You’ve had your eight hours of sleep. Yet you wake up tired in the morning, with the unpleasant sensation of having slept badly. What if it was related to the position you took overnight?
With a gun dog, on your back, on your stomach, on one side: in which position is sleep the most beneficial? This is the debate launched on social networks Allan Bell, a journalist for the American TV channel CBS by publishing this graphic (see above) of 18 different sleeping positions.
This seemingly innocuous topic sparked many reactions on Twitter. So let’s try to summarize what is the best position to sleep well.
On the back, is it best?
According to specialist Shelby Harris, if you have pain upon waking up, you may want to try changing positions while sleeping. According to her, the best would be on the back.
“Only 8% of people sleep on their backs, but this is the best position for the body to rest. In particular, this helps prevent heartburn and relieve the neck and spine, “she explains.
According to Shelby Harris, it is possible to practice sleeping on your back, and one under the knees to keep you in place and not roll over overnight. This implies not moving during sleep, which is still relatively rare. Another advantage, she says, is that you won’t wake up with your head crumpled by your pillow.
However, the position is not recommended for people prone to snoring and sleep apnea.
And on the side?
For sophrologist Caroline Rome, on the other hand, “there is no such thing as a miracle position.” According to this sleep specialist, attached to the sleep center, “the quality of sleep depends on many parameters, ranging from genetics to the quality of the mattress. However, it has been scientifically proven that sleeping on your side helps to clean the brain better: it eliminates cardiovascular, pulmonary, and cerebral toxins”.
But this position is not recommended for those who have gastric reflux because of the stress stored during the day. For these people, who have a fragile stomach, it is better to favor the position on the back, recognizes the specialist.
So, on the stomach?
If, for some, there is nothing more pleasant and liberating than falling asleep face down on your pillow and, therefore, on your stomach, this position is not the most suitable for the body.
Physicians or osteopaths are accustomed to say that this position may lead to tensioning of the muscles of swallowing, the trachea, and pressure on the rib cage, which will not unfold correctly and can cause breathing difficulties.
The position is also not ideal for the neck. When you sleep on your stomach, your head is turned to the side: the spine is then stressed. The back is hollow, and the vertebrae are not aligned. In this position, it is better to sleep on a firm mattress and a rather flat pillow, experts advise.
Is it even better with a gun dog?
This would be the most common position, and yet it is not for everyone. In the fetal position, the spine does not adopt its natural curvature; it is rounded. The body is curled up, so there is not enough room for the rib cage to open.
If you like this position for sleeping, it is better to bend one leg and stretch the other to relieve the pelvis.