There is no denying that a night of comfortable sleep is essential to recharge your body, and one factor that affects your ability to do so is your sleeping position. Your sleeping position is entirely habitual, as your body naturally reverts to a comfortable sleeping position through the night. Most people change their sleeping positions 10 to 40 times each night but eventually switch back to their default position. For a restful sleep, mattresses and pillows play an indispensable role for comfort, support, and overall sleep quality. In this blog, we will explore the benefits of various sleeping positions; who should avoid specific sleeping positions and how to improve your sleep quality with the right mattress.
1. Sleeping on Your Side
Side sleeping is one of the most common positions and it keeps your spine aligned. Here are some of the benefits of sleeping on your side.
Benefits of Side Sleeping
- Side sleeping ensures that the airways stay open. This relieves the symptoms of sleep apnea, such as loud snoring, irritability, and episodes of interrupted breathing in the middle of the night.
- Sleeping on the left side improves digestion as it eases the symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux.
- Side sleeping is the best sleeping posture for pregnant women as it improves maternal and foetal health by promoting blood circulation. It also relieves the pressure put on the liver.
Who Should Avoid Side Sleeping?
While side sleeping offers a range of benefits, individuals with shoulder pain, heart conditions, and those who are worried about wrinkles may be better served by an alternative sleeping position.
Tips for Side Sleeping
- Side sleepers should opt for a slightly softer mattress as this ensures the spine stays aligned and reduces stress on the shoulders and hips.
- Opt for a supportive foam pillow so that your neck stays aligned with the rest of your spine.
- You can use a pillow between your knees to keep the pelvis aligned or even a full-body pillow that provides full-body support.
- Memory foam mattresses and natural latex mattresses are good for side sleepers due to their softness.
2. Sleeping on Your Back
Sleeping on one’s back is the second most popular sleeping position. Just like side sleeping, laying on your back offers plenty of benefits. This is mainly to do with the fact that sleeping on your back keeps your spine in alignment, prevents potential aches, and more.
Benefits of Back Sleeping
- Back sleeping provides you with the opportunity to prop up your upper back. Positioning yourself in more of an upright position, allows you to breathe with full capacity.
- Back sleeping helps keep the hips elevated and aligned with the spine, supporting healthy posture and reducing hip, neck and back pain.
Who Should Avoid Sleeping on Their Backs?
Back sleeping is not ideal for people with lower back pain. For people who have gastroesophageal reflux, back sleeping makes it more challenging for them. This sleeping position can also exacerbate snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Pregnant women should also avoid back sleeping, especially in the third trimester as it puts the entire weight of the baby on their back.
Tips for Back Sleeping
- Choose a medium-firm mattress as it provides spinal support. If you use a mattress that is too soft, the hips and spine will not be aligned. On the other hand, using too firm a mattress creates pressure around the hips or shoulders.
- Choose the right pillow that supports your neck's natural curve, like memory foam or latex pillow.
- Most mattresses come with soft foam layers that sleepers can sink into. But back sleepers should avoid this type of mattress as it will not support the body properly and might lead to back pain.
- Pocket spring mattress and Bonnell spring mattress are good for back sleepers as it’s an orthopaedic mattress that supports your back.
3. Sleeping on Your Stomach
Stomach sleeping is the least recommended sleeping position as it often provokes back pain due to the immense effort required to keep the hips aligned with the spine throughout the night. However, stomach sleeping does have some benefits.
Benefits of Stomach Sleeping
- Stomach sleeping is beneficial for chronic snoring.
- It reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea, acid reflux, and heartburn.
- Sleeping on the stomach minimises tossing and turning, facilitating a more restful sleep.
Who Should Avoid Stomach Sleeping?
Generally, it is recommended to avoid stomach sleeping as the bad posture increases the risk of back, neck, and shoulder pain. However, if someone habitually sleeps on their stomach, they should try to modify their sleep habits. Pregnant women might also want to reconsider sleeping on their stomachs. While the main problem commonly faced by pregnant women sleeping on their stomachs is related to discomfort, doing so is said to have the same negative effects as sleeping on their backs.
Tips for Stomach Sleeping
- Consider a mattress on the firmer side to provide good spinal support.
- Use a thinner and softer pillow below the neck to reduce the angle of your neck and minimise the neck strain.
- Experiment with other sleeping positions like side or back sleeping to rest your spine.
- Keep your leg evenly elevated on the bed with a pillow. You can also place a pillow under your stomach to support the natural curve.
- Memory foam mattress and pocket spring mattress are suitable for stomach sleepers, as it keeps your spine in a neutral alignment and prevents back pain.
Shop Quality Mattresses That Suits Your Sleeping Postures
If you are looking for mattresses in Singapore that complement your sleeping positions, you’ve come to the right place. It is essential to choose the right mattress to facilitate restful sleep. Shop with The Mattress Boutique, and find mattresses, bed frames, and pillows that deliver on comfort.