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).
Sleeping on your stomach is (obviously) not an option when you’re pregnant. Pregnancy brings its own sleep challenges. Here’s all you need to know for a good night’s sleep (even if you’re not sleeping for two).
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.
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