How does the position you sleep in affect your health?

Your preferred night-time pose could be damaging your health

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Indy Lifestyle Online

After what seems like a perfect night of undisturbed sleep you can sometimes wake up feeling slightly off kilter.

Sure, it could be caused by any number of things but according to research, the position you sleep in could affect a lot more than just your slumber.

From neck pain and sleep apnoea to impaired circulation and nightmares, your preferred PM pose could be causing new, or contributing to existing, health problems. 

Since we spend one third of our lives taking 40 winks we should probably pay attention to what our snoozing positions are doing. Here’s what research has to say about sleeping on your stomach, side and back.

Back sleepers


Sleeping on your back makes it easy for your head, neck and spine to maintain a neutral position so this is a great position for anyone suffering from pain in those areas.

However, it can also make snoring and sleep apnoea far more likely. If you’re prone to acid reflux, lying in this position is a no, no as being flat on your back can make symptoms worst.

If you must insist, make sure to invest in a puffy pillow that will slightly raise your head and neck while providing support. 

Side sleepers


While this position is great for preventing neck and back pain, snoring less and sleeping during pregnancy you could end up with compressed nerves in your arms and legs instead.

If you’re one of those people that like to have your arms overhead holding on to a cosy pillow this is especially likely. As an alternative, experts suggest sleeping with a pillow between your legs as this will keep them from putting any extra strain on your back. 

Front sleepers


Sleeping on your stomach is often considered the worst position as it makes it difficult to maintain the natural curvature of your skin. This can put pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves.

It also means your neck is turned for hours on end potentially causing neck strain which overtime can lead to chronic pain problems.