If you are obsessed with sleep, you already know that there are good and bad positions that you should use in bed. Worst sleeping position of all? He sleeps on your stomach (without a pillow under the middle part for support). “This position puts the most pressure on the muscles and joints of your spine because it evens out the natural curve of your spine,” says Raymond J. Ha, Dr., spinal surgeon at USC. “Sleeping on your stomach also forces you to turn your neck, which can cause pain in your neck and upper back.”
As for good sleep positions, many leading health experts will rightly tell you that you could do much worse than sleeping on your side. (More on that later.) But if you̵
Although many experts will tell you that sleeping on your back is the best way to go, there are also benefits to sleeping on your side. For starters, sleep on the side will reduce your snoring, which is – obviously – a major part of sleep apnea. According to the Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea is known to put you at risk for weight gain and obesity, as well as hormonal disorders. According to a study published in Limits in psychiatry, sleep apnea has been linked to anxiety, cognitive impairment and even depression.
Sleeping on your side is also great for back, neck and hip pain. As ETNT Mind + Body recently reported, you just need to make sure you have a pillow between your legs while you sleep. “Side sleepers often catch the upper leg forward, causing the hips and back to bend at night,” notes Greatist. “Adding a pillow between your legs prevents the upper leg from moving forward and reduces stress on your thighs, back and legs.”
The pillow will ensure that your thighs, pelvis and spine remain flat throughout the night and will help relieve back and hip pain, neck pain, sciatica, disc herniation and pregnancy-related pain.
Moreover, according to Dr. W. Christopher Winter, a sleep expert and medical director of the Sleep Medical Center at Martha Jefferson Hospital in Virginia, sleeping on your side can be good for your brain. He notes that scientific evidence suggests that sleep on the side is associated with a healthier glymphatic system that helps protect your brain from Alzheimer’s disease.
With that in mind, you need to think about which side you want to sleep on …
Fact: Inside, your body is not perfectly symmetrical. As Winter describes for CNN, your blood flows in your body and eventually returns to your heart right country. However, as you sleep on your right side, “the pressure on your body breaks down against the blood vessels that return to your ticker,” he says. As for sleep on the left side: “Sleeping on the left side and your right side is not crushed should potentially increase blood flow back to your heart,” he said. And for more ways to sleep better, consider trying this easy 5-minute sleep trick that goes viral.
If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux, it would be wise to avoid sleeping on your right side. As a study published in Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found, people with heartburn found that sleeping on the right side worsened their symptoms. And for more sleep news, see here for the only secret side effect of weird dreams, says Research.
It’s just a fact that several studies have found that sleeping on the left side reduces pain in life with heartburn and acid reflux. But there are other advantages. As Healthline reports, sleeping on your left side is also better for your bowel movements, as “gravity can help pick up waste when traveling through the ascending colon.” So not only sleeping on the left side will help the brain, heart, body aches and heartburn, but it will also help digestion. Just be sure to put a pillow between your knees! And for more sleep news, don’t miss the Secret Side Effect of Bedtime Change, says a new study.