By understanding different sleep positions, you can better understand how to improve your sleep patterns because your position when you sleep directly affects your quality of sleep. Let’s take a look at the best and worst positions for sleeping—you may second-guess how you sleep. Let’s start with the worst positions to avoid before we take a closer look at positions that might be the best.
Avoid the Worst Positions
There really is not a “worst” position (technically) because we each sleep differently. For one person sleeping on the back might be the best, while another might be a side sleeper. To determine the best and worst position for you, simply sleep. Yes, that’s right—sleep.
However, if you snore or suffer from sleep apnea, back sleeping is a big no-no. By sleeping on your back you may obstruct your airway, so try to sleep on your side to open your airway up again. An oral appliance will help with this as well.
Choose the Best Position
Suffering from sleep apnea means that side sleeping may be the best choice because it helps keep your airways open. Research suggests that sleeping on your left side can relieve heartburn symptoms, while right side sleeping makes them worse.
To help determine the best sleep position for your individual needs, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Go with the flow. If you try to change your natural sleep position, you could potentially harm the quality of your sleep.
- The mattress matters. The condition of your mattress will often dictate your sleep position. An old, worn-out mattress that sags in the middle might make sleeping on your side or stomach difficult.
- Take Sides. Most people are side sleepers, but the jury is still out on which side is more popular—left or right. You might stick with one position most of the time, but as you age your position may shift.
- No one stays in one position. Staying in the same position all night is bad for circulation—and it varies from person to person.
Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to learn more about sleeping positions and sleep apnea in Warrenton, VA.