Sleep: You Just Might Be Doing It Wrong

Sleeping positionsIf you’ve been reading my blogs, you’ll notice that I recommend softer beds for side sleepers, medium beds for back sleepers, and medium firm beds for stomach sleepers.  I say this because most of the time, these average firmness levels help keep the sleeper’s spine in alignment.  But sometimes, folks, it’s not the bed.  It’s possible that you’re just sleeping wrong (position-wise).  Check out this info graphic about sleeping positions.  If you have arthritis, did you know that sleeping in the fetal position can be making it worse?  Or that acid reflux is increased in stomach sleepers?  If you’re concerned about wrinkles, try your best to sleep on your back, as all other positions will increase the pull on your skin.

According to the graphic, everyone should be sleeping on their back.  It reduces wrinkles and acid reflux, and can help prevent back and neck pain.  And, if snoring isn’t a problem, then this might be the just right position for you.  If it’s not comfortable, try putting a pillow under your knees, to elevate your legs slightly, this will ease the pressure on your lower back.  For a mattress, try the Bernardsville Plush Pillow Top by Beautyrest Recharge.  It’s that just right combination of firm support, and soft padding that’s not overwhelming.

Most of us sleep on our sides, because it just tends to be the most comfortable.  While the graphic says that it’s not so great for wrinkle free skin and perky breasts, that’s why they created plastic surgery, right?  Side sleepers don’t snore, and usually have less acid reflux.  And true, it is the requisite sleeping position for expectant mothers (how else are they supposed to sleep without smashing up their insides, and still being able to breathe?!?).  To open up your hips, place a poufy pillow between your knees to make your spinal position better.  Try the Comforpedic Balanced Days, which is really pressure relieving since most of your weight will be on your hip and shoulder, and will offer great support.

Does anyone over the age of five still sleep in the fetal position?  By pulling your legs up towards your chest, you are pushing your hip further into the mattress, which creates pressure points.  Your back is curved, which ends up being painful, and believe me, no pregnant lady is sleeping with her knees smashed up against her belly.  If this is the ONLY way that you can sleep, try putting a pillow between your knees to help with the hip problem, or find a bed that’s more comfortable for different positions, like the Comforpedic Renewed Energy.  I’d bet that you’d be able to train your body to sleep a different way on a more supportive and comfortable bed.

sleeping positions

Finally, stomach sleepers.  I never really understood them.  I once tried to sleep on my stomach, and couldn’t do it.  My neck and back hurt, I didn’t know where to put my arms, and I was being suffocated by the pillow.  It’s my personal opinion that these people sleep this way because they are resting on a bed that is too firm, and is creating pressure when they sleep on their sides, and isn’t adequately supporting their lumbar region when they are on their back.  If the bed isn’t providing cushioning, you might as well use your own natural softness, right?  The problem is that it’s a vicious cycle – stomach sleepers need to sleep on something firm, which means that the chances of them changing their sleep position are slim, because it’s just not going to be as comfortable as sleeping on their stomach.  If you sleep on your stomach and don’t have neck and back pain, then you belong in the circus.  However, if you’re a die-hard tummy fan, then get a Recharge Dennet Luxury Firm.  It’s firm enough to keep you breathing, but not too firm that it would be uncomfortable if you decided to make a position change for the better.  To ease your lumbar pain that you’re surely having, you can try to put a pillow under your hips, to relieve some of the pressure on your lumbar.

As for me, I sleep mostly on my side, sometimes on my back.  My husband sleeps on his back, until I shove him onto his side to stem the snoring.  Any way that you go, make sure that you choose a new mattress that will fit the way that you sleep.  And if you go into a store to shop, make sure that you try out that test bed in the way that you actually sleep.  Just a tip.

Important Articles on Sleeping Positions worth reading:

Slide show: Sleeping positions that reduce back pain

Suffering from Low Back Pain? This article might help you

Your Sleeping Position  – Get Clue on what kind of person you are!

Low Back Pain ? Wondering if Sleeping on Floor helps? Have a READ!

A Video Demonstration – Best Sleeping Positions to reduce Stress.