Each one of us has our own sleeping habits and default or predominant sleeping position. You may fall asleep on your side, stomach or side and switch positions sometime during the night, but there would usually be that one sleeping position you stay in most of the time.
Your sleeping position would dictate the quality of your sleep as well as the kind of mattress that’s best for you so you can have maximum comfort and a help you get a long night’s rest. Sleeping on the wrong mattress may result in you waking up each day with aches and pains on the parts of your body that are heaviest or put the most pressure on the mattress, like your shoulders and hips.
So, what kind of sleeper are you and what type of mattress would give you the most comfort?
Medical professionals consider sleeping on the back as the healthiest position for dozing off. It helps relieve back and neck pain by keeping your back straight, but only if you’re using the right mattress and pillow.
On a mattress that’s too hard, you may become more susceptible to back pain. This is because the back exerts more effort to keep the spine in its natural S shape. You need a mattress that offers a bit more plush so it can accommodate the curve in your back and buttocks. A medium firm memory foam mattress would work just fine.
The downside to sleeping on your back (or sleeping with someone who does so) is the snoring. Snoring and sleep apnea are more common among those who sleep on their backs. If you’re a snorer or have sleep apnea, it’s best to train yourself to sleep on your side.
The most common sleeping position is on the side. It’s considered to be a healthy way to sleep as it alleviates pressure on the lower back, reduces acid reflux and improves circulation to the heart. For best results, sleep on your left side. You can often stop someone from snoring by turning him or her to the side.
If you sleep on your side, chances are you feel numbness in your arm or leg and pain in your hips and shoulders if you’re using a very firm mattress that puts pressure on nerves and restricts blood flow. You need to look for something softer. Look into soft to medium mattresses that are designed to support these body parts, reduce pressure on these contact points and keep your spine in proper alignment. A mattress that can relieve pressure on your body also allows for better blood circulation.
Sleeping on the stomach is considered one of the unhealthiest sleeping positions because it puts a lot of pressure on the spine. Stomach sleepers also turn their head sideways to be able to breathe, putting extra strain on the spine and pressure on the neck and shoulders.
If you are a stomach sleeper, you should avoid using coil spring mattresses, which are not designed to support the body’s pressure points when sleeping on your stomach. Look for a mattress that’s not too firm and not too soft either. Too soft makes the spine arch, while a too-firm mattress prevents the spine from resting in its natural S curve. Choose a mattress that offers the right firmness and won’t let you get sucked in to keep the spine in proper alignment.
What’s good about sleeping on your tummy is that it cuts down on snoring and acid reflux. It also reduces the chance of sleep apnea and makes breathing easier – like sleeping on your side. If you can train yourself to sleep on your side instead, do so! It may take a lot of getting used to, but it’s ultimately better for your health.