I bet those of you who have trouble sleeping have scowered and tested every possible sleep position, in order to fall asleep easier at night. It’s so tough to find that perfectly comfortable position to sleep because, as we lay there unable to sleep, it becomes uncomfortable again. Today, I want to through the best position to fall asleep easier. I aim for this exact position every time I go to bed because it has worked so well for me.
Don’t lie on your back
Especially if you suffer from neck pain or trouble breathing when you sleep, don’t fall asleep on your back. Unless you own a pillow that perfectly forms to your neck, this can be a bad idea as you will put a strain on your neck and wake up in the middle of the night. Additionally, lying on your back causes your soft palete to collapse into the back wall of your throat — causing snoring.
The best way to sleep seems to be on your side — with a few modifications. Side sleeping is known to be good for overall health. It is a good position if you suffer from neck and back pain or sleep apnea. It is much easier to breathe if you are laying on your side because there is no pressure on your lungs. You might not notice this unless you’re experiencing some sort of breathing problem due to a sickness or existing condition. When I am sick with the flu or a cold, I’ll experience an increase in trouble breathing due to the phlegm build up in my chest. This is exaggerated when I lay on my back, especially for longer amounts of time.
Sleeping on your side keeps your body in a regular position — similar to if you were standing up — and keeps your spine stretched out. This position avoids any unnecessary strains in your body and will help you fall asleep quicker and stay that way through the night.
Some will say sleeping on you back with a slight incline is the best for acid reflux, but in my experience, sleeping on the side has practically the same effectiveness.
In our battle to get comfortable for the night, many times we compromise our posture in order to fall asleep. We will straighten up too much or maybe curve our neck too severely. It is important to maintain a healthy curve in the neck. Doing so won’t only help you sleep at night, but also improve your posture for during the day. For sleeping on your side, try to find a short pillow — without a lot of bulge — that will form slightly to the shape of your neck. By doing so, you avoid the tightening of your neck muscles throughout the night; if your neck is tight for the entire time you’re in bed, you will likely have a stiff neck or feel sore when you wake up.
Quite obviously, this pain can easily disrupt sleep. If you suffer from back pain when you lay on your side, you might want to put some support under that side to alleviate it. Whatever slight modifications you can make that will help minimize your individual pain will help you sleep better. Many people, including myself, roll around everywhere while sleeping. If you’re one of these people, but you suffer from neck pain, consider a neck pillow to keep your neck supported no matter the position you are in. A healthy C shaped curve in the neck will help curb that neck pain.
It’s natural for a good side position to easily turn into a fetal position without much thought. But a fetal position is basically only good if you have intestinal problems. You want to keep your back relatively straight while you sleep. Doing so will keep your spine elongated, your back straight, and your neck and head in a better position.
The more you sleep like you’re a fetus, the more you’re going to be hunching as you walk around during the day. A good posture when you sleep is crucial for a good day time posture. Particularly if you suffer from scoliosis, keep your spine straight and your head aligned with your body to decrease pain and allow for good air flow. I often want to move my legs around to get more comfortable, however, it’s best to keep the pelvis in a straight line to prevent abnormal twisting. Research has discovered a number of sleep benefits for hammocks, so act as though you are laying in a hammock when you go to sleep. That is, get into a position on your side where your body is curved equally around.
Other benefits of side sleeping
Sleeping on one’s side has also been found to improve waste clearance from the brain. It’s possible that our bodies have adapted to a lateral position as the best one in clearing out metabolic products that build up as we go about our day. Better clearing of this waste as we sleep can also help reduce the likelihood of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Research has shown how sleeping on your left side can help reduce acid reflux while sleeping on your right aggravates symptoms. Whether you struggle with heartburn or not, choose your side accordingly. Also, sleeping on your side — particularly the left side — can increase blood flow to and from your heart and aid digestion.
If you are trying to get the best sleep possible, the best place to start is your sleeping position. Don’t accept a bad sleeping position just to get to sleep faster because musculoskeletal pain may begin to develop. Once you start experiencing pain, sleeping will become exponentially more difficult. Lack of sleep then is linked to hundreds of different detrimental health issues.
It never hurt to get more sleep. I hope these tips gave you a good idea of what to do and what to look for as you doze off tonight. 🙂