Tell us what position you sleep in and we'll tell you how healthy you are
Posted June 20
While you can’t control outside forces on your health, one thing you can influence is how you situate yourself for bed. Choose your preferred sleeping position below, and we’ll tell you a few things about your overall health.
You’re the picture of health. Okay, so maybe that’s an exaggeration, but sleeping face up prevents acid reflux as well as head, neck and spine pain. This position might also help you stay wrinkle-free.
Although lying on your back is ideal, no sleep position is without possible complications. When you do sleep in this position, be sure to use a supportive pillow under your head to keep your stomach lower than your esophagus. Don’t sleep on your back, though, if you suffer from sleep apnea or are in your second or third trimester of pregnancy.
You’re doing just fine. This sleep position offers many of the same health benefits as sleeping on your back, such as reducing both acid reflux and back pain, just to a lesser degree. You also tend to snore less while on your side. However, sleeping on your side is more likely to cause wrinkles.
You should think about trying a new sleep position. If you’re pregnant or you’re a chronic snorer, the fetal position is your best bet. But for anyone else, sleeping hunched like this might exacerbate any chronic pain or soreness— and it will also restrict your breathing. Try to adjust your curled-up fetal position into a straighter side-lying position. Situating yourself this way may save you from those unnecessary aches and pains.
Let me guess: you often wake up feeling sore or unrested. If you sleep on your stomach, you stretch your spine in an unnatural way for long periods of time. You also have to keep your head to one side at all times, which can aggravate your neck and complicate your breathing. As hard as it may seem to change your sleep position, try to break this bad habit by switching either to your side or your back. Consciously practicing your new position during your waking hours, as well as finding the right head and neck support, will ease the transition.
Kelsey Down is a member of the Deseret Connect team, and she has a bachelor's degree in English and editing. She loves to read and write about current social issues. Follow her on Twitter @kladown23.