Sleep positions are something a lot of people deliberate upon. Different sleep positions suit different people and have varied advantages and effects on our bodies.
While one can sleep on their stomach, or on either of their sides, one position which is although, slightly difficult to get used to, but highly beneficial, is on your back!
Now, it should be mentioned that if you’re pregnant, have back problems or have sleep apnea, it is recommended that you do not try and shift to this ‘on your back’ position and always only do as your doctor suggests.
It is also pertinent to note that if you’re a snore-er then, you might just want to give this a miss. For the rest, here are some tips and tricks that might make this transition a little bit easier and more comfortable.
Sleeping on your back has often been known to help align the spine, reduce tension headaches, reduce neck pain, helps combat heartburn and acid reflux, is good for your skin as well as relieves sinus build-up. These are just a few of many benefits of the ‘on the back’ sleep position. It is also considered as the ‘neutral’ position, although it does not come naturally to the majority if the population. If it does for you, congratulation on that.
Now, to benefit efficiently is it essential that a few things are kept in mind so that it doesn’t go wrong and end up harming you instead.
The first and most important aspect is the mattress. It is advisable to use a firm and compressed mattress instead of a soft and pillowy mattress as one tends to sink into it and that counters all the spine aligning, backache curing benefits of the position. A good firm mattress makes a huge difference.
If you intend to get serious about adjusting to the new position, you could also try establishing the ‘on the back’ position by sleeping on the floor instead. ‘Floor sleeping’ has also proven to help me maintain a good posture and is a quick and easy solution to my back pain. As the floors are colder than ordinary mattresses, make sure to use warm blankets.
You can also use another pillow which you can keep between your joints and the ground if at any point the floor causes any discomfort. This usually happens with the hip or the knees. I always keep a small pillow between my knees. It is actually advisable that you keep a pillow under your knees and another under your neck, irrespective of if you’re sleeping on the mattress or the floor as this preserves the curvature of your spine and may make assuming the new sleep position a lot more comfortable.
Another important thing to factor in is the kind of pillow you’re using. Instead of using a big, fluffy, thick pillow, you could instead go for a medium-sized flat pillow as you should avoid over elevation. For reducing neck pain and for your spine to align you need adequate elevation which allows your head to be at level with the rest of your body which also allows for comfortable sleeping.
Sleeping on your back also does not mean you need to restrict your movement. Feel free to spread your limbs as much as you want to. Do not be stiff. Remember that you are only attempting this position to feel more comfortable and therefore, do not compromise on comfort too much. You can always move around and be free.
However, this position also brings with it a few issues.
One of them being that you may initially experience sleep disturbances during the night. Further, it may also take a long time for you to feel comfortable in this position and therefore, may take longer for you to fall asleep.
To counter all of these issues, it is important that you create a comfortable and inducive sleep environment and stress- free atmosphere. Make sure the room temperature is just right. Make sure that the space is clean. If you’re sleeping on the floor, use clean sheets, and make sure there are no sharp objects or ominous insects crawling about.
To combat the uneasiness of the position, it is also beneficial to stretch a little before going to bed, especially if you work while sitting on your desk all day. Stretching 10-15 minutes before beds helps relax the muscles and therefore, you do not carry the tension of your day into the night. This also greatly minimises the slight discomfort associated with assuming the new position.
Once you learn how to master this sleep position, back pain will be a thing of the past. Your hip and knee pain will also feel a lot more alleviated.
Additionally, sleeping on your back makes sure your face is upwards and therefore allows your skin to breathe. Sleeping on your side often creates friction between your skin and the pillow or the bed cloth leading to irritation and/or roughness. Sleeping on your back completely helps avoid that and you get a much more radiant, wrinkle-free and less puffy skin.
Not only do you get to wake up pain-free, but you also get the chance to capture, ‘I woke up like this’ selfie and have it be actually authentic. So, what are you waiting for, time to get comfort ‘back’ into your life.
Which sleep-position is the best?
Various sleep positions bring with them varied benefits as well as disadvantages. Sleeping on your back is one of the most highly suggested sleep positions. However, it is always good to talk to your medical advisor before making any drastic changes, especially if you suffer from any condition
What are the benefits of sleeping on your back?
Few benefits of sleeping on your back are, reduced joint pain, reduced heartburn and acid reflux, reinforced spine alignment, clearer skin in some cases and so on. These are the few of many benefits one can get from sleeping on their back.
Written by Preeti Gokhale
The author is a sleep enthusiast. When not writing about sleep they prefer to either sleep or play games online. They also like to eat pizza and drink cranberry juice. You can often spot them on their way to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. You can connect with them via email!