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It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep. With the stress of daily responsibilities and hectic schedules, it’s no surprise that 22 percent of Americans suffer from poor sleeping habits. But if your rest is far from restful, it may not be the amount of sleep you are getting each night. Your achy mornings may be due to the position in which you choose to sleep.
Mark Godwin, CEO of WearMD Inc., points out that the way you sleep provides varying benefits and drawbacks to your overall health. According to wearmd.com, your favorite sleeping position could be responsible for back and neck pain, stomach problems – even premature wrinkles.
Here’s the good news and bad news about the way you sleep.
Sleeping on your side (63% of Americans)
Good news: This position reduces snoring and acid reflux. According to an article by Jennifer Soong, “The Link Between Sleep Position and Sleep Quality,” sleeping on the left side “can relieve heartburn symptoms, while right-side sleeping makes them worse. Sleeping on the left side is also recommended during pregnancy to improve circulation to the heart – good for mom and baby.”
Bad news: If sleeping on your side extends to sleeping in a fetal position, this could be problematic. Sleeping in the fetal position encourages arthritic pain, restricts healthy breathing patterns, and encourages premature wrinkles to form.
Sleeping on your back (14% of Americans)
Good news: This position is ideal for preventing back and neck pain. It also reduces acid reflux and minimizes wrinkles.
Sleeping on your stomach (16% of Americans)
Good news: If you do not suffer from neck and back pain nor do you sleep with a pillow, sleeping on the stomach reduces snoring, since this position allows upper airways to remain unobstructed.
Bad news: Generally, there is little benefit to sleeping on one’s stomach. Most experts suggest you avoid sleeping in this position because it is difficult to maintain a neutral spine position necessary to avoid back and neck problems.
Over time, this position puts pressure on joints and muscles resulting in pain and uncomfortable sleep. Also, the position of one’s head while sleeping on the stomach often leads to neck pain.
In today’s world, sleep is a precious commodity.
By taking advantage of ways to attain ideal sleep and considering the position in which we sleep, we can ensure our days are more productive, more enjoyable, and healthier for many days (and nights) to come.
This article was originally published on OCRegister.com. It has been republished here with permission.