You know those tests that tell you which character type you are by the position you prefer to sleep in? I wish they also explained that not all of them are good for …
You know those tests that tell you which character
type you are by the position you prefer to
sleep in?
I wish they also explained that not all of
them are good for you.
Sleeping on your stomach, tummy, belly, abdomen,
gut, the front of your back etc. is comfortable
for sure, but it’s also bad for your health,
and sometimes – even dangerous.
And here’s why:
Doctors say that when sleeping on your tummy,
the arteries near your backbone get constricted
because your head is turned to the side.
As a result, blood flow to the brain gets
Well I don’t need that.
For people who have bad cholesterol, and whose
arteries are potentially blocked with plaque,
this position can be dangerous.
The brain can be left without oxygen altogether,
and that’s no joke.
It wouldn’t be this serious for everyone,
but doctors are strict: they’d rather be
safe than sorry.
Another bad thing about sleeping on your belly
is that your chest gets compressed, which
makes breathing less efficient.
You wouldn’t get enough oxygen throughout
your body, and would feel tired and groggy
in the morning.
It’s hard to recharge the batteries after
a night like that.
Also, soft tissue in the chest area suffers
from extra pressure, and with time can develop
congestion, mastitis, or cysts.
The stomach also suffers in this position.
The organs that lay around our stomach will
stop doing their job properly over time, and
it’s not a very good trade off to sacrifice
your health for the sake of your comfort.
Also, if you go to sleep in this position
on a full stomach, you could develop acid
reflux, which is uncomfortable at best, and
can lead to gastritis or an ulcer.
So, what about the face?
When you wake up after sleeping a whole night
on your tummy and look in the mirror… you
know what I'm talking about.
All the creases on the bedsheet are imprinted
on your cheeks and forehead.
When your face is pressed to the pillow for
a whole night, blood circulation under the
skin gets worse, which leads to puffiness.
You might assume it’s due to water retention,
but the reason is much simpler – your body
Stretching and pressure on the skin lowers
its elasticity.
This issue doesn't only exist temporarily
in the morning.
With time, wrinkles left from sleeping turn
into permanent ones, especially on the cheeks
and around the nose.
You can also develop signs of aging on the
neck and chest area, and they’re very hard
to get rid of.
If you’re trying to avoid these lines, it’s
best to sleep in a different position.
Having your neck fixed in the same unnatural
position for a long time should be addressed
here too.
In the area around the neck and shoulders,
movement is restricted, and blood vessels
and nerve-endings are constricted, which can
lead to irreparable damage.
Not to mention, you’ll most likely wake
up with a stiff and sore neck no matter what.
Having the correct support is important; so
no matter what position you’re lying in,
pick a pillow that keeps your neck in a natural
In this position you can cause the joints
of knees, elbows and feet to twist in awkward
ways, causing strain and soreness.
If that's still not enough, the back bone
will also suffer when you sleep on your belly.
It's an unnatural position for your spine,
putting too much pressure on the middle of
your back and causing it to be stiff and achy
in the morning.
In the long term, the muscles around the back
bone can even become shorter.
If a person has problems with their heart,
sleeping on their stomach adds extra stress
on it, causing an excessive heart rate and
a rise of arterial pressure.
On the other hand, there are some cases when
sleeping on your stomach can be good for your
In newborns, this position releases cramps.
A lot of babies love to sleep on their belly,
and the reason for it is that they feel more
Also, babies should never sleep on their stomach
with a pillow.
But, most pediatricians advise that if they’re
younger than 1 year old, they should sleep
on their back or side.
People who have kidney diseases might also
feel better sleeping on their abdomen.
When we lie on our stomach, there's no pressure
on the kidneys, allowing them to flush out
and work easily.
Sometimes it can be good to lie on your tummy
if your back or shoulders are tired after
sitting in front of a computer with bad posture.
But it’s enough to lie down for a while
and have a rest.
Maybe after that, you can switch to a different
position for the rest of the night to avoid
some of the issues I mentioned earlier.
Ok, so we’ve established that most of the
time, sleeping on your stomach isn't the best
for us.
But how on earth is it possible to kick this
habit, if you’re not used to falling asleep
any other way?
The most efficient way is to sew a hair roller,
or several plastic balls in front of your
They can be soft, but hard enough to make
you feel uncomfortable when you lie on your
You’ll have to turn over on your back or
If you don’t feel like sewing anything to
your pajamas, you can just make 2 holes in
4-5 small plastic balls, thread a rope or
soft belt into them, and string them on your
It may take some time for you to get used
to this, but it’ll be worth it!
Usually it takes 21 days for a new habit to
form, and when you do find a new comfortable
sleeping pose, you’ll wonder how you could
sleep on your stomach for so long.
As a last ditch effort and final resort, sleep
on your back, and duct tape a small cactus
on your belly.
If you roll over on your tummy during the
night, you’ll be sure to know about it.
Actually I just made that one up.
Now, what about choosing the position that
suites your body best?
Sleeping on your back with your feet on a
pillow is best if you have problems with your
back bone.
It’s also the best beauty sleep: fewer wrinkles
appear and your face won’t be as puffy.
But it doesn’t work well for people who
snore: snoring gets worse when you’re on
your back, and you can feel short of breath.
Sleeping on your left side lessens the symptoms
of reflux; you’ll feel less nausea, and
less discomfort.
Some doctors also believe that it helps to
shed weight at night too.
And yet, it might not suit people who have
trouble sleeping in general: scientists have
noticed that you’ll have more bad dreams
when you fall asleep on the left side.
The embryo pose, with your knees pulled to
your chest and your head pulled to your knees,
is good for breathing and spine flexibility,
but at the same time is bad for your neck.
It would be bent for too long.
Sleeping on the right side is good for blood
pressure and lowers the risk of Alzheimer,
but is strictly forbidden for pregnant women
in the 3d trimester, because it can lead to
problems with the development of the fetus.
You can figure out what would be the best
sleeping positon for you by understanding
what your body needs the most.
But in the case of particular health problems,
consult your doctor, who can advise you on
the best way for you to sleep.
In fact, for most people, it’s good to change
body positions during the night and sleep
both on your back and on different sides.
Finally we’ve haven’t talked about sleeping
upside down, like bats, hanging from your
No, we haven’t.
So – your turn!
Which position for sleeping is your fave?
Let me know down in the comments!
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