick fixes. Your sleep position can also contribute to you waking up during the night, whether it be from lack of oxygen, joint strain, neck pain, or just general discomfort.

The Effects of Sleeping on Your Back

We have probably all been around a person loudly sawing logs in their sleep, snoring is a common problem. It effects about 90 million American adults, and probably just as many spouses and partners. While the causes of snoring can be multi-faceted, it can be caused by a person sleeping on their back. But before you turn on your side you might want to keep in mind that sleeping on your back has several benefits. Research has shown that sleeping on your back is the healthiest sleeping position in terms of spinal alignment as well as neck comfort. So you might want to think twice before nudging your snoring back-sleeping partner.

The Effects of Sleeping on Your Stomach

Another common sleeping position is lying on your stomach. This position is good at preventing snoring and apnea problems, as well as aiding digestion of big meals. But unlike the relatively stress free back position, sleeping on your stomach can lead to neck strain from switching from one side of the face to the other. This same type of switching for comfort can also disrupt your sleep cycle.

The Effects of Sleeping on Your Side

Sleeping on your side is another position which can contribute to overall spinal health since the spine is in a naturally supported position, the downside is, as the saying goes, gravity can take effect. Long term side sleeping can lead to sagging skin and breasts. Sleeping on your side can also lead to arm and shoulder discomfort depending on how you place your arms, which can contribute to poor sleep quality.

The Effects of the Curled up (Fetal) Position

Bad news for those of you who enjoy being as small as possible when you sleep. The Fetal position is generally regarded as the most unhealthy sleeping position. Despite it’s innocuous moniker, the fetal position actually can inhibit the deep breathing needed for restful sleep. It also puts strain on your neck and back. Unless you have a special health need to sleep curled up, it’s probably best to leave it to the babies.

Keep in mind your sleeping position is only part of your overall sleep quality. There are several factors that contribute to a restful night’s sleep. In fact, about 70 million adults in America have chronic sleep disorders which are only remedied through medical intervention. If you believe that you might have a sleep or wakefulness disorder, don’t hesitate to see a medical professional. Everybody should have a chance to wake up in the morning feeling rested and renewed.