Do you know that the posture you acquire when sleeping influences your rest and your health? Although we tend to underestimate the importance of a good rest, we must be aware that it is during the different sleep cycles that our body recovers and restores. In fact, little and poor sleep is linked to certain diseases such as cardiovascular problems, Alzheimer’s, obesity, depression or diabetes.

There are many factors that influence to achieve a restful and quality sleep, among them is the posture that we acquire when sleeping. Logically, the best position is the one that is most comfortable for you, but always bearing in mind that it does not negatively affect the quality of your rest and your health.

Did you know that some problems associated with poor rest can be solved just by changing the position in which you sleep?

What is the best sleeping position?

After numerous studies carried out on sleep, the scientific community agrees that sleeping on your side, especially on the left, is the most suitable position for resting since it helps to alleviate problems such as gastric reflux, snoring and respiratory distress.

In addition, recent studies have shown that it favors lymphatic drainage, which is responsible for cleaning waste from the central nervous system. Good drainage, in addition to helping to keep blood volume and pressure constant, facilitates the proper functioning of the immune system, prevents obstruction of the aortic artery and can help prevent certain neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or multiple sclerosis.

On the other hand, in this position there is pressure on the extremities, which can cause stress in the muscles and nerves and poor blood circulation in the support area. In addition, friction with the pillow can cause an increase in wrinkles around the eyes, cheekbones, and chin.

Did you know that… This position is especially recommended for pregnant women as it helps blood and nutrients flow to the baby, as well as being the position that best favors the elimination of waste from the mother.

Sleeping on your stomach, the least recommended position

Medical professionals agree that this position is the least suitable.

This is because, by sleeping on your stomach, we are forcing our body to maintain a forced posture for several hours at a time. In this position not only excessive pressure is exerted on the entire body; The cervical area (muscles, tendons, nerves and bones) is subject to great stress due to excessive spinal rotation that can cause back and cervical problems (tendinitis, lumbago, neck pain…).

It should be noted that, if this position is the least recommended for an adult, it is even less so for a newborn.

Important Scientific evidence for years suggests that sleeping on the stomach for a baby can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Sleeping on your back, a good option?

Sleeping on your backWhen sleeping on your back, the body is supported in a completely natural way and does not receive any kind of pressure. The spine is kept straight and back pain is largely avoided, as long as adequate support is used both at mattress and pillow level.

In this position, the head remains higher than the body, so by keeping gastric acids out of the esophagus, it helps reduce heartburn.

However, this elevation of the head produces a tension in the airways that hinders the flow of air, so it is not a suitable position for people with sleep apnea.

Another drawback of sleeping in this position is that it favors snoring since the tongue moves towards the pharynx, reducing its opening, and obstructing the passage of air. Therefore, sleeping on your back is not recommended for those who already snore, as the problem could worsen.

Fetal position, improved posture

sleeping girl

The fetal position, although not the most recommended, is the position that the vast majority of people adopt when sleeping.

In this situation, the spine adopts an unnatural curvature and, if it is very pronounced, it can cause back pain.

It can also make it hard to breathe and put strain on your neck.

TipIf it is the way you sleep, to relieve tension it is recommended that you incorporate a cushion between your knees.

In summary, although there is no perfect posture, the one that provides you the most comfort will be the most suitable for you. You just have to take into account some factors that directly affect the quality of sleep and that we detail below.

Tips to achieve a correct posture and a good rest

You may think that during sleeping hours it is very difficult to control the position in which you sleep. If this is your case and you need to change to one that benefits you more, the good news is that, by adopting certain measures and with a little patience, you will be able to change your posture without too much difficulty: the use of pillows can be of great help to do effective change of posture.

  • If you want to sleep on your back, place an extra pillow under each arm and another under your knees. If that still wasn’t enough, place them on each side of your torso as well.
  • To get to sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees and another behind your back, so you avoid turning over.
  • If you sleep on your stomach or on your side and you want to improve your posture, a more extreme measure is to place a tennis ball inside the pillow, your body will notice the discomfort and change its position unconsciously.

If, in addition to taking these tips into account, you follow the ones that follow, you will ensure a complete rest.

Mattress firmness

Depending on the position you adopt when sleeping, your base of rest should be:

mattress firmness

 Choose a rather soft mattress if:

  • you sleep on your side
  • You weigh little (below 55-60 kg)

 Choose a firmer mattress if:

  • you sleep on your back
  • You move a lot during the night
  • You have a medium or high weight: in general, if your weight is around 60 to 90 kg, choose medium hardness and high if you weigh more

For more information on how to choose a mattress correctly, do not miss this guide.

Choose the right pillow

If you want to choose the most suitable pillow for you, follow these tips:

  • If you sleep on your side: when you lie down, your spine should be well aligned with your neck and head, without forced curves. The idea is that the alignment is the same as you have when standing. For that, use a pillow of medium thickness and with high adaptability (for example, viscoelastic). If you sleep with your arm under the pillow, it should be a little thinner.
  • If you sleep on your back, just check that the back of your head rests correctly on the pillow. The nape should be in contact with the curve of the pillow. Watch out for the shoulders! They must be able to rest on the mattress.
  • If you sleep on your stomach, you will need a pillow with little curvature or, directly, with a flat design and low height.
  • You may prefer to sleep without a pillow, but you should know that its use is recommended to achieve good alignment of your back and neck.

If you want to know more about how to choose the right pillow, in this guide you will find the keys to making the right choice.

Other keys to improve your rest

1. Do not have copious dinners and avoid the consumption of nicotine, coffee and alcohol before going to bed.

2. Keep the bedroom at the appropriate temperature.

3. Avoid using tablets and mobile phones before going to bed.

4. Avoid loud noises and bright lights such as the TV or computer in the bedroom. You can use white noise and pink noise to promote your rest.

5. If you can’t fall asleep in about 20 minutes, get up and do something that relaxes you.

And if you want more tricks to fall asleep easily, we leave you an article with all the information about it.