Sleeping on your side looks comfortable, but have you ever wondered what happens to your body when you sleep on your side? Can it harm your health as well as your body?
Most of us spend one-third of each day sleeping. We tend to go for the most comfortable sleeping position, but it’s worth considering whether the position you choose will be good for you in the long run. We investigated what happens to the body when we sleep. This includes differences between left and right side sleep.
It’s also important to set up your bed correctly so that your spine is aligned correctly in whatever position you tend to lie in. Our guide to the best mattresses for side sleepers includes our top picks for this sleep style.
Is sleeping on your side good for you?
yes. It depends on the exact position (feet, side, etc.), but in general, sleeping on your side has significant health benefits. It can reduce back and joint pain, stop snoring, and even aid digestion.
For more than half of us (60%), this is good news. (opens in new tab) Most of us habitually sleep on our side. ‘Sleeping on your side is the most common position, and it has many health benefits, including less joint pain in the shoulders and lower back,’ says Amy Blame, Consultant Physician at London Bridge Hospital’s Sleep Center. says. (opens in new tab).
If you snore, or if your partner snores, sleeping on either side is the way to stop this, but what can you do? , is the best way to stop snoring,” adds Brame.
If snoring isn’t addressed at bedtime or starts to get worse, it can become even worse, including sleep apnea. Brame says that not everyone who snores develops sleep apnea, and that a significant percentage of people snore with sleep apnea.
“In sleep apnea, the muscles relax, which compresses the upper airway overnight while you sleep, causing the airway to become loose. When this happens, the airway is temporarily blocked and breathing stops. The patient then wakes up slightly and breathes more deeply and breathing resumes.He breathes but his sleep is very disturbed and not restful,” she explains. .
Sleep disturbances are often characterized by daytime sleepiness and heavy snoring. But is sleeping on your side enough to improve your symptoms? , the pressure on the airways is relieved.”
Straightening your legs, especially while sleeping on your side, also helps keep your spine in line. This means you won’t suffer from back pain (the bed also makes a difference, these are the best mattresses for back pain).
Is it better to sleep facing left or right?
If you sleep on your side, which side should you sleep on, left or right? According to Brame, the left side may be a better choice because it can help with acid reflux.
“Our stomach is on the left side, which makes it better for digestion. Studies show that sleeping on the left side worsens reflux. Digestion slows down while you sleep, but this process But if you naturally prefer the right side, Brame adds, comfort is more important.
What are the disadvantages of side sleeping?
Sleeping on your side may relieve back pain, but we tend to sleep on our side, which can lead to stiff shoulders. If you sleep on one side and start to feel pain in your shoulder, raise your head more and avoid leaning directly against your shoulder (see our best pillow guide for higher loft options) – or by a couple change sides to the evening.
Why sleeping on your side is good for pregnant women
Sleeping on your side can be the healthiest position for pregnant women. Brame explains: to grow. ”
Side-sleeping late in pregnancy may reduce the risk of stillbirth (opens in new tab) (Click here for details (opens in new tab)), and pre-eclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure in pregnant women.
‘Sleeping on your side can also help with hip and back pain associated with pregnancy. Again, putting a pillow between your knees can help with lower back and pelvic discomfort,’ says Brame. I will add.
How can I learn to sleep on my side?
It’s natural to choose a position that makes you feel comfortable, but if you prefer to sleep on your side or if other sleeping positions don’t work for you, there are ways to train your body.
Make a conscious decision to start on the side you feel most comfortable with. Try it for at least two weeks before deciding if it’s right for you.Brame offers a quick tip. I find myself rolling forward. ”
The pillow will stop you from moving and your body will naturally get used to the idea of sleeping on your side.
What is the best position for sleeping?
We already mentioned that sleeping on your side is great for your health, but what about sleeping on your stomach or on your back?
Like sleeping on your side, sleeping on your back “supports your spine, takes pressure off your back, and allows your muscles and joints to fully relax,” says Brame. However, some people tend to snore when sleeping on their back, which can be uncomfortable.
Sleeping on your stomach is the least healthy sleeping position as it can strain your neck and back. Sleeping on your stomach tilts your neck to one side, which can cause a sore neck when you wake up, which can shift the natural curve of your back and cause back pain after a few sleeps. Years sleeping like this.
Dr. Amy Blame
Dr Aimée Brame is a Consultant Physician who has completed specialized training in Respiratory, General Medicine and Critical Care Medicine. She specializes in pulmonary vascular disease and pulmonary hypertension. She is currently involved in a number of clinical studies investigating hemodynamic changes in various clinical conditions. She has authored several book chapters and has been published in many peer-reviewed journals. Her special concerns include shortness of breath and her long COVID.