We all need to maintain a good body posture, something that helps our back remain in good shape. But the importance of good posture is not limited to the time while we are sitting or standing. It is just as important while we are lying on bed.
Sleep Position Matters
Each one of us has that favourite sleeping position that makes us feel most comfortable, relaxed and at home. As soon as we hit the bed to sleep, we inadvertently bring ourselves into that position. These positions are highly personal, thus varying from person to person.
While lying on the back is the most common sleeping position of all, some prefer the side sleep position, while others can even fall asleep on their stomach. Some also, have their own unique positions they like to sleep in, using one or more pillows for support. Most of us however, tend to change positions all through the night. If you happen to wake-up well rested but your muscles are all stiff and achy, something is not right.
Importance of Sleep Position
It, therefore, goes without saying that our sleep positions play a major role in the quality and amount of our sleep. We spend about one-third of our day sleeping, which makes it all the more important to ensure that we carefully observe our sleep position. This means we need to lie in a position that’s not only good for our sleep, but also for the health of our back. And since sleep affects so many other functions in our body, the sleep position can have a major impact on our overall health as well. Some studies have even concluded that our sleep position can influence our dreams, and say a lot about our personality.
Factors that Influence our Sleep Positions
When we get into our bed, we seek comfort by getting into our favorite sleeping position. However, it is not just comfort that determines the position. Other factors also come into the picture, and some of these include age, gender, personality, and physical health. While we are young, our body is more active and flexible, thus we tend to shift ourselves into all kinds of positions more frequently while sleeping. As we age, however, the body loses its ability to shift that frequently. Most of the adults in their middle age and above prefer the side sleeping position. As far as gender is concerned, it has been observed that females usually prefer being curled up like a baby while sleeping. It makes them feel safe and comforted. Men, on the other hand, usually sleep on their back or on the side.
Sleep Position and its Impact on Back
Our back contains muscles and ligaments, which help the back in performing the work it does for us. Now, while we sleep, these muscles and ligaments get the time to relax and rest. Our spine has to be perfectly aligned while we sleep. Let’s read about some of the most common sleeping positions, how they affect our spine and resultantly, our neck, shoulders, and hips.
Different Sleeping Positions – Benefits and What They Indicate
☐ Lying on back – By far the most recommended but a much less popular position, this one is the one that indicates high confidence levels. This position allows you to prevent back pain, chances of acid reflux and even slow down the appearance of facial wrinkles. However, owing to the pressure it exerts on the lower back, this position is not recommended during pregnancy. Even for those who tend to snore too much, this particular sleep position is often discouraged.
Lying on Side – This one happens to be one of the most popular positions. It indicates a relaxed nature, someone who is by and large accepting and open-minded. Again, the side you are lying on, and the position of your hands, further have a lot to say about your behavior and personality. Sleeping on your left side, is especially recommended for pregnant women. In general, this position helps keep your spine in a neutral position.
Sleeping on Stomach – This position is not good for our spine, and also requires twisting of the neck. It is not only one of the most discouraging sleep positions from a health point of view but also projects a negative personality. It points towards a relative lack of control and confidence in one’s life.
Foetal Position – Like discussed earlier, this is one of the most favourite positions among women. It is associated with sensitivity and emotions, but for someone who often project to be tough on the outside.
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Author: Dr Sonica Krishan
Dr Sonica Krishan is Author and Speaker in the areas of Healthy and Joyous Living through
Ayurveda, Meditation, Yoga and other Contemplative practices. She is a leading Ayurveda
Professional in India. She is also Health Writer, Columnist, Editor, Ayurveda Consultant and
Holistic Healing Coach.