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Everything You Should Know About Sleep Positions and Directions

Written by
Dr. Sneha Kannan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Kumarshri Shriniwas Saraswat

Published on Jul 08, 2019 and last reviewed on Oct 12, 2019   -  4 min read

Abstract

Abstract

Did you know that your sleeping position and direction can affect the quality of sleep? To know more, read the article.

Everything You Should Know About Sleep Positions and Directions

Sleeping towards the east or west direction helps to get undisturbed sleep, as the blood circulation is believed to improve in these directions. A good night’s sleep is essential to improve concentration and reduce stress. It is very important as humans spend one-third of their life sleeping, and this is the time when the body repairs the organs.

Certain medical conditions, pregnancy, or snoring might influence your sleeping position. You sleep in a position that is most comfortable, but sleeping the wrong way might have adverse effects on your health. Some sleep positions can aggravate your neck and back pain, and a few positions are contraindicated during pregnancy. This article talks about the merits and demerits of all the sleeping positions, direction to sleep in, and sleeping positions during pregnancy.

What Are the Best Sleep Positions?

If your current sleep position is aggravating pain or is uncomfortable, then it’s time to switch to another position slowly. This change might be the secret to improving the quality of your sleep. The different sleep positions are:

Fetal Position:

  • Position - Lay down on one of your sides, and curl your knees towards the chest. Bend your shoulder slightly towards the knees. Keep alternating sides.

  • Pros - This is the most popular sleep position. It is best suited for people with lower back pain and snoring problem, and pregnant women. Make sure your posture is loose and relaxed.

  • Cons - Sleeping in a tight fetal position can limit deep breathing and cause joint pain and stiffness in the morning.

Fetal Position

The Freefall:

  • Position - Lay flat on your stomach and for better support place a thin and soft pillow in the pelvic and abdomen region.

  • Pros - It is said to be the most comfortable position, and helps relieve degenerative disc stress and sleep apnea.

  • Cons - Aggravates neck and back problems, and you might feel sore and tired in the morning.

Freefall

The Soldier Position:

  • Position - Lay down flat on your back with the hands placed straight on your sides. Placing a pillow under your knee will provide extra support to the back.

  • Pros - The best position for your spine and helps relieve hip and knee pain. It protects you from wrinkles due to pillow and gravity.

  • Cons - Aggravates snoring, sleep apnea, and back pain.

Soldier Position

The Log Position:

  • Position - Lying on either of your sides while placing your hand on the hip. Sleeping on the left side is best. Keeping a pillow between your legs relieves pressure from your lower back.

  • Pros - Helps reduce snoring and improves digestion, thus reduces heartburn or acid reflux.

  • Cons - Might make your shoulder and jaw of that side stiff and tight.

Log Position

What Are the Best Sleep Directions?

Studies show that the direction of placing the head while sleeping also affects our health. There are benefits and disadvantages to each direction. The different sleep directions are:

Head Towards the South:

The direction of sleeping influences the flow of blood, because the iron in the hemoglobin is affected by the earth's magnetic field, which is oriented in the north to south direction. Sleeping in the north hampers with the proper blood supply of the brain and body. As a result, you will not feel fresh in the morning.

Never sleep with the head in the north direction.

East-West Direction:

The east-west direction is also considered to be a good direction. This direction allows positive energy to flow through your body, making you sleep peacefully. It is also known to increase memory and concentration.

What Are the Best Sleep Directions?

Which Is the Best Sleeping Position for a Baby?

Always place your baby on their back, unless told otherwise by the pediatrician. Never put a baby to sleep on their tummy as it increases the chances of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Once your baby starts to roll over, gently roll them over on their back for the first few days. After some months, the baby will start sleeping in the position they feel most comfortable in.

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Which Is the Best Sleeping Position for Pregnant Women?

It is best to sleep on your side while pregnant. It is believed that sleeping on the left side increases the amount of blood and nutrients to the baby through the placenta. To make you more comfortable, bend your knees and place a pillow between them.

Avoid sleeping on your back as the baby can push the uterus upwards and compress the vena cava, which is a major blood vessel. This will make you dizzy, nauseous, and short of breath.

Sleeping Position for Pregnant Women

For more information and doubts on ways to fall asleep faster and different sleep positions, consult a doctor now.

 

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Frequently Asked Questions


1.

What Is the Healthiest Way to Sleep?

The healthiest way of sleeping for most people is sleeping on your back. This allows the head, spine, and neck to rest in a proper neutral position. Since there is no additional pressure in these areas, there are very few possibilities to experience pain. When you sleep facing the ceiling, it is ideal for preventing acid reflux.

2.

What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About Your Personality?

Sleep positions can indicate a lot about your personality. Fetal position can mean you are a warm person with an open heart. The log position says you are a highly social person. The yearner position says that you are a very suspicious person. The soldier position shows you are a very reserved person. The freefall position shows you are a fun-lover. The starfish position shows you are very good listeners.

3.

How Should You Sleep When You Are Pregnant?

Usually, sleeping on your left side relieves pressure and allows blood to flow more freely, making it the best way to sleep. Especially, when you are pregnant it is important to sleep on your left side as it improves circulation to the baby and also relieves too much of pressing on the uterus.

4.

How Should I Sleep With Neck and Shoulder Pain?

Use two pillows, with the top pillow placed little behind the bottom pillow. Sleep on your side or back. Make sure the bottom pillow is supporting the shoulders and the upper pillow is supporting your neck. It is important to hug a pillow as this will keep your top shoulder in an open position.

5.

Does Sleeping Upright Help You With GERD?

There are evidence to show that sleeping in an inclined position reduces the reflux symptom. This position allows the body to get stomach acid back into the stomach faster. When your entire torso is elevated, sleeping at an inclined position gives the gravitational power to return the stomach acid back to the stomach and keeps it there.

6.

Is It Better to Sleep on the Floor?

It is good to sleep on the floor but it may have some drawbacks. Sleeping on the floor is good for your body posture. Some say that they did not use the snooze button much on the days they slept on the floor. The muscle aches and back pain experienced by some people have totally gone.

7.

Why Does My Back Hurt When I Sleep on My Side?

If you are having back pain every morning, this means that your sleeping position is wrong or you are not having a proper mattress to sleep. Although sleeping on your side is the most popular and comfortable sleeping position, it can cause the spine to stay out of position. This can induce a strain on your lower back. For additional support, it is better to fill the gaps between your body and mattress with more number of pillows. A pillow is necessary at the waist.

8.

Does Sleep Position Affect Your Health?

The position in which we sleep has wide effects on your body. These sleeping postures can affect the quantity and quality of sleep. It can have many impacts on health. Sleep position also influences our dreams, and it also has a high range of connection to our personality.

9.

Scientifically, Which Direction Should You Sleep?

East direction is a highly preferred direction for sleep. This direction works well when you are using your brain for learning and need to improve your memory power. When your head is in the eastern direction, it is said to improve the concentration power, promote meditative sleep and very good health.

10.

What Do Sleep Positions Say About Your Relationship?

Here are the few things sleeping position can say about your relationship:
- Spoon –the female is on the inside.
This position shows that the male acts as a protector and the female are sensitive.
- Liberty – the back to back position.This is the most popular position in new relationships. They try to understand each other’s sleeping habits and accept them.
- Lover’s Knot – face-to-face position.
It is a sign of loving independence and shows good love, intimacy, and sexual activity. Such types of couples are very caring and understand each other well.

Last reviewed at:
12 Oct 2019  -  4 min read

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