Have you often wondered why sometimes you wake up happy and other times, you wake up feeling so depressed and sad? You try to wrap your head around it and you conclude that it’s because of the previous day’s events, but most times it does not have anything to do with it. Some have accepted it as a natural thing and seem to move on with their day’s schedule, giving little or no attention to the way they feel when they wake up. But wait a moment… Will be true that sleeping positions have something to do with the way you feel when you wake from sleep?
What if you are told that something as irrelevant as sleeping positions can affect your health? It is true that everybody has their favourite sleeping position. Yours may seem to enable you to enjoy your sleep more, but in the interest of your health, you should rather look out for those sleeping postures that are healthy and boosts your skeletal system instead of clinging to “your favourite sleeping position” when it only does more harm to your body system.
According to Wikipedia, a sleeping position is the body configuration assumed by a person during or prior to sleeping. It has been shown to have health implications, particularly for babies.
Sleeping Positions And How They Affect Your Health
1. On Your Back, Arms At Sides (Soldier Position)
Sleeping on your back with your arms at your side is also referred to as the “Soldier Position.” It gained its nickname because sleepers in this position seem to be on guard. It is also considered to be the ideal sleeping position for spine health and it is good for the neck too, as long as you don’t use too many pillows. That said, it should be pointed out that this position encourages the tendency to snore more than all the other positions and sleep apnea is a dyssomnia (sleep disorder) strongly associated with the soldier position.
Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing called an apnea can last for several seconds to several minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more in an hour.
2. On Your Back, Arms Up (Starfish Position)
One of the sleeping positions you will take to if you sleep on a large bed is this- sleeping on your back with your arms up is also referred to as the “Starfish Position” and it is good for the back too. Your arms may just be around your pillows and not up, but whatever way you choose, sleeping on your back helps to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts, True! However, just like the soldier position, the sleeper has the tendency to snore because the face is lifted upwards and breathing is not very smooth. Plus, having your arms pushing up will put pressure on the nerves in your shoulders causing you pain when you wake up in the morning.
3. Face Down (Free Fall Position)
Sleeping with your face to the bed is also called the “Freefall Position.” This sleeping position aids the digestion process a lot. That is a great benefit but it has disadvantages. Unless you can breathe successfully through your pillows, you will find out that you have to be moving your neck sideways from time to time in order to find air to breathe. This is a very stressful adventure and it does not only disturb the sleeping process, it also causes a lot of strain on the neck.
The freefall position can also cause back pain because the curve of the spine is not supported.
4. Knees and Body Curled Up (Fetal Position)
Sleeping with your body and knees all curled up together to almost form a ball is so beautiful especially in the cold. This position can also be called the “Fetal Position” because of its striking resemblance to a fetus in the womb of a pregnant woman. As beautiful and comfortable as this position may seem, it has an adverse effect on the neck and the back. The “curl” can also hinder the free flow of air through the windpipe thereby restricting deep breathing.
5. Sideways with Arms At The Side (Log Position)
This is looking a bit awkward, but I tell you that there are people who sleep in this position. This posture is called the “Log Position.” This sleeping position has its advantages and disadvantages. The good side is that when you are sleeping with both arms down (as in the Log position), the spine is supported in its normal curve thereby reducing back and neck pains and even other dyssomnias, especially the sleep apnea.
But on the other hand, the gravity of the body rests on the skin and this can cause the skin to age, facial wrinkle and also the breasts muscles (for ladies) can become weak and flag.
6. Sideways With Out-Stretched Arms
This sleeping position is also called the “Yearner Position” and the reason is very obvious. This sleeping position shares the same merits and demerits with the Log sleeping position. However, the arms that are stretched out will cause restricted blood flow and pressure on the nerves.
7. Pillow Supplemented
This is not necessarily a sleeping position. But regardless of which sleeping position you prefer, sleeping or supplementing your body with a pillow goes a long way in boosting your health benefits and giving you a better night rest.
Back sleepers (the Soldier and the Starfish) can put a pillow under the arch of their spine, side sleepers (the Log, the Yearner and the Fetus) can place a pillow between their knees while stomach sleepers (the Free Fall) can place a pillow under their hip to support the joints and allow for full, pain-free relaxation.
These are the various sleeping positions people sleep in. Which appeals to you?