37% of teens change which side they sleep on each night, a survey by Archers Sleepcentre recently revealed.
Choosing to sleep on your side, front or back affects the alignment of your spine. This influences not just your quality of sleep but your posture and comfort during the day.
This is especially important for the 15 to 18 year olds that were sampled in the Archers survey. Whilst growing, a bad posture can cause long term damage to your back. However, the way you sleep is important for adults as well as stress in your back can seriously disurb your sleep.
Each position has its own pros and cons, meaning not everyone should sleep in the same ‘optimum’ way. Your position can even indicate what you’re like as a person.
Sleeping On Your Back
Health: Opening up your body by sleeping on your back stops your intestines from becoming cramped and causing indigestion. It doesn’t properly align your spine however. Putting a pillow under your knees can help adjust this.
Comfort: Snorers should beware of sleeping on their back. Because your throat muscles are pushed back, slightly constricting your airways, it usually causes snoring.
Only 2% of the teens in the Archers survey slept on their back, however, 12% admitted to snoring. So sleeping on your side might be a cause of snoring, but changing your sleeping position might not be the cure.
Personality type: Usually a reserved person. Having your hands above your head could mean you’re good at listening to others. However, hands at your sides are an indication you don’t like to be the centre of attention.
Sleeping On Your Front
Health: This quite often causes lower back pain as it pushes the lower vertebrae together. It also causes you to turn your head out to the side which puts out the alignment of your spine even further.
Comfort: It can make you wake in the night with breathing difficulties as your face it pressed against the pillow. You’re also more likely to have your feet stick out the covers. 70% of girls in the survey got cold feet in the night so this is one positon they should stay away from.
Personality type: Can’t take criticism well. These people might be quite cheeky and loud, but are often insecure.
Sleeping On Your Side
Health: This is the most popular of the sleeping positions, being the choice of 47% of the survey takers. It supports the natural curve in the spine, as long as your pillow doesn’t let your head to drop past your shoulders.
Putting a pillow between your legs takes the pressure off your back when sleeping on your side.
Comfort: Sleeping on your side can hinder the circulation to your arm if your mattress doesn’t have the right support. Memory foam mattresses are heat sensitive and mould to pressure points – like your shoulder – in the body, this stops the problem.
Personality type: (varies with the positioning of your arms) Arms at your side means you’re fairly easy going, but possibly over trusting. People with their arms reached out, however, are quite stuck in their ways and pessimistic. People who curl their arms and legs into a foetal position (the most common position) are usually resilient, though can be a bit shy.
Here’s hoping you can now get rid of that bad back or poor posture.