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Is your sleeping position harming your health?

Here’s a look at how your snooze styles can impact your health. Plus a few tips on choosing the perfect mattress to help you get more out of your slumber 

The pros and cons of your sleeping position
The pros and cons of your sleeping position
19 Oct 2016

The pros and cons of your sleeping position

Images: TPG Open

Are you a back sleeper, side sleeper or belly-down sleeper? Do you sleep in a different position every night and/or shift a lot in your sleep? Well, the question is, could your favourite sleeping style be detrimental to your health in the long run?

While the wrong sleeping positions can bring about health problems, the type of bed you sleep on can also affect the quality of your sleep. Read on for the pros and cons of some of the most common sleeping postures, and the types of mattresses that can help you wake up feeling rejuvenated and pain-free.
 

1. On your back
1. On your back
19 Oct 2016

1. On your back

Is sleeping on the back your preferred slumber style? Congratulations! Not only do you have a healthy spine, you’re also likely to be getting a comfortable and uninterrupted sleep. Whether it’s sleeping with your arms by the side or arms up (otherwise known as the “soldier” and the “starfish”), sleeping on your back is generally considered the healthiest resting position for your spine, where you are less likely to wake up suffering from neck, back or arm pain.

Pros: Sleeping on your back allows the head, neck and spine to be aligned in a neutral position without any added pressure, thus helping to prevent injuries over time. Plus, this slumber style supposedly prevents facial wrinkles and skin breakouts because your face isn’t squished against a pillow.

Cons: The drawback about back sleeping is that it can result in snoring and potentially sleep apnea (“a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or periods of shallow breathing during sleep”).

King Koil recommends:
If you prefer to sleep on your back, a medium to firm mattress may give you just the right amount of support. You should also use a lower pillow to support your head and fill the gap between your neck and shoulder.
 

2. On your side
2. On your side
19 Oct 2016

2. On your side

Side-sleepers, rejoice! Like back sleeping, this position is also great for overall wellbeing. You’re probably a dream bedmate too as side sleepers are less likely to snore. However, sleeping on your side is also likely to give you facial wrinkles (due to a build-up of pillow lines and creases).

Pros: This position elongates the spine thus keeping it aligned, which benefits those who suffer from back and neck pains. Side sleeping also helps to reduce snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. Helpful for those pregnant as sleeping on the left side allows optimal blood flow.

Cons: Side-sleeping can sometimes cause shoulder and arm discomfort due to restricted blood flow. And if you make this your nightly sleeping style, be prepared for premature skin ageing i.e. facial wrinkles (from having your face squished against the pillow for long hours), and - gasp! - saggy chest.

King Koil recommends:
If you sleep on your side and using a soft mattress, usually you will need to use a thicker and medium –firm pillow to fill the gap between your shoulder and neck, this will align your spine and provide the right support for your whole body while you rest.
 

3. Foetal
3. Foetal
19 Oct 2016

3. Foetal

If you find comfort falling asleep every night curling up in a tight foetus pose, stop. That might be the reason why you’re waking up with arthritis-like pain in your joints every morning.

Pros: May help to lessen chronic snoring, and good for those pregnant to promote better blood circulation (subject to your doctor’s recommendation).

Cons: Extreme tucking in of your chin and knees restricts deep breathing and could trigger neck and back pain. And similar to the effects of like side sleeping, foetal sleeping pose can lead to premature facial wrinkles and breast sag.

King Koil recommends:
If you sleep on your side, a soft mattress may be ideal, which provides maximum conformance to your body shape to provide optimal support. Pick the right pillow to go with you to have the maximum support for your shoulder and neck.

4. On your tummy
4. On your tummy
19 Oct 2016

4. On your tummy

Stomach-sleeping can strain your back. So if you love your tummy time and don’t find yourself waking up and complaining about a sore back or achy neck, give yourself a pat on the back!

Pros: Good for digestion, and benefits chronic snorers as stomach-sleeping keeps the upper airways open so that snoring is less likely.

Cons: This position places pressure on your muscles and joints that can lead to severe back and health problems. Plus, unless you have a special way of breathing through your pillow, stomach-sleepers tend to crane their necks sideways for prolonged hours in order to breathe. This ultimately leads to neck aches and even headaches.

King Koil recommends:
If you sleep on your tummy, a super soft mattress may be ideal. The mattress would relax your body, reduce the pressure points and evenly distribute the sleeper’s body weight. To perfect your alignment and reduce neck strain, go with a flat and soft pillow. 

5. Non-specific / Habitual ‘shifter’
5. Non-specific / Habitual ‘shifter’
19 Oct 2016

5. Non-specific / Habitual ‘shifter’

Do you go to sleep in a foetal pose yet wake up the next morning flat on your back with arms by the side and legs outstretched? If you’re a habitual shifter or one of those who doesn’t stay with a specific slumber style - you may or may not be doing the whole sleep thing right.

Pros: Experimenting with different sleeping positions or shifting your snooze styles in the middle of your sleep could help to ease prolonged pressure on certain joints and muscles.

Cons: The excessive movements will affect your quality of sleep.

King Koil recommends:
If you shift about, try a medium firm Pocketed spring mattress with Latex layering and go with few pillows placed around for easy reach. Latex layering is known to have a soft unique bounce-back. 

Related:
5 ways you will be sleeping in the future

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