Getting a proper and good sleep at night is very important for us for healthy and peaceful mind and body. We spend almost one-third of our life sleeping. It is important to get seven to eight hours of sound sleep per day at night. Proper sleeping time schedules and sleeping positions are very important to accomplish that. Majority of people develop some kind of back problems which are aggravated by their sleeping positions. The best and the worst sleeping positions are being mentioned here.
- On your back: this is the considered as the best sleeping position. This position allows the best way for the alignment of your head, neck and spine which keeps them in neutral position.
- Starfish: in this position, you lie on your back, with your arms up above your head around the pillow and legs spread out. This position favours the stomach to be at a lower level than your oesophagus, and avoids reflux of gastric contents. This position is proven to reduce appearance of wrinkles and breakouts. The demerits of this position include increased snoring and compression of shoulder nerves by the arms which may result in pain.
- On your side: this position is helpful for the patients with obstructive sleep apnoea, in which there is a reduction in inhaled air during sleep due to obstructions in the respiratory tract, for pregnant women, persons having neck and back pain and for persons with generalised snoring problems. It elongates the spine, which helps in relieving back problems. Disadvantages include wrinkling of face, since on side of face rests on the pillow and also leads to sagging of breasts.
- On the left and the right sides: the side towards you sleep also decides your health. Sleeping on the right side is shown to increase heartburns. While sleeping on the left side results in increased pressure on organs like liver, stomach and lungs. Pregnant women are advised to sleep on the left side so as to ensure proper blood flow to the foetus and lower limb of the women.
- On your stomach: this is the worst position as in this position, the spine is curved beyond its normal anatomy which causes pressure on the joints leading to backache. Also the neck is twisted and is in a tight position, which compromises breathing and circulation.
- On your side with knees up towards the chest: also known as the foetal position. This is the second worse position as it causes strain on neck and back, leads to wrinkling on face and saggy breasts.
Apart from sleeping positions, a good mattress and a proper sleeping environment play crucial role for a good sleep.