When you lie down to sleep, have you ever thought that your sleeping posture could affect you in many ways? In fact, according to some research, your sleeping position even says a lot about your personality.
We spend a third of our lives horizontally but rarely do we pay much attention to our sleeping positions. Yet, whether you are a side sleeper, back sleeper, stomach sleeper, or a combination of all, sleeping positions can benefit your life or make it suck a** beyond the bed.
Okay! So here are three broad categories of sleeping positions, which we will talk about in greater detail.
It is one of the most common sleep positions of all; an estimated 68% of the population sleeps on their side. Research also shows side sleeping is more common among older adults. This position helps decrease acid reflux, and when done correctly with proper body alignment or using a bolster/body pillow, it can reduce lower back pain and joint issues.
Sleeping on the side is also an excellent sleeping position for back pain, and because it keeps airways open, you’re also less likely to snore, making this sleeping posture perfect for those suffering from sleep apnea.
Don’t forget that side sleeping is a bonus position, too, especially when you have a loving partner in your life. According to science, cuddling is an incredible way of relieving stress, bringing about many physical and psychological benefits.
While side sleeping brings about many benefits, there is a potential downside – wrinkles. With half your face continually pushing against the pillow at night, I suppose we should be expecting this issue. 😭
So what does the side sleeping position tell you about your personality? Some research shows that you tend to be warm, friendly, trusting, sensitive, and easy-going. However, while you may be open-minded, you can also be suspicious, reserved, and sometimes stubborn. 😬
Side sleepers should sleep on a mattress with a firmness setting between medium-plush and a medium-firm; this allows comfort layers to conform to your shoulder and hips, giving optimal spinal alignment.
While most experts consider sleeping on your back a good posture of sleeping, it’s surprising that only 13% of us sleep this way. Sleeping on your back keeps your head, neck, and spine resting in a neutral position. So there is no extra pressure on areas that are likely to cause you aches and pain.
When you sleep face-up, you’re also preventing food or acid from coming up your digestive tract, also known as acid reflux. This sleeping position also helps reduce your chance of getting wrinkles compared to sleeping on your side with a pillow pushed up against your face.
And applicable to women, breasts are fully supported when you sleep on your back, reducing sagginess.
However, sleeping on your back can aggravate lower back pains if you have an ongoing condition. Folks with sleep apnea should also take note; this position can make your snoring more severe.
So what does the back sleeping position tell you about your personality? Research shows that you tend to be quiet, more reserved but a good listener who places high standards on yourself and the people around you. You tend not to like the fuss or being the center of attention and, in general, make a great friend. 🤩
Back sleepers should sleep on a mattress with a firmness setting between medium-firm and a firm; this prevents your back from curving into the mattress, giving optimal spinal alignment.
With only 7% of people who enjoy sleeping on their stomachs, this isn’t a healthy sleeping position on the whole. Apart from easing snoring and relieving stress between discs, there aren’t many other benefits if you are suffering from degenerative disc disease.
This position leads to wrinkles, sagginess of breasts, pressure on muscles, joints and exposes you to a range of back and neck issues. 😭
Sleeping on your stomach prevents your spine from keeping a neutral position, so your neck stays in a single spot for an extended period, increasing your chance of waking up to a stiff neck that could lead to numbness, aches, tingling, and irritated nerves.
Also, if you’re a new parent, try to get your newborn to sleep on their back. Besides fostering your child to pick up a good posture to sleep, it’s recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) for newborns to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of Sleep-Related Infant Deaths (SIDS).
While it’s unlikely that you’ll change sleeping positions, let’s give you some tips to make this posture a better one for you.
Try sleeping with a pillow under your pelvis; this helps relieve pressure on your back. Sleep without a pillow, or if you have to sleep with one, get one that is as thin as possible. Lastly, try sleeping face down; this keeps your airways open.
So what does the stomach sleeping position tell you about your personality? Some research shows that you can be gregarious, friendly, and possess the capacity to be assertive. On the other hand, you can be easily alarmed, avoid extreme situations, and don’t do well with criticism.
But you’re still the life of the party! 😎
Stomach sleepers should sleep on a mattress with a firm setting between medium-plush and medium-firm; this gives you ample support and cushions your midsection while keeping your spine aligned.
What about Sleeping Positions during Pregnancy?
First off, it’s probably tough work bringing a tiny human into this world, so while that’s going to be something you go through for the next nine months, getting the best sleep is essential.
Here’s some sound advice from Dr. Michael Bryant at the Elite Spine Center in Singapore. “In the 1st trimester, most women will be able to continue sleeping as they are used to doing. However, I recommend that you sleep on your side or back, maintaining proper posture and support while doing so.”
“As you progress into the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, remember Sleep On Side (SOS). As your baby bump gets bigger and heavier, sleeping on your back may cause you to experience back pains, breathing difficulties, cause indigestion, and poor blood circulation to you or the fetus.”
So what can you do to avoid all that? Dr. Michael had this to say, “Reduce pressure on the body and allow proper blood flow; do this by sleeping on your side with knees slightly bent and a small pillow in between them.”
“As your abdomen grows in size, you may want to place a pillow underneath to reduce pressure and pain. If you feel discomfort, you may change sides throughout the night, but laying more on your left may help to deliver more blood flow and nutrients to the placenta and your baby.”
What About Sleeping Positions If You Suffer From Vertigo?
First off, Vertigo is often caused by a problem in the inner ear.
Without going too far into medical details, one common condition responsible for causing Vertigo is whats called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV often happens without a known cause but may be associated with age.
Some other causes could be Meniere’s disease, an injury to your head or neck, brain issues such as suffering a stroke or tumor. 🤷♂️ If you experience any symptoms of Vertigo, it’s probably time to make a trip to your local physician. 👩⚕️
So how do you know if you suffer from symptoms of Vertigo? We asked Dr. Shaan D. Rai, a Nerve System Specialist at Vitality Chiropractic Centers. “Vertigo is a symptom where sufferers experience spinning, dizziness, and disorientation. Despite common belief, height is not a cause but highlights problems with the nerve system, brain, or inner ear.”
Dr. Shaan D. Rai continues, “While you should seek professional help, making changes in your daily activities and habits can help treat and prevent Vertigo. These daily tasks could include avoiding triggers such as stress, medications, and particular neck movements.”
“Vertigo can be caused or worsened by changes in posture. At the top of the neck is the brainstem, which contains the cranial nerves and balance that controls the center of the body, if there is an injury to this area, it can cause Vertigo symptoms to increase. Therefore maintaining good posture is critical to preventing Vertigo and stopping an attack.”
I guess that means no more straining our necks (Rubbernecking) to check out attractive people on the street? 😱
So what’s the best sleeping position for Vertigo sufferers? Dr. Shaan D. Rai advises, “When sleeping, avoid sleeping on your stomach. Keep your head, neck, and spine aligned to reduce the pressure on the brainstem and nerves. If the head is not in a neutral position, (meaning it leans too far on the left, right, back, or forward), it may injure the nerves in the neck.”
“Keeping this neutral position will help to maintain neural integrity and prevent the occurrence of Vertigo and Migraines.”