How Your Sleep Position Affects Your Sleep Quality

Your sleep position, like whether you are sleeping lying on your tummy or facing the sun, could affect your sleep quality. Wondering how? We will take a look at how your sleeping position could get affected due to different factors, and how that, in turn, could affect your sleep quality.

How Your Sleep Position Affects Your Sleep Quality?

Despite of the work and stress one may have in their life, the one thing everyone loves, is to sleep. But the everyday stress makes our sleep schedule very erratic and we wake up tired every morning. Apart from our overall health, food habits, and physical exercise, our sleeping positions also affect the quality of our sleep.

Apart from the sleep itself, there’s at least one position we all end up sleeping in on most nights. Over the course of our sleep, we may change positions, but somehow end up in this one as may be the most comfortable of all. But wrong sleep positions can cause you problems that can vary from neck pain, to sleep apnea. Thus, the position you sleep in becomes a crucial factor in your health. Here’s how different sleeping positions can affect your body differently.

Fetal Position

The fetal position is where a person sleeps curled up on either their left or right side. Commonly, the legs of the person are folded towards their chest and the arms may or may not cover them. Per, the position is favored by 4 out of every 100 people and is the most popular one of all. Women mostly sleep in a fetal position as they’re twice as likely to have it as their preferred one than men.

The position resembles that of a fetus resting inside their mother’s belly and thus, is deemed one of the most comfortable ones. It keeps the natural alignment of one’s spine and clears any waste out of your brain better. It also keeps serious conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease at bay. The position is especially recommended for pregnant women as it really improves the circulation for the baby. The recommended side is usually the left to avoid pressing of the liver by the uterus.

However, the only side effects to this position show signs when one is curling too much. Holding yourself too tight, or going into a ball position restricts your breathing. Therefore, sleep in a more relaxed, stretched out fetal position to free your lungs for easy breathing.

Log Position

If you’re sleeping on your either side with legs closed, arms down and close to your body, you’re sleeping the log position. Similar to fetal one, this position is also quite popular and is preferred by at least 15% people.

Sleeping straight on your side keeps your spine aligned, which helps in relieving neck and back pain. This position also helps in tackling sleep apnea to a great extent. However, the closed position may put pressure on your hips. This can be overcome by putting a towel, a blanket or a soft pillow between your knees to avoid any friction.

Soldier Position

A soldier stands in an attention position at most time. Legs joined, with arms at either sides of their body, held close. The soldier sleeping position is exactly like that, lying flat on one’s back. The position, when standing is good for your spine but doesn’t work the same when lying down. The position doesn’t support the curve of one’s spine and can give you sore lower back and pain.

The biggest concern that comes with the soldier position is smoking, which affects a lot of older people sleeping in this position. Excessive snoring isn’t good for your health as it can cause several sleeping problems. It can also cause problems with carotid artery. Another problem with this position is for the people suffering from sleep apnea, as sleeping on your back makes your breath shallow. Thus, it is advised that if one is suffering from sleep apnea or snoring, they should sleep on their side.

One can make use of a pillow or rolled-up towel under their knees to maintain the curve of the spine. This will help you avoid lower back pains. The biggest advantage of sleeping in the soldier position is that you can get rid of your acid reflux.

Starfish position

Starfish sounds like the most comfortable positions of all as the person sleeps on their back but with legs wide apart and arms bent on either side of their head. However, just like soldier, this position too gives rise to snoring and may lead to sleep apnea.

This position is also likely to ruin the alignment of your back by keeping it straight at all times. You can make use of pillow or towels under your knees to give your back extra support and get rid of lower back pains. Similar to the soldier position, this one can also help a lot with acid reflux.

Freefall Position

Sleeping on your stomach with your arms under your pillow or on either side of your head is known as freefall position. The position is not a common one but is usually favored by people who’re sleeping right after their dinner or are very tired.

The position makes the alignment of your spine suffer, giving you neck and lower back pain. The position may seem as cozy just when you’re about to sleep, but is very uncomfortable and you’d be changing it throughout the night.

Optimum Exposure to Sunlight

You already know the function of melatonin which regulates our sleep-wake cycle. This naturally occurring hormone is influenced by light exposure, and more of it is produced in the body when it is dark which, in turn, makes you feel sleepy.

In order to suffer the least out of this position, use a softer pillow to support your neck better. A stiff pillow keeps your neck inclined and causes a lot of pain. It is al advised to sleep facing the mattresses rather than one side to keep the airway open.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.