WHICH SLEEPING POSITION IS BEST FOR YOUR HEALTH?
From neck pain to snoring and heartburn, our sleep posture affects our health. Here are the pros and cons of the most common sleep positions:
The foetal position provides a sense of security – it reminds us of childhood and being young and carefree. So it can help shrug off stress. Studies found people who favour the foetal position – mostly women – tend to have a tough exterior, but can be shy underneath.
Often when we are curled up we clench our hands and that creates pressure on our carpal tunnel. Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition affecting the hands and fingers, and is caused by compression of a major ner ve in the hand and wrist. So if you like to sleep like a baby, be sure to keep your hands loose.
If you have heartburn or reflux, sleeping on your left eases symptoms. Side sleeping may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, as it efficiently clears our brain of metabolic waste products that build up while we’re awake.
Your legs collapse on to each other, dragging down the hips and putting pressure on the lower back. “Sleep with your knees slightly bent and with a pillow inbetween so your legs are evenly positioned,” says chiropractor Dr Andrew Lawrence. A study in Turkey also found sleeping on the left side was associated with nightmares, although researchers don’t know exactly why.
Researchers agree this is the worst position of the bunch, but not if you like vivid dreams! Front sleepers have the most exciting and racy dreams, say researchers from Hong Kong’s Shue Yan University. The frontal position with your arms raised to the side is also good for digestion, as the internal organs are in the best spot.
Sleeping face down creates tension around the base of the skull, leading to headaches and stiffness in the neck area. People who sleep on their stomachs were found to be less self-confident,as facial contact with the pillow was predictive of negative emotions.