Your preferred p.m. pose could be giving you back and neck pain, tummy troubles, even premature wrinkles.
Here are the best positions for your body — plus the one you may want to avoid.
The Best: Back position
Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts.
The scoop: Sleeping on your back makes it easy for your head, neck, and spine to maintain a neutral position.
You’re not forcing any extra curves into your back, says Steven Diamant, a chiropractor in New York City.
It’s also ideal for fighting acid reflux, says Eric Olson, M.D., co-director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota: “If the head is elevated, your stomach will be below your esophagus so acid or food can’t come back up.”
Back-sleeping also helps prevent wrinkles, because nothing is pushing against your face, notes Dee Anna Glaser, M.D., a professor of dermatology at Saint Louis University. And the weight of your breasts is fully supported, reducing sagginess.
Consider this: “Snoring is usually most frequent and severe when sleeping on the back,” Olson says.
Perfect pillow: One puffy one. The goal is to keep your head and neck supported without propping your head up too much.
Next Best: Side position
Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy.
Bad for: Your skin and your breasts
The scoop: Side-sleeping is great for overall health — it reduces snoring and keeps your spine elongated.
If you suffer from acid reflux, this is the next best thing to sleeping on your back.
Now for the downside: “Sleeping on your side can cause you to get wrinkles,” Glaser says. Blame all that smushing of one side of your face into the pillow.
This pose also contributes to breast sag, since your girls are dangling downward, stretching the ligaments, says Health magazine’s Medical Editor Roshini Rajapaksa, M.D.
Consider this: If you’re pregnant, sleep on your left side. It’s ideal for blood flow.
Perfect pillow: A thick one. “You need to fill the space above your shoulder so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position,” says Ken Shannon, a physical therapist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Not Ideal: Fetal position
Good for: Snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy
Bad for: Preventing neck and back pain, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts.
The scoop: Outside of your mother’s uterus, resting in a tight fetal pose isn’t a great idea. When you snooze with your knees pulled up high and chin tucked into your chest, you may feel it in the morning, especially if you have an arthritic back or joints, Olson says.
“This curved position also restricts diaphragmatic breathing,” adds Dody Chang, a licensed acupuncturist with the Center for Integrative Medicine at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut.
And if you make this your nightly pose, you may bring on premature facial wrinkles and breast sag.
Consider this: Just straighten out a bit — try not to tuck your body into an extreme curl.
Perfect pillow: One plump pillow — the same as side position, to give your head and neck support.
The Worst: Stomach position
Good for: Easing snoring
Bad for: Avoiding neck and back pain, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts.
The scoop: “Stomach-sleeping makes it difficult to maintain a neutral position with your spine,” Shannon explains. What’s more, the pose puts pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and tingling.
“Think about the soreness you’d feel if you kept your neck turned to one side for 15 minutes during the day,” Diamant explains. In this position you have your head to one side for hours at a time. You won’t necessarily feel it the next day, but you may soon start to ache.
Consider this : Do you snore? “Stomach-sleeping may even be good for you,” Olson says. Facedown keeps your upper airways more open. So if you snore and aren’t suffering from neck or back pain, it’s fine to try sleeping on your belly.
Perfect pillow : Just one (and make it a thin one) or none at all.
- Asking Domelevo to proceed on leave unconstitutional – Supreme Court
- Prof Gyampo slams Akufo-Addo over presidency’s request for CVs of senior EC officials
- Supreme Court strikes out law that allowed government to impose restrictions during Covid-19 pandemic
- Prof. Ama Ata Aidoo passes on aged 81
- Essipong: The Decaying Sports Stadium
- Petrol, diesel prices to stay same; LPG to go down 5% – IES
- Abedi Pele watches Jordan Ayew face off with Andre Ayew at Selhurst Park
- Fire burns shops at Madina-Ritz junction again
- Gomoa Okyereko accident: Man narrates how his family of 6 survived horrific crash
- National Cathedral: We need $100m to import steel for work to proceed – Dr Opoku Mensah
- I’m sad presidency is at the forefront of doing unconstitutional things – Domelevo on Supreme Court ruling
- Tighten rules of Public Financial Management Act to cut budget deficit – Terkper
- Adanwomasehene inaugurates 3-unit classroom block for Adanwomase R/C Primary
- Ghana to fully digitize GMet weather observation system
- Climate Change Talks: Loss and Damage Fund and GST take centre stage as AGN strategises for Bonn SB58
- Simon Wilberforce Kwami Tsadidey
- WAFU B Women’s U20 Cup: Ghana seal final spot with comeback win over Burkina Faso
- ATL is official fabric sponsor at Kumasi Fashion Week 2023
- PFAG provides clarity on Yussif Chibsah’s ‘King Faisal player bribe comments’
- CPA Secretary-General meets Leadership of Parliament
- M.anifest joins father to celebrate his grandmother’s 98th birthday
- Market queens lead delegation to pick NPP flagbearer nomination forms for Alan Kyerematen
- You’re the one doing politics with your promise to scrap ex-gratia, not me – Nana Akomea to Mahama
- NPP will repeat resounding Kumawu victory in Assin North by-election – Richard Ahiagbah
- Kwame Nkrumah Circle: A memorial of honour or dishonour?