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Which sleeping position is better: Side, back or stomach?

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You may have trouble sleeping. Some will say it's because they are not finding the proper sleeping position. So you try sleeping on your stomach one day or sleeping on the side another day. However, attempting to change how you sleep can do more harm than good if it is not suitable for your body type.

When sleep finally takes over, we don't stay in one position all night; we shift frequently. There's a lot of conflicting advice and dubious online claims about sleep positions affecting health.  

1977 Psychologist Samuel Dunkell wrote in his popular psychology book Sleep Positions as "The Night Language of the Body."

For Dunkell, sleep positions give clues about an individual's personality traits, and body positions during the most vulnerable hours explain how they handle the waking world.

However, the psychologist, currently an emeritus professor at the University of Ottawa, ultimately declared that a person's position during sleep has nothing to do with their personality, preference, or even sleep stage.  "The position you take during sleep onset is not necessarily the one you use through the night," said Dr. Dunkell recently.

Does sleeping position affect you?

Joseph De Koninck, a Canadian psychologist, conducted further experiments to carry on the research. His results showed that

sleeping position indicates a person's anatomy and physiology rather than his psychology.

Once you sleep, your body's in charge of its position. According to De Koninck's research, the number of times people change positions during sleep lessens with age. Older adults strongly prefer sleeping on their right side, which regulates blood pressure at night. Obese patients switch less than their younger counterparts.

The reasons people change positions while sleeping

There are comfortable positions for certain patients with a spine injury, back pain, pregnancy, bleeding, and the list goes on.

Suppose an injury in your left leg or shoulder might prompt you to sleep mostly on your right side. Most people who had to change their sleep positions are back sleepers experiencing sleep apnea, as the airway suffers blockage or does not function properly, causing a person to pause breathing multiple times per night.

Tips to get a sound sleep

Although all sleeping positions are acceptable, one should look for these symptoms.

If you are already suffering from heartburn and chronic gastroesophageal reflux, then sleeping on your stomach is not such a good idea.

Snoring and Sleep Apnea can be avoided by sleeping sideways.

Neck and Back Pain

Place a wedge pillow behind your back for spinal support. Keep your upper body gently raised with a pillow, or use an adjustable mattress. Sleeping with your face pressed against your pillow may develop wrinkles and make you appear older.

Use a silk pillowcase and try sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back can improve acne breakouts and wrinkles and prevent sinus congestion, puffy eyes, and stress headaches. It also allows you to wake up better with the sun since your face and eyes can better detect the rising sun streaming into your room when facing the air.

In the side sleeping position, your airways are fully open, allowing better breathing. Although side sleeping is not the best position, it is the ultimate choice if it works best for you. 

Sleeping on your stomach has no such goodness but stops snoring. If you are comfortable enough, you can try this position. Remember, no sleeping position can be declared the best.  

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