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The Best Sleep Position

I usually fall asleep within sixty seconds of my head hitting the pillow. I sleep on my left side, legs curled slightly toward my chest with a pillow between my knees to support my hips and back. According to The Better Sleep Council, this is the most favored position of sleepers – especially women, although no distinction is made between right and left side sleepers.

I started noticing when I got up in the morning that my left eye was puffier than my right AND a large wrinkle has formed above my left brow. The result, no doubt, of sleeping on my left side. Supposedly if you sleep on a silk (or silk-like) pillowcase, it will help mitigate the wrinkles. I’ve tried a few times, but I’m not a fan of the silky surface.

Sleeping on your left side is said to reduce the symptoms of heartburn. And if you’re pregnant, the left side is better since it improves circulation of the heart for both mom and baby.  I could not find a single benefit of sleeping on your right side. But there are many (many!) for sleeping on your left.

But what about those wrinkles? Seems to me, sleeping on my back would keep my face from being smooshed in the pillow and more wrinkles from forming. So I tried. On and off for the past several months. I’m comfortable on my back, but for real sleep, my inclination is to roll to my left side. You tend to wake up in the position that is most natural to you – why fight it?

Turns out sleeping on your back is not the greatest. Only about 13% of sleepers do: 8% in the “soldier” position with arms straight down alongside the body and 5% in the “starfish” position with arms up near the head in a goalpost like position. (See what your sleep position says about you.) Sleeping on your back increases the likelihood of sleep apnea and snoring, both of which will disrupt your sleep. If you really want to reap the benefits of sleeping on your back, you would do so without any pillows, thus allowing your neck and spine to be in a truly neutral position. Sleeping on your back (or stomach) is not recommended for pregnant women. 

So what about sleeping on your stomach? Only about 7% sleep on their stomach in what’s called a “freefall” position with head turned to one side and arms hugging their pillow (which ought to be really soft to keep from totally distorting the neck and spine).

Regardless of how you do it, the important thing is to make it a priority since that’s when our bodies do their best repair work.

Which position do you sleep in? Are you inspired to try a different position? Let me know below.

P.S. I so appreciate your comments! I read – and respond – to every one. Finally! Technology will send you an email so you’ll see my response. Just give your permission by clicking the little box.

 

 

6 Comments

  • Deb July 24, 2017 at 10:52 am

    Great article. I am going to begin to take note!

    Reply

  • Saige Doughty July 24, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I start on my left side, but to fall asleep, I turn to my right side. I can’t conceive putting a pillow between my legs. How big is it and how do you keep it between your legs? Do you not turn at all during the night?

    Reply

    • Mair Hill July 24, 2017 at 4:18 pm

      The pillow is rather flat-ish. I turn sometimes during the night, but not much. So the pillow just stays between my legs (from my knees down). I started it so many years ago that I don’t even think about it anymore – and I have a hard time falling asleep without it.

      Reply

  • dawn vanamberg July 25, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Interesting, I can sleep on either side or back, but most of the time wake up in my left and I sleep on the left side of the bed!

    Reply

  • Mair Hill July 25, 2017 at 8:42 am

    I sleep on my left side on the right side of the bed so I face out into the rest of the room.

    Reply

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