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Which Side Should We Sleep?

Which-Side-Should-We-Sleep

All of us have one favorite sleeping position that we always fall back on, naturally- without giving it much thought after a long, tiring day. You might think it is not very important, but there is a certain significance attached to the question, which side should we sleep on? It is not just a matter of preference; it’s a lot more than that because our sleeping position has great effects on our body; after all, we spend almost one-third of our life sleeping.  Our sleep postures go on to affect how well and how much we sleep while impacting our overall health. Research has also shown that sleeping positions impact our dreams and play a detrimental role in shaping our personality. A lot can be said about your personality, depending on whether you sleep on your side, back, or stomach.  Sleeping in the wrong direction can cause neck pain or aggravate it. Thus, it is important to answer- which side should we sleep on, to ensure that we wake up feeling refreshed and not tired.

Factors Affecting Sleep Position

Talking about sleep positions, the first factor which comes to mind is comfort. Our preferences for different sleep positions are highly personal and singular. Someone might find squishing their stomach on the bed a comfortable way to sleep, while others may detest it.  Given below are some factors which determine the answer to – which side should we sleep on.

Age – With age, most of us shift to the side sleep position. Research has gone on to show that the side sleeping posture starts becoming the preference of people in early adulthood and increasingly grows along with our age.  Right side sleep position is particularly preferred by aged people.  Younger bodies are more flexible and capable of movement; thus, it is no surprise that sleeping positions vary with age.

Gender – Men and women also show a difference in their sleeping position and habits. Women are likely to prefer sleeping in fetal positions when compared to men. This sleeping position becomes more important during pregnancy. After a woman conceives, it is suggested that she sleep on her side.  The American Pregnancy Association even recommends left-side sleeping positions for women who are pregnant.

Relevance of Different Sleeping Positions

There is some rather interesting science which is associated with your sleeping position.  Scientists and body language experts have discovered the connections between different sleeping positions and personalities.  We have discussed this further below-

Those who sleep on their back are supposed to have more self-confidence. Such people are also expected to be more stubborn and hold greater expectations from themselves as well as other people. It also makes a difference whether you sleep with your arms down at your side (in which case you are reserved) or with your arms outstretched (in which case you are open-minded and relaxed).

Those who sleep on their stomach are much more defensive than regular people. They also show a tendency to be perfectionists and are rather sensitive to criticism. Researchers have shown that people who sleep on their stomach feel overwhelmed and feel that they lack control of their lives.

Those who sleep on their side are always linked to being rather open-minded, with the ability to compromise. If you sleep on your right side, then you probably smoke or rely on caffeine, and if you sleep on your left side, then you are supposed to be cultured and creative. In addition, if you keep your arms at your side, you are said to be trusting, and if you keep your arms outstretched, then there are high chances that you are tough on yourself.

Which Side Should We Sleep: Pros and Cons

We must admit that there is no single sleeping position that is best for everyone and applies to everybody’s welfare. There are various factors which determine the question- which side should we sleep on, like comfort and health conditions. Let us briefly go over the pros and cons of various sleeping positions.

Sleeping On One’s Back – This is not exactly a very popular sleeping position, and only about 8% of people like to sleep in this manner. There are various cons to sleeping on your back; for instance, resting on your back allows your body to feel naturally aligned by evenly distributing its weight. This implies that no muscle in your body feels strained. You are more likely to wake up refreshed after sleeping in this position as compared to others. Sleeping on your back could be your best option if you suffer from physical pain or stiffness. However, it is possible that your neck muscles might be strained with the overuse of this sleeping position.  The frequency of sleep apnea episodes in patients of the same might also increase if they begin to sleep on their backs.

Sleeping on One’s Side – This is a very popular sleeping position among people of all ages. It also happens to be very optimal for your health, right after back sleeping. In case you snore and have sleep apnea, your symptoms might reduce if you switch to a side sleeping position. There is also a direct relation between carpal tunnel syndrome and its relationship to sleep; if you have carpal tunnel, then side sleeping might be your best option. Your brain’s glymphatic system can clean waste much more efficiently when you’re sleeping on your side as compared to other sleeping positions. It is important to get rid of toxins from our brain to help guard against diseases such as the likes of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Left side sleeping is very helpful in case you suffer from acid reflux. Acid reflux has been shown to worsen in people who sleep on their right side. Pregnant women are also advised to sleep on their left, to help bird circulation to the placenta.  On the other hand, right side sleeping lowers the activity of your nervous system, thus reducing heart rate and blood pressure; hence, people with heart disorders prefer to sleep on their right side.

Sleeping on One’s Stomach – Only 7% of the people out there like to sleep in this position. Most doctors have hailed this position as the worst for your body in the long run. Stomach sleeping is only occasionally healthy when it helps reduce sleep apnea and snoring. However, this position can be hard on your neck and your back, causing pain and discomfort. This position does not allow your body to stay aligned and causes your spine to curve leading to stiffness and muscle ache.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is the Better Side to Sleep On- Left or Right?

Research has shown that the left side is much a better option than right when it comes to sleeping on your side. The reason is not very clear. Right side sleeping is supposed to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which helps soothe your body.

Which Sleeping Position Is the Healthiest?

By far, sleeping on your back is considered the healthiest sleeping position for most people. This is because it allows your head, spine, and neck to rest in a neutral position, relieving your body from any unneeded pressure.

Is It Bad to Sleep Without A Pillow?

If you sleep without a pillow, you allow your head to lie down flat, which could prove rather healthy by reducing the stress on your neck. However, if you are sleeping on your back, it is advised that you use a pillow to help body alignment.

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