The Most Restful Sleeping Position

The Most Restful Sleeping Position

How well we sleep determines how alert we feel and how well we perform throughout each day. The position you sleep in can promote a restful slumber or impair your waking hours. Misalignment of the spine, neck, hips, shoulders and jaw can result in musculoskeletal misery in the morning. The curves in your body that are most important to align are the lower back, the mid-back and the neck. The worst position is to lie on your stomach with head turned to one side. The hyper-extension of your neck is unnatural and often painful. Stomach sleeping also creates an exaggerated arch and strain in your lower back.

Here are tips for the best sleeping positions and pillows:

-          Side Sleepers: The most recommended position for better sleep is to lie on your side with back slightly curved, knees tucked with a pillow between them. Sleeping this way places the least tension on your musculoskeletal system. There are special head pillows for side sleepers that hold your neck in a stress-free position while your head rests on its side. For pregnant women, sleeping on your left side is recommended as being most beneficial to baby and mom. It is the least restrictive for blood flow (and nutrients) to the placenta. It can also aid the kidneys in eliminating waste products and fluids, which can decrease swelling of the extremities.

-          Back Sleepers: Your spine isn’t straight like a stick, and sleeping on your back can strain muscles, joints and nerves. There are three areas where your spine has natural curves and there are ways to support this alignment. Placing a pillow under your knees can reduce the pressure on the sciatic nerve in your lower back. A specially-designed neck support pillow or small roll-pillow can be placed under your neck to maintain natural curvature while sleeping. If you often choose this position for sleep, you should know that adult back sleepers are more prone to snoring. However, this position is recommended for all infants, as it reduces the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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