What is the best position to sleep in?

This is a contentious issue and it’s something that is asked a lot in the clinic. Sleep is obviously very important and even more important to get at least eight hours each night.

Since running a clinic and having babies, having a broken six-hour sleep I found that I could function on this. But over longer periods of time, it starts to cause problems with other parts of my body including feeling rundown, getting ill more often and beginning to not perform during exercise and you start to run empty.

Since I’m trying to track my sleep a lot more, I’m trying to get into bed before nine o’clock, getting at least eight hours of sleep because it improves my immune system, improves my ability to recover and also my mood as well.

“What is the best position for sleeping?”

There’s a couple of reasons we get asked this, it’s good to be aligned in your sleep to allow the body to recover and repair itself effectively. Also, so that your muscles and your bones are in good position to improve flexibility and reduce back and neck issues.

There are some positions that are better than others and adjusting to a new position, it can often take time. You need to be patient with this. Ensure that you’re not chopping and changing between mattresses, pillows. Give each one at least four to six weeks or a new position four to six weeks to ensure that you can adapt accordingly to this.

  • Sleep on your side. Most people do sleep on their sides. As children we split our time between side, front and back and as we get older, the flexibility of our spine starts to decrease, which makes it more comfortable to sleep on our side.

There are other health benefits to sleeping on your side including reducing snoring, sleep apnoea. Pregnant women are encouraged to sleep on their side as well, particularly on the left-hand side and people with backpain or neck issues should sleep on their side with a thicker pillow, keeping the neck neutral and making sure that there is something between their legs to ensure that you don’t get any rotation through the lumbar part of your spine.

The only people who shouldn’t sleep on their sides are people with shoulder issues, any hip issues on that side or if you’re worried about wrinkles on your face.

The left-hand side is best for pregnant women. Sleeping on your back is not good for pregnant women. It’s also not great for people with lumbar lower backpain.

Downsides would include snoring and pressure on the base of the spine. Just make sure that you’re using a memory foam pillow or orthopaedic curve pillow to take the pressure off the neck.

What’s wrong with sleeping on the stomach?

Well obviously, it doesn’t work with pregnant women. It doesn’t work for people with chronic digestive issues and it’s not good for lower back pain because it puts a lot of pressure on the lower part of your back. You want to make sure that you’re rolling on to your side and trying to stay there by putting a pillow between your legs.

If you have any questions on what position is best to sleep on, please let us know.

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