Subscribe to our newsletter. Plus, get access to the latest and greatest content from BuzzAura.
We all understand that sleep strongly impacts our health, but do you know that different sleeping positions also have unexpected effects on our bodies? Read on to find out why we sleep and how our sleeping positions affect us.
Adequate sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. Physiologically, sleep allows our body to repair cells, provide protein, and ultimately restore our energy. As for mental health, sleep helps reduce stress and anxiety by alleviating the brain's emotional response.
But do you know how to sleep?
Sleeping positions generally fall into 3 broad categories: sleep on the side, back and stomach. Here we'll discuss the pros and cons of these main sleeping categories and 6 subcategories, and what these positions say about your personality.
The first major sleeping position category is side sleep, which is best for sleep apnea sufferers and snorers. Sleeping in this position also protects the curve of your spine, reduces back pain, and lessens the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
There are 3 common side-sleeping positions: the fetal, the yearner, and the log.
With 47% of Americans sleeping in this posture, the fetal position is far and away the most popular. Fetalers who doze sideways with their knees bent toward their chest are often thought to be hiding their true feelings.
The yearners lie on their sides with arms stretched out horizontally in front of their bodies. 13% of Americans, baby boomers in particular, are such side sleepers and it has been found to indicate trust issues.
About 6% of Americans are loggers. They sleep on one side with their arms in line with their body, making them look like thick pieces of wood. These loggers are regarded as genial and are prone to sleepwalking.
According to neurologist Christopher Winter, sleeping on our left side is more beneficial than on the right side. The main advantage is to help reduce the compression of the heart's blood vessels and to increase blood flow back to the heart. Left side sleeping also promotes gastrointestinal movement, leading to better stomach health and the avoidance of heartburn.
Lying on your right side may force stomach acid and food into your esophagus, causing heartburn and bad breath. It is also bad for your spine and back, and is more likely to cause chronic neck problems. Therefore, it's best to avoid right-side sleeping.
According to psychologist Michael Breus, back sleeping, the second major position category, is considered the best for relaxation and quality sleep. By balancing the weight of your body and bones, sleeping in this position reduces back pain and keeps your spine aligned. However, sleeping on your back may worsen snoring and sleep apnea.
The soldier and the starfish are 2 common back sleeping positions.
Soldier sleepers, who make up 11% of total sleepers in the US, tend to lie flat on their back with arms and legs outstretched straight at their sides. People who sleep in this back position are said to be shy.
Starfish sleepers stretch their limbs in all directions, making them look like these aquatic animals. People with such back-based poses are prone to sleepwalking.
Both Winter and Breus claim that stomach sleeping is usually not recommended, even though it can reduce snoring and sleep apnea. Sleeping on your stomach can wreak havoc on your spine, cause neck and back pain, and increase pressure on your muscles and joints.
The most common stomach sleeping is the free fall position.
17% of Americans sleep in the free-fall position with their head on one side and their arms wrapped around or under the pillow. Freefallers are generally considered to be more friendly.
Sign up our Newsletter for Free. Be the first to find what's new on BuzzAura.