Sleep better by having a good bed time routine, watching your diet, and by avoiding back pain-causing mattresses are good practices. But your sleep position could be having a big impact on whether you get a good night’s rest.
There is one specific sleep position that is “bad for practically everything” to do with your health.
While sleeping on your front could help to reduce snoring, it’s one of the worst sleep positions for your health, said The National Sleep Foundation.
Stomach sleepers are more at risk of back and neck pain, as the position doesn’t leave the spine in a neutral position, it said.
It could even lead to waking up with aches and pains all over the body, as well as irritated nerves.
“Your sleeping pose can have a major impact on your slumber—as well as your overall health,” said the National Sleep Foundation.
“While [sleeping on your stomach] is good for easing snoring, it’s bad for practically everything else.
“Seven per cent of adults pick this pose, but it can lead to back and neck pain, since it’s hard to keep your spine in a neutral position.
“Plus, stomach sleepers put pressure on their muscles and joints, possibly leading to numbness, tingling, aches, and irritated nerves.
“It’s best to try to choose another position, but if you must sleep on your stomach, try lying facedown to keep upper airways open—instead of with your head turned to one side—with your forehead propped up on a pillow to allow room to breathe.”
The best sleep position for your health is on your back, it added, although it’s only adopted by eight per cent of people.
Sleeping on your back allows the head, neck and spine to all rest in a neutral position, which lowers your risk of back and neck pain.
It’s also an ideal position for helping to prevent acid reflux, but it could also increase your risk of snoring.
If you often struggle to fall asleep, it’s a good idea to try winding down before bed. That can include any way of relaxing the body, including reading a book or lying down quietly.
Some people find that having a warm bath before bed helps them to fall asleep faster, while others prefer writing a to-do list.
It’s important to keep to regular sleep hours, as this programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine, said the NHS.
The bedroom should be sleep-friendly, and a relaxing environment.
It should be dark, quiet, tidy and kept at a temperature between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.