Sleep is vital for our overall well-being. Do you know, when you enjoy uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep, you cut down the risk of developing heart complications, obesity, Type-2 diabetes as well as dementia? But, if you wake up tired, grumpy and fatigued, it may not always be about the less number of hours of sleep you clock in; sometimes it can also be about your incorrect sleeping position. So yes, if you are someone who doesn’t pay much attention to your sleeping position, there is something you should know about.
When you sleep poorly, there is an added and unwelcome pressure on your back, neck, hips which can lead to pain and discomfort. Sometimes it can be so intense that it can create disturbances in your daily routine. Frequent aches, pains, and fatigue are common occurrences for people who sleep incorrectly. Not just that, it can also lead to wrinkles, stomach troubles or compromised immunity! So yes, no matter how comfy and cozy your favorite sleeping position feels, you should take note of the way you sleep in not just for your slumber but for your health as well.
What is the best sleeping position for you?
For good sleep, you should maintain the natural curve of your spine, neck as well as the backbone, which all work in coordination to provide quality sleep. Do all sleep positions guarantee that? We asked sleep experts and here is what they have to say…
According to Dr. Prashant Saxena, HOD (Pulmonology & Sleep Medicine) at Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket, one should ideally aim at sleeping in a straight position, on your back with your spine erect and the beck a little elevated. For this, it is important to use a pillow that is neither too thick not too thin, preventing unnatural elevation of the beck. The doctor also adds, “This is the best sleeping position as it helps reduce the pressure on your spine and at the same time relaxes the entire body. You can try placing a pillow under your knees for added comfort and stabilize the natural body posture. When you sleep sideways, make sure that you keep your legs aligned.”
Dr Shikha Jain, Senior Spine Specialist, QI Spine clinic supports this. “There are good sleeping positions and bad sleeping positions. We recommend patients to sleep on their back. If you have trouble falling asleep in this manner, sleeping sideways is the second best option. But make sure that you keep your back erect and do not let your spine bend too much. This also works for people suffering from obesity. “
The worst position to sleep
While we are at it, there are multiple positions you should not sleep in. The worst one is falling asleep on your chest. By doing so, you put a lot of pressure on your lungs and chest cavity and disturb the breathing function. This, in turn, causes further sleep problems. Child pose or the fetal position is another position that should be avoided as it hampers your spine badly and can cause multiple back problems and complications.
While we are at it, there are multiple positions you should not sleep in. The worst one is falling asleep on your chest or on your stomach. By doing so, you put a lot of pressure on your lungs and disturb natural breathing. This also affects the natural curve of your spine and turns the neck in one side. Sleeping like this even for a couple of hours can be harmful to you. Child pose or the fetal position should also be avoided as it hampers your spine badly and causes multiple complications, giving you sleep problems. Adds Dr. Jain, “Sleeping on your belly and in the fetal position are a strict no-no.”