Your Health & Sleeping Position
If you’re someone who sleeps on your stomach, we may have some bad news! Your sleeping position impacts more than a good night’s rest. In fact, if you’ve dealt with heartburn, acid reflux or other digestive issues at night, it may be because of the way you sleep!
Your sleep position makes a big impact on your body’s health – read on to learn more!
How Does Your Sleeping Position Impact Health?
In a word: gravity!
The way your body is positioned while you sleep affects gravity’s relationship with your stomach. A little-known fact is that your stomach is likely naturally positioned on the left side of your body. Why does this matter? Well, when you’re laying on your left side, gravity helps to keep your stomach fluids down and allows food to travel easier between the small and large intestines.
Sleeping on your right side can also relax connecting muscles between your stomach and esophagus. Because these muscles are relaxed and gravity has less impact, you could experience more acid reflux!
Gravity, while you sleep, can also impact how much pressure is being placed on certain parts of your body: hips, spine, neck and shoulders.
Pros of Each Sleeping Position
We’ve established that sleeping on your left side can reduce digestive issues, but is it the best sleeping position? Maybe! Researchers haven’t found solid evidence that left-side sleepers do it best. There are also other benefits to different sleeping positions.
- Helps to keep airways open and decrease the likelihood of snoring.
- Lessens pressure on heart muscles.
- Reduces pressure on your hips and shoulders.
- Better prevents acid reflux.
- Reduces the likelihood of clenching your jaw and grinding teeth.
- Reduces risk of snoring and sleep apnea
What Is The Best Sleeping Position
What do we recommend? Whatever works best for you! There are ways to make each sleeping position work. You can purchase a firmer mattress, reduce the number of pillows you use for your head, and even add pillows between your knees or under your hips.
There is no right or wrong way to sleep – some positions just require more accommodation than others!
CCMH’s team of providers would love to help your sleep and digestive health. You can visit our Center For Sleep Medicine or Center For Digestive Health for more information about how you can schedule an appointment.
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