On your back, on your side, on your stomach, tossing between all potential sleep locations of your body — the way you snooze can affect your overall rest and well-being. And not only that? It says quite a bit about you as a person.
Ooh… personality testing via how we sleep? You bet. Pretty fun and cool stuff, that. You probably won’t be surprised to discover which positions mean what about you. Natural, unconscious openness means, well, you’re most likely open and welcoming in your waking life. Curled on your side? A tad reserved and reticent. Cuddling up with your honey only to move away from each other through the night? Well, that just means you’re comfortable in your relationship enough to give each other space. Isn’t that nice?
But what position is the best one for you? Well, let’s take a look, and give you some ideas on what may work best in support of your quest for the most satisfying sleep for your health and wellness.
Getting “ahhh”-some rest, without even knowing it
Let us start this by saying that the best sleeping position for you is…
Wherever your body naturally takes you. Yep. And, yes, if you are in a position that doesn’t support a good night’s rest, you will wake up cranky, groggy and just feeling out of sorts. But — get ready — your mind helps your body find its way. It really does. And without even knowing it, your unconscious seeks out and creates opportunities for you to rest and rejuvenate in the best way possible for you.
Interestingly enough, meditation helps our minds activate our “rest and digest” functions. It lends itself to relieving the tensions and stresses in the brain that can create those racing thoughts; physical reactions while we sleep that can make us feel like we never even rested during the night.
You know what we mean. Those times when you wake up after a long night’s rest only to feel like you never even closed your eyes. Your dreams were weird, your mind was running a mile a minute, and it felt like sleep eluded you the entire night even though you weren’t technically awake. It’s off putting, makes you cranky and more tired, and exacerbates the stress you already have. So how can you find your way into that position that works best for you?
As mentioned, your body naturally finds the position that is most comfortable. When you’re younger, that’s usually not as big a deal on your health as when you get older. A lot of physical and medical issues can dictate what way of sleeping really is better for your body, so discovering how to change the way you sleep to accommodate what you need is pretty nice info to have. Have no fear. We have a few little tips to switch up your nighttime regimen that may help you sleep better in the long-run and, ultimately, feel as natural as before.
Snore? Have heartburn? Tummy rumblings? Sleep on your side
You love to sleep on your back, arms thrown out, open to the world. This means you’re a friendly, social person who welcomes all into your life with open arms and heart. Awesome. However, you’re snoring all the time, have stomach aches, are being hit by sleep apnea, and just can’t get any rest. Don’t worry. Changing how you sleep isn’t going to change who you are as a person, but it could make you less prone to having any of the above troubles throughout the night. So, how do you go from your favorite position on your back or stomach to sleeping on your side?
There are actually quite a few ways. You can sew a tennis ball — no joke — into the back of your pajamas. Yep, it’s just as it sounds. When you go to turn on your back, your body will move to its side because of the obstruction. Not very comfortable, but supposedly pretty effective.
You can also use pretty much any physical barrier to boost your side stretch. A body pillow or several pillows built up to hold you on your side — and moving you onto your left side if you want to alleviate that heartburn or stomach issue — or a backpack, several blankets, placed strategically to hold you in place will work, too. Basically, whatever floats your boat.
There are even electronic sleep aids like the Sleep Positioner Belt you can incorporate into your nightly routine. These things vibrate to let you know when you are in the wrong position. Many folks love them, so why not?
Back aches? Shoulder problems? Sleep on your back
Sure, it may seem counterintuitive to say, “If your back hurts, sleep on your back,” but hear us out. With the right support — and a good mattress — studies show that sleeping on your back is better for you than on your side or stomach. If you’re having back issues, elevate your head and put pillows under your knees. Same with shoulder problems, except you don’t really need the knees elevated. You really just want to surround yourself with cushiony goodness that will keep your shoulder straight and comfortable through the night.
Caveats… no surprise there…
First and foremost — and something we always like to remind all of you — if you are truly in need of changing your current sleep position for physical and medical reasons, always confer with your doctor to discuss what may be the best one for you and the right way to train your body and mind to embrace that new way of snoozing so that you get the most benefit from it.
Second, no matter how you train yourself to sleep, you’ll move throughout the night. It’s just how it is. All of us shift 10-40 times within a regular slumber cycle so the most important thing with rest is to have a great mattress for your body — hard, soft, medium, your call — clean linens — wash your stuff once-a-week and even vacuum your mattress to get rid of any dust or crumbs that may make their way between your fitted sheet/mattress cover and your bed itself — and set up your bedroom in a way that truly gives you the best night’s snooze possible for you — scented candles, fan to keep it cool, blackout curtains, colors, plants, or whatever brings you sleepy joy.
A blissful, comfortable, cozy sleep is gloriously rejuvenating and helps each and every one of us welcome the day feeling that much better. And don’t we all deserve slumber success?