Most people spend about a third of their lives sleeping. Getting enough sleep has many health benefits, but your sleeping position can also have an impact on your health. Because we spend so much time sleeping, it’s important to make the most of every moment. Night after night, poor sleeping positions can impact everything from the elasticity of your skin to your overall health and well-being.
As you work on the necessary steps to get better, more restful sleep each night, be mindful of the positions you’re sleeping in. Let’s take a look at how your sleeping position affects your health and beauty — and the best positions for a restful night that can truly improve your health.
Several things might happen when you’re curled up in bed the “wrong” way. However, there’s no ideal sleep position for every person. A lot of what works for you depends on any existing health conditions you might have or any underlying issues you’re trying to improve. There are pros and cons to almost every possible position.
However, some of the most common health issues that are either caused or exacerbated by improper sleep positions include:
- Digestive issues;
- Back problems;
- Sleep apnea;
- Muscle and joint pain.
For example, sleeping on your back is better for muscle pain, but it can exacerbate problems like sleep apnea. Side sleepers might not experience enough support for their joints and can regularly experience neck and shoulder pain.
Even sleeping on your stomach can increase pressure on your neck and spine, causing discomfort and pain throughout the day. If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk or at a mostly sedentary job, that pain will likely get worse and you won’t find the relief you need at night.
Having a better understanding of how your sleep position impacts your health will make it easier to decide which one is right for you. Even if you get enough sleep, the wrong position can cause you to wake up feeling sore, sick, or both.
More Than Just “Beauty Sleep”
The phrase “getting beauty sleep” is more than just an old saying people use to get more rest. Sleep and your skin health go hand-in-hand. Getting enough sleep helps to boost blood flow to your skin, and a lack of sleep can lead to fine lines and wrinkles.
While getting enough sleep is important for your beauty and skin health, the position you sleep in makes a difference, too. If you sleep on your side or stomach, your face will come in direct contact with a pillow almost all night. While that might be comfortable, it can also contribute to rashes or zits.
If you have sensitive skin, simply rubbing it against a pillowcase can cause issues and develop a rash. Making sure your pillowcase is as clean as possible can help prevent this. Sleeping on your stomach is probably the worst position for your skin, as it practically “buries” your face into your pillow or the bed itself. That limits circulation and can cause problems like:
- Bags under your eyes;
- Dull-looking skin;
- Clogged pores.
Remember, your skin needs to stay clean and it needs to be able to “breathe.” If you wash and moisturise your face before bed each night, don’t ruin that effort by sleeping on a dirty pillowcase or by suffocating your pores against the sheets.
Again, there’s no one ideal position for everyone. If any of the problems listed here sound familiar, it could be a sign that it’s time to change your sleeping position. For example, if you struggle with digestive issues like GERD and you usually sleep on your side or stomach, switching to your back and propping your head up slightly can allow gravity to help curb reflux while you sleep.
If you have poor circulation and deal with problems like varicose veins, side sleeping might be the best for you. It helps to improve blood flow and won’t leave your muscles feeling so sore in the morning. In fact, sleeping on your left side aids blood flow to your heart.
If you don’t typically deal with any aches, pains, or health issues, you might be worried about how your sleep position is affecting your skin and beauty. By keeping things clean in your bed, you can enjoy just about any sleep position. However, if you want to give your skin the best opportunity to “breathe,” sleeping on your back is recommended. It is less likely to cause any irritation from your skin rubbing on pillowcases and sheets all night.
As you can see, your sleep position has a greater impact on your health and beauty than you might have originally thought. Keep this information in mind when you go to sleep tonight, and consider switching positions to improve the way you look and feel.