How Sleeping Postures & Habits Affect Your Health


Almost everyone loves to sleep. Idea of spending an entire day in bed and that too in winters will definitely excites you. Whether you call it beauty sleep, snoozing or nap, whatever you want, sleeping is one and only true love. It makes everything so refreshing. It makes you forget problems, stress and disappointments of the life.

But have you ever thought that obscurely your true love can act like an enemy? If not, then it is a high time to pay little attention to your sleeping style. Your sleeping postures and habits can affect your health in a big way. There are different postures of sleeping that could be right or wrong. Wrong postures can cause various health problems whereas right one can provide you many health benefits.

So let’s find out how different sleeping postures affect our health and what can be the best sleeping positions for our body:

The Best Position- On your Back, Arms at sides

Pros:  Sleeping at your back and with arms at side is considered as the best position for sleeping. It is good for head, spine and neck. It also helps in reducing acid reflux in stomach because when the head is elevated, stomach will be below your esophagus so acid or food can’t come back up. It also helps prevent wrinkles because nothing is pushing against your face.

Cons:  But the only one disadvantage of this position is; it causes snoring.

Face Down- Sleeping on Your Stomach

Pros:  Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion and it eases snoring.

Cons: It is not considered as a good position as it can cause lower back pain because backbone curve is not supported. Moreover, sleeping all night with the head turned one side also hurts neck.

Sleeping on Sides

Pros:  Majority of people sleep on their sides. When you sleep on your sides keeping your arms straight, helps the spine to get maximum support as spine gains its natural curve. This can help in curing neck and spine pain, especially for people suffering from survical and Sciatica pain. Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their left side because it improves blood circulation to the heart which benefits both mom and baby.

Cons: It is said that this position also fastens skin aging due to the presence of gravity in earth. Sleeping on side can put pressure on the stomach and lungs. This can also result in the arm numbness. Sleeping with the arm behind the head is a common sleep position but it can adversely affect nerves and muscles. Resting the head on a single arm can restrict blood flow and press down on the nerves.

Fetal Position

Pros: This position is highly discouraged and has no benefit but can help to avoid snoring.

Cons:This curved position obstructs diaphragmatic breathing. It also puts lot of pressure on breasts in women that make them saggy.

From the above information, note the position in which you sleep and try to correct the position before you suffer from any of the mentioned health problems.

Besides this, there are some sleeping habits one should follow to stay fit and fine because small changes can bring big results:

Have at least Eight Hours of Sleep

A healthy person requires at least eight hours of sleep every night to maintain healthy functioning of the brain. Chronic sleep loss can lead to dull skin, fine lines, dark circles and also causes weight gain. Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. This hormone promotes growth and helps boost muscle mass, thicken skin and strengthen bones. Sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.

Sleep in Total Darkness

Sleeping in darkness releases hormone melatonin, which regulates other hormones and maintains the body's circadian rhythm. Also, it is said that when the hormone is suppressed, the incidence of cancer rises.

Take a Hot Bath

Taking a hot bath before going to bed can help improve your sleep. This is due to the fact that the body lowers its temperature naturally during the night and taking a bath raises body temperature which helps to sustain a deeper sleep.

Wear Socks While Sleeping

If cold feet are keeping you awake during winters then warm them up with a soft pair of socks. This can help improve circulation which can help you fall asleep more quickly.

Keep your Bedroom Cool

The ideal sleeping temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It keeps your body relaxed because body protects its core temperature. This also helps to cure insomnia.

Thus, sleep plays a crucial role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety.

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This was first published in Dec 2015