Are you a front or side sleeper?

How you sleep has a huge impact on your health. After all, If the average night’s sleep is eight hours, one sleeps for one-third of one’s life. If you live, say, 75 years, that’s 25 years asleep, or 9,125 days, so no wonder why sleep plays a major role in our health.

Why are sleep positions so important?

Everybody agrees that sleeping on your stomach compresses your cervical joints and spine causing neck and back injuries. Leaving this aside we still have back and side sleeping, presenting both benefits and downsides.

Side Sleeping

Pros: If you are a side sleeper, you should definitely sleep on the left side. It alleviates acid reflux and heartburn, boosts digestion, stimulates the drainage of toxins from the lymph nods, improves circulation, and helps your brain filter out waste. Due to the location of your body’s organs, these amazing benefits only come from sleeping on the left side.

Cons: Sleeping on the left side can put pressure on the stomach and lungs, so it’s best to switch it up after a while. Usually, side sleepers may experience arm numbness from resting on a single arm for too long. Finally, this position puts a lot of stress on the shoulders so if you have shoulder pain, you should not sleep on your side.

Back Sleeping

Pros: Sleeping on your back is great for the spine and neck because the back is straight and not forced into any contortions. In an ideal world, you’d sleep on your back without any pillows, as this position leaves the neck in a neutral position. Back sleeping also has its cosmetic benefits. Spending all night with your face in the air, as opposed to smooshed into a pillow, leads to fewer facial wrinkles.

Cons: For those who suffer sleep apnea or with snoring problems, sleeping on your back will enhance this. Lying on your back causes the back of the tongue to collapse into the airway, which obstructs breathing and creates snoring sounds. Doctors suggest side sleeping for people with sleep apnea.

Better Sleep Recommendations

Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of both positions we want to share with you a couple hacks for better sleep.

1.- Turn on the A/C: Sleeping in a cool/cold environment improves your rest due to the fact that heat increases wakefulness and therefore opposes your rest. Setting the A/C around 67-69 degrees sets the perfect temperature for you to rest and reach deeper stages of sleep.

2.- Lights off: Light disrupts melatonin production (Sleep hormone) which affect your sleeping cycle and therefore your rest.
We highly recommend you to turn off every light and get blackout curtains to ensure that no light will after you. Also, make conscious desition to get away from your phone, pc, or iPad at least 2 hours before heading to bed to ensure that you get out the most of your sleeping time.

At Rehealth, we believe that having informed patients is the only way to deliver optimal healthcare. Visit our website to find out more interesting content and be a part of an amazing health integrated community!


Michelle Ibarra

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