It’s no secret that getting quality sleep at night is linked to good health. But did you know that your sleeping position matters, too? It is more than just a matter of preference because there is a growing body of research that shows why you need to be particular about your position during sleep. There are a few excuses to this, such as that pregnant women shouldn’t sleep on their back as it can be dangerous to the baby and uncomfortable with your growing belly.
But for the rest, you can enjoy plenty of benefits when you sleep on your back. Experts strongly link this position to sleep quality. Known as supine position, you can train yourself to sleep in this position even if you are used to sleeping on your side.
What are the benefits of sleeping on your back?
Training yourself on how to sleep on your back can be worthwhile given that it has plenty of benefits to offer.
- Ease neck and back pain
Easing pain on your neck and back is the primary benefit that you can get for sleeping on your back. This position maintains a neutral position on your spine, particularly the neck area. Otherwise, your back is compromised and it can cause twisting and compression that bring about chronic pain.
Overall, the supine position is ideal for optimum spine health.
- Prevent shoulder stress
Sleeping on the side is one of the most common sleep positions. While it does have its fair share of benefits, it can lead to stress and pain on your shoulders. You can get rid of shoulder pain by sleeping on your back.
- Relief from sinus buildup
If you are prone to sinus pain and nasal congestion, you might want to consider sleeping on your back from now on. Sleeping with your face slightly elevated can facilitate better air flow and provides relief from congestion. It is also scientifically proven to reduce mucus buildup since there is less chance that more blood will flow towards your nose.
- Relief from headaches
It’s not just sinus buildup that you can prevent by sleeping on your back. It is also beneficial in terms of preventing headaches, especially resulting from improper neck alignment (also known as cervicogenic headaches).
If your neck and back are not properly aligned during sleep, you might wake up with a painful sensation radiating from the back of your head towards your forehead.
- Prevent wrinkles
There is no proven scientific evidence that indicates the link between your sleeping position and the appearance of wrinkles. However, sleeping on your side or stomach can put pressure on your face as it is pressed against the pillow. This can contribute to causing wrinkles to develop with time.
Therefore, skincare experts suggest sleeping on your back so there is no pressure on your face. By doing this, you can reduce the possibility of fine lines appearing on your face.
- Reduce puffy eyes
Avoiding wrinkles is not the only cosmetic benefit that you can get from sleeping on your back. It is also recommended if you want to avoid puffy eyes. When you sleep on your back, this will avoid the possibility of blood pooling under your eyes. Thus, you won’t wake up with puffy eyes (or at least there is a lesser likelihood of it).
- Prevent acid reflux
Are you prone to suffering from acid reflux? You might want to change your sleeping position. This position keeps your stomach lower than your esophagus. This will prevent food and acids in your stomach from crawling back up your digestive tract during sleep.
How to sleep on your back
Knowing the benefits of sleeping on your back, it is important to know the tips to encourage this sleep position.
The secret to sleeping on your back is to get a good mattress. The right mattress support will give you unparalleled comfort when sleeping on your back. This type of mattress will ensure proper alignment on your spine. It should neither be too soft nor too hard on your back. Otherwise, you could wake up with aches and pains on your back in the morning.
When buying a mattress, it should be firm enough but must conform to the shape of your back. If you have an existing mattress that might be too hard or too soft, you could invest in a mattress topper with the right firmness and support.
In addition to a supportive mattress, you need to provide support for your neck and head. You need pillows to prop your head up slightly but try not to over-elevate your head. Keep your neck in a neutral position so you can maintain proper cervical curvature. The best types of pillow for this job are those made with memory foam.
Aside from your head and neck, make sure you have adequate support to your knees and lower back, too. Choose a pillow that is thin and tall for your lower back. If not available, a hand towel will do. The goal of the pillow is to fill the space between your back and the mattress. In addition, you need to prop a few pillows underneath your knees. By elevating your knees slightly, it will help to maintain the natural curve of your spine.
Another technique to sleep on your back is to stretch before going to bed. Even mild stretching for 20 minutes before bedtime is a great way to stimulate your muscles. This will prevent your muscle from becoming stiff during sleep so you are more comfortable sleeping on your back.
When all else fails, you can build a pillow fortress around you. That way, your body is forced to stay on your back during sleep by limiting the space you can move around in.
Sleep position is closely linked to sleep quality. You need to train yourself on how to sleep on your back so you can enjoy the benefits listed above. However, do note that there are instances when sleeping on your back can be uncomfortable or not suited for you. In this case, you just have to find the most comfortable position for you because that’s what matters most so you can sleep soundly.