If you were to ask a few experts which sleeping position they thought was the healthiest, they would probably tell you that it’s sleeping on your back. Some people naturally sleep on their backs, while others are more into side or tummy sleeping and find it too difficult. Nobody can say for sure how they sleep the majority of the night as they are unconscious, but you likely have a good idea of how you sleep.
You may never have considered before that the way you sleep could be bad for you, but it could be. Let’s take a look at whether you should be training yourself to sleep on your back or not, and how you can do it:
Should You Be Training Yourself To Sleep On Your Back?
What’s So Good About Sleeping On Your Back?
So, what’s the big deal about sleeping on your back? Sleeping on your back allows your mattress to do its job and support your spine and back better. It can also help to support your neck. It doesn’t put any undue pressure on your organs, and is generally a comfortable position to sleep in. Only 8% of people sleep on their backs, though!
The Pros And Cons Of Other Sleeping Positions
Of course, all sleeping positions tend to have their pros and cons. One of the cons of back sleeping is that it’s bad for snorers, as it can aggravate sleep apnea and make the tongue block the airway. If you already have issues like this, then it could be best to avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back isn’t recommended if you’re having a baby either, as it can put too much pressure on your lower back. Side sleeping is best for expectant mothers, as it improves circulation to the heart and lungs. Sleeping on the left side is healthier than sleeping on the right, as the right side tends to encourage more acid reflux – if you’re a side sleeper, go for the left side if you can.
All of the health pros and cons aside, there’s also the matter of wrinkles. We spend a large portion of our time sleeping, so it goes without saying that the way we sleep can affect our faces. If you’re constantly sleeping with your face smashed into a pillow (side and front sleepers) then you’re going to have more wrinkles than a back sleeper. Back sleepers tend to have less wrinkles than other kinds of sleepers. However, studies showed that people who slept on their backs may have had a lower quality sleep than those who slept in other positions.
While Sleeping on your back is certainly healthy, you need to decide whether it’s the right choice for you. If you want to try it, you can take a look below at how to train yourself to sleep on your back!
How To Train Yourself To Sleep On Your Back
Training yourself to sleep on your back can take time, but it’s worth it if you want better spine/neck health, fewer wrinkles, and you don’t currently have any breathing difficulties.
Put A Pillow Under Your Legs
Start by putting a pillow under your legs. You can use any pillow, but ideally it should be a pillow that will support your legs and keep them in an upright position, rather than a pillow that will sink with the shape of your legs. It can be too uncomfortable to sleep on your back without a pillow under your legs, but some people do manage. See which way feels more comfortable to you.
Put A Pillow Under Each Arm
You could also try putting a pillow under each arm to see if that helps you to stay in the right position. The pillows could stop you from turning and keep you comfortable. You may also want to test out other ways of positioning your pillows to make you more comfortable. For instance, you might want to put a pillow next to the side of your face that you usually sleep on, as this can help to give you some comfort in the night. Most people don’t realize that they actually enjoy the sensation of having their face squished up against a pillow while they sleep, as it can bring comfort!
Invest In A Better Bed
Perhaps your bed just isn’t giving you the support you need in general. If you’ve had your bed for a while, then it could be time to replace it with something more comfortable and supportive. You need to make sure you have the right type of bed to suit you, so know what you’re looking for in a bed before you buy. Do you tend to need more or less support? Some people get on better with harder mattresses, while others need softer mattresses. Adjustable beds can be a great choice, as you can tailor them completely to the way that you like to sleep. It could be wise to go and check out beds in person before buying one. Read lots of reviews, too, so you can get an idea of what is worth spending your money on. Don’t go for something purely for price alone!
Training yourself to sleep on your back means you’ll need to be consistent. If you catch yourself turning over in the night, force yourself back onto your back. Cutting down may help at first, but eventually, you’ll need to go cold turkey. The more you sleep on your back, the more naturally it’ll come to you.
There are pros and cons to each sleeping position, but back sleeping is particularly beneficial for spine and neck health. It puts the least stress on our bodies as we sleep. If you know that your sleeping position is affecting you negatively, it could be time to train yourself to sleep on your back. Start now, as it could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to get it right.