Did you know we spend almost a third of our lifetime asleep?
As we all know, it’s important that you get a good nights sleep. It allows your body to restore and rejuvenate, as well as grow muscle and repair tissue. In fact, many studies have linked sleep deficiency to heart disease and diabetes, as sleep is also involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels.
Dovetail have already written a blog on the importance of finding a comfortable and supportive mattress. But did you know your sleeping position is equally as important? From sleeping on your back to your front or side, we all have our favourite position. Read on to find out their benefits, and the affect they have on a good night’s sleep.
Are you one of the 7% of people that sleep on their back?
Sleeping on your back is often regarded as the ‘healthiest’ sleeping position for the spine and neck. This is because your back is straight rather than contorted, while your neck is in a neutral position. Also, it allows your mattress to fulfil its purpose and affectively support your spine.
For the more image conscious, sleeping on your back is a must. Those who sleep on their sides with their face squashed against the pillow are more likely to form wrinkles, while those who sleep on their backs will not!
However, sleeping on your back significantly increases the probability of snoring. As you lay on your back, your tongue falls to the back of your throat, restricting your airways and causing you to snore. For this reason, those suffering from sleep apnea should also avoid sleeping on their back. 40% of adult men and 24% of adult women are habitual snorers, so if you want to avoid being part of the statistic, roll over!
Are you one of the 13% of people that sleep on their front?
Despite being one of the most popular sleeping positions, there are few benefits to sleeping on your stomach. While it eases snoring and sleep apnea, it flattens the natural curve of the spine, resulting in lower back pain and, in some cases, airway blockage. Sleeping on your front also forces your head to one side, straining your neck.
Furthermore, the pressure on your muscles, joints, and organs increases as you sleep on your stomach. In an attempt to stay comfortable, you will spend more time shifting positions, resulting in disturbed, poor-quality sleep.
However, if you find this is the best position for you, try making some modifications. First, sleep with your forehead against the edge of a soft pillow rather than turning your head to the side. This will alleviate neck strain and lower back pain, while also ensuring your airway remains open. Another adjustment is to place a pillow under your lower abdomen or hips to help prevent lower back twinges.
Are you one of the 69% of people that sleep on their side?
Sleeping of your side is by far the most popular sleeping position, and it is also very beneficial for your health. The fetal position (a position adopted by 41% of people) improves heart circulation, which is why it is a position often recommended by doctors during pregnancy. What’s more, it also eases heartburn and acid reflux!
However, there are a few downsides. Sleeping on your left side can put pressure on the stomach and lungs, while sleeping in the fetal position can restrict your diaphragm. Side-sleepers will also be familiar with the dreaded pins and needles caused by resting your head on your arm all night which restricts blood flow. Furthermore, as your shoulder supports most of your body weight, your neck and shoulder muscles can become constricted and tight.
So which mattress is best for each position?
Back sleepers should avoid airbeds and opt instead for a medium mattress (5 to 6 in firmness). If your mattress is too soft, your back and pelvis will sink too deep. However, if your mattress is too firm, your back will leave a gap between your lower spine and mattress surface, resulting in an uncomfortable night’s sleep. Memory foam mattresses will provide sufficient support give to keep your spine aligned.
Front sleepers should opt for medium to slightly firmer mattresses (4 to 7) to help keep their spine in a neutral position. A firmer mattress will prevent the pelvis from sinking too far down and arching your back. Also, stomach sleepers should avoid innerspring beds as they are too springy to be comfortable.
Side sleepers need a soft to medium mattress (3 to 6 firmness) so their hips and shoulders can sink deeply into the mattress, ensuring the spine stays aligned with the neck and back. A memory foam mattresses would be perfect as they contour your body, securing it in place to prevent pelvic rotation.
Dovetail have a wide range of Sherbourne mattresses available from our Norwich showroom, including sprung and memory foam. Click here to view our full range online. If you want more information, please give us a call on 01603 488082 and we will do our best to answer all your questions.