There’s no harm in admitting it: Many of us have been a little restless (maybe even more than a little) during the pandemic, enduring the changes it has brought into our lives, dealing with daily schedules that can either make us sleep more than usual or barely at all. While it’s crucial to try and keep a consistent sleeping schedule despite the changes in our routine, it’s also important to know that our sleeping position may play a part in our well-being and that choosing the best sleep position might help us reap the benefits of better sleep.
Here are some of the best sleeping positions, along with their pros and cons:
For back sleepers: According to the National Sleep Survey, only 10 percent of people are back sleepers. Sleeping on your back can help reduce neck pain because of the spine support. The position may help digestion, especially if you’ve gone to bed shortly after a heavy meal. However, back sleepers who snore tend to end up more from sleep apnea since this position can your airways to narrow.
Side sleepers: Many people say they are committed side sleepers. A 2015 study from Stony Brook University found that this sleep position may help lower the risk of cognitive decline by helping clear brain waste. Sleeping on your side also clears your airways and promotes both blood flow and circulation for your heart, making it ideal for those with sleep apnea, all while giving high blood pressure and circulatory disorders a run for their money. And as long as you cuddle up with a pillow, you don’t need to worry about back and neck pain while sleeping.
Stomach sleepers: Fewer people say they sleep on their stomach, so it seems to be the least popular sleeping position. Still, it has its own benefits. For example, stomach sleepers can breathe easier, so those with sleep apnea would rest better on this position. Interestingly, much like the back sleep position, stomach sleeping is also ideal for those who usually live with indigestion and other digestive issues. Sleeping on your stomach adds pressure to your joints, making it less than ideal for those with achy joints and troublesome necks.
If you have trouble sleeping, try a different sleeping position to see if the switch makes a difference.