Did you know? With an average sleep duration of 8 hours per night, we spend about 3-4 months per year in our favourite sleeping position. If we sleep on inappropriate pillows or in an unnatural position, tensions are on the agenda the next day. But which sleeping position is really the best? You can find out more about this here.
Table of contents
- Overview: The optimal sleeping position
- The supine position - the best sleeping position
- The side position - good for back and stomach
- The prone position - bad for the joints
- As you make your bed, so you lie
Overview: The optimal sleeping position
The sleeping position should rather be called the falling asleep position, because during the night we turn into different positions many times. This is important because staying in a certain position for too long can have a negative effect on our back and neck. Studies have found that practically everyone who has ever chosen their preferred sleeping position always adopts it. So no matter how often we turn and turn around during the night - we always return to this favourite position.
Only 5% of people change it from night to night. Of course, we ourselves decide how comfortable we are lying in the prone, supine or lateral position according to our personal feelings. But which sleeping position is considered by experts to be the healthiest for our body?
#1 The supine position - the best sleeping position
The supine position is considered to be the best among the sleeping positions. But only about 7% of all people sleep in this position. When you lie on your back, the head, neck and spine are in a neutral position with even pressure distribution. Since the face is not pressed against a pillow, this type of sleeping is also the best way to prevent facial wrinkles.
However, sleeping on your back has one disadvantage: danger of snoring! According to a study quoted in the New York Times, a full 54% of snorers are so-called "positional snorers". This means that they only snore while sleeping on their back. Changing to the lateral position is then a simple trick to prevent snoring.
Tip: Observe the correct sleeping equipment. A thin, soft pillow is quite sufficient to support the optimal sleeping position.
#2 The side position - good for back and stomach
About 68 % of people sleep in the side position, with 38 % preferring the right side and 30 % the left. In the lateral position we snore less and the spine is in a neutral position, so that neck and back pain is avoided because the back is relieved. Sleeping on the left side can also have a positive effect on stomach upset, as it promotes digestion and the reflux of gastric acid from the oesophagus. Nevertheless, this sleeping position is not entirely ideal either, because lying on the side of the pillow presses the skin in the face and décolleté strongly together, thus increasing the formation of wrinkles.
Tip: The best choice for side sleepers are soft (silk) pillows that fill out the shoulder-neck triangle and are gentle on the skin, as well as a good mattress that can adapt to shoulders and hips.
#3 The prone position - needs getting used to for joints
Sleeping on the stomach is preferred by about 17% of people. In fact, this position is very effective against breathing problems and relieves the lumbar spine. However, the natural shape of the spine is blocked and putting the head to the side exerts strong pressure on the cervical vertebrae and temporomandibular joints. In addition, the lateral resting of the face also promotes the formation of wrinkles.
Tip: Do not use a pillow or use a thin pillow so as not to overstretch the neck and shoulder area.
As you make your bed, so you lie
Which sleeping or falling asleep position you prefer is of course ultimately dependent on you and your body. But with this overview of the advantages and disadvantages of the different lying positions and our little tips, it is very easy to optimize your own sleeping position.
Sleeping on your back prevents neck and back pain, minimizes the risk of wrinkles but promotes snoring.
The side position can be especially good for the back and for a pleasant night if you have stomach problems, but it also promotes the formation of wrinkles.
Sleeping on the stomach can quickly lead to tension and wrinkling.
Best regards and see you soon!