Do you sleep on your back, side, or stomach?
Sleep: This week, we’ll discuss various sleeping positions and how it can affect your body. That tightness you are experiencing in your neck, arm, or back can be due to your position. We spend about 5-8 hours a day sleeping and stay in these position. Meaning, what ever position you are in, that particular muscle will be engaged.
First are those who sleep on their back. This is my preferred position to sleep. Let’s analyze; the neck and the legs are relaxed. The thing you have to decide on is where to place your hands. Some people like the Dracula-in-the-coffin style or hands on the side (palm up or down). Take a look at how your shoulders feel when you have your palms up. You will notice that your shoulders relax more. This is the anatomical position. In my opinion, this is the most comfortable and easiest on the body because all the muscles are relaxed. However, if you snore, this amplifies the habit.
Second are the side sleepers, aka fetal position. Females are quite familiar with this position because of pregnancy. If I were to choose, majority of the people fall in this category. This is great to help the neck and back relax. Put a pillow between the knees and the hips feel amazing. However, the shoulders round. This leads to having tighter chest muscles and shoulders.
Now, this is my least favorite position to sleep in:
Lastly, are the stomach sleepers. I’ve caught myself many times sleeping in this position, but every time I wake up from this, my neck is KILLING me. Let’s analyze the position; when lying on your stomach, your head faces one direction. This puts a lot of pressure on one side of the neck. I am not a dermatologist, but I have heard that you wrinkle faster because of the pressure (not sure about the validity of it, but it makes sense). Also, this is not a good position to be in if you have back pain. Most importantly, I find that the arms are always up towards my head and this is not good. Main reason is, the shoulder muscles are constantly on and makes the upper body tight. Imagine raising your arms and holding them up for hours. Yeah, it sucks.
In conclusion, you sleep the way you do because that’s how you have been for years. There are pros and cons to each position. The deciding factor is how your body is reacting. If your body is aching every time you wake up, chances are its the sleeping position. It may take a while to change, but if your body feels better, then it will be worth it.
Hope you liked this week’s blog. Stay tuned for more next Wed………….Kei
Random fact of the day: 17% of Americans sleep in the nude.
If you want to read more about sleeping and various positions, here is a good link: