Sleep is the best thing we can do in order for us to have enough energy. Even a power nap can give us enough energy to do some things quickly. But there is nothing more comfortable than lying flat on your bed or even on the floor and fall asleep. There are a lot of positions that we can choose from when we are about to sleep. It depends on the person on what kind of position they get into when they are about to sleep. It doesn’t matter as long as we are able to get a comfortable and cozy sleep. For most of us, we prefer sleeping sideways. But there are also people who prefer to sleep on their backs. Although this is another common sleeping position to sleep on, there are a lot of people still can’t find this position comfortable.
Here are some health benefits if you sleep on your back
- Reduces muscle and joint pain – If you want to have a healthy spine, it is best for you to sleep on your back. Because it is the neutral position for your spine. And it aligns your spine without any pain. Usually, when you sleep on your side, you are most likely to experience neck and hip pain. This is because the spine is misaligned and the joints are squished. Another reason why sleeping on your back is good for you is that the distribution of your weight will be even. You will no longer have to worry about waking up with a numb or tingling feeling on either side of your body. Also, lying on your back allows your body to fully relax without having any discomfort.
- Fewer wrinkles on the face – When you are sleeping on your sides, it is understandable that your face will be planted on your pillow. And you will end up waking up with map-like markings on your face or in other words “sleep-lines”. Did you know that these marks can cause wrinkles? According to a dermatologist of dermstore.com, sleeping on your side will put pressure on your face. And if too much pressure is being placed on your face the collagen on your skin will be broken down. To a point that these sleep-lines will become wrinkles in the long run. If you want to save your youthful look, sleeping on your back is the solution. You will no longer have to worry about getting sleep-lines in the morning or more wrinkles.
- Less neck and back pains – The reason why a lot of people experience neck and back pains it is because of their poor sleeping position. And an addition pain on the neck and back is their daily work position where they slouch and won’t even mind about the alignment of their spine. As well as sleeping sideways can cause pain to your neck and back. But sleeping with your back flat can help keep your spine in a neutral position. It aligns itself allowing itself to be in a neutral position without interrupting or having impacts between your joints. It also helps elevate muscle tensions on your shoulders down to your lower back. This can help you get a good night sleep without feeling any pain and tension on your body.
- Keeps night creams and products on your face – It is mentioned earlier in this article that sleeping on your sides will make your face planted on your pillow. If you are the kind of a person who is found of applying night creams, you’d better change your sleeping position from your side to your back. The reason why you should sleep on your back when you applied a night cream is to keep the cream on your face and not on the pillow. You spent a lot of money on that expensive night cream and your face did not get that much effect. This is because you slept with your face hitting the pillow. Most of the residues are already on your pillow and not on your face. But if you sleep on your back, the cream will be on your face and it will fully absorb the cream that you applied.
- No more swollen faces – Have you experienced waking up with a puffy face? Most especially around the eyes and above the cheeks. This is because of the fluid build-up around it when you are sleeping on your stomach or on your sides. But if you sleep on your back, all the fluids won’t pool up around the thin-skin areas of your face. Allow the skin of your face to breathe and not suffocate by squishing it on your pillow. This way you will be able to wake up feeling fresh and you will no longer have to worry about applying too much concealer to hide away the puffy eyes and cheeks.
These are just a few of the many health benefits that you can get when you sleep with your back flat on the bed. But if you are still having a hard time getting comfortable with this position, there tricks that you can do to get a good night sleep with your back flat on the bed. There are some things that you need to consider like the firmness of your mattress, your pillow, and your room. Here are some tips that you can follow to get a good night sleep:
- Mattress – There are a lot of trials if you are going to find the perfect mattress for your sleeping preference. Because there are different kinds of mattresses with different kinds of cushioning levels. And the kind of mattress you will have will depend on the way you sleep. But if you are a back sleeper, the kind of mattress you will get must not be too firm or too soft. It has to be somewhere in between. A medium-firm mattress is ideal for most people who are suffering from any back problems. This kind of mattress is not too hard or too soft which is best for back-sleepers. The firmness can help realign the spine and have it in its neutral position. And the softness of it can help support and cushion the other areas of the body.
Mattresses that are too firm can cause stress on different parts of the body. But if you find yourself comfortable with a firm mattress, there is nothing wrong with it. As long as you will be able to get a good night sleep without worrying during the next day as you wake up. But for mattresses that are too soft, there might be a lot of issues that you might encounter. Soft mattresses can’t give your body that much support. If your body is not well supported you will feel different kinds of joint pain the next day.
- Pillows – People who prefer to sleep on their backs must have a thinner pillow or a softer pillow. This is to keep the alignment of their neck and spine neutral. There are different kinds of pillows in the market for you to choose from. And there are pillows that are designed for back-sleepers. These pillows are designed to make your sleep more comfortable and allow you to get a good night sleep without any worrying about having any neck pain during the next day.
But how do you identify a pillow that is good for a back-sleeper? The answer is simple; it has to be thin and can help support your neck by keeping it aligned with your spine. It is advisable to keep your pillow thin or use a pillow that has neck support whenever you are sleeping on your back. Some people won’t even use a pillow because it is more comfortable for them.
Here are some tricks to make your back-sleeping experience more comfortable:
– Lie on your back and identify the body spacers. These body spacers are spaces between your body and the mattress.
– The common areas where there are a lot of spaces are behind your neck, thoracic spine area, and behind your knees. The reason why you need to fill in the spaces is to reduce pressure. Even though the mattress has a cushiony feature, sometimes it is not enough. This is why you will still need some pillows to fill in the spaces.
– Use a thin pillow on these spaces to give your body full support when you are lying on your back. Thick or super-soft pillows will not do the trick. This will only misalign your body and will not help. It will sometimes cause more pain in your body.
– You can also add some pillows on your left and right side to have your arms supported as well. It will make you feel like you are floating and make your body more relaxed.
- Starfish position – If you want to sleep on your back, try doing the starfish position. This is where your hands are up on your head area and your feet are slightly opened. But if you are sleeping with a partner, it is best to get a bigger bed because it consumes a lot of space. But this position is surprisingly comfortable. Staying on that position releases tension between your muscles. And it will make you feel even more relaxed. It is like the restorative heart opener poses for yoga. It stretches the side of your ribs and helps relaxes your shoulders.
According to research, there are only about 8% of the American population who sleeps on their backs. Because most of the time people sleep on their sides and fewer people who sleep on their stomach. But either way, if you are comfortable with your sleeping position, just see to it you will be able to get a good night sleep. But how are you going to get a good night sleep with any position? Most especially if you are a multi-position sleeper. There are simple things that you can do to get a good night sleep in any position:
- Take a warm bath – After a long day, you would want to have a warm bath to relax your body. Most especially if you are about to go to bed. It calms your muscles and at the same time removes and gets rid of the specks of dust that are on your body from your daily activity.
- Drink something warm – A cup of hot tea or hot chocolate will make your sleep even better. Imaging taking a warm bath and after that sipping a cup of your favorite warm drink, you will have a more comfortable sleep and at the same time calm mind and body
- Wear clean clothes – Wearing a fresh pair of pajamas can complete your comfortable sleeping experience. It allows your skin to be healthy and at the same time protects you from any dust particles floating around.
- Breathing exercises – Breathing is like keeping the mind and body in synced to become more relaxed. There are a lot of breathing exercises that you can follow to make your sleep even better. A lot of yoga practitioners who focuses on breathing. Because there are a lot of health benefits that it can give you. How much more if you will do it before you sleep. It can help you get a better quality of sleep than those who don’t do breathing exercises.
- Keep the room cool and dark – Our eyes are sensitive to light. Most especially when we are already very tired and sleepy. This is why a cool dark room allows you to feel more relaxed and can make you fall asleep easily. It is because your eyes won’t be able to detect any light. Because if it does, it will keep our brain active making you think about the things that you can still do. But if the lights are closed, it will have time to relax and rest. And for our bodies, we are often tired from the work we did the entire day. After a warm bath, it is nice to have a cool room to help regulate the body temperature and allow you to feel relaxed and be able to fall asleep easily.
- Keep the beddings clean – There is a difference if you sleep on old beddings and clean beddings. Old beddings may have a weird smell that will make it difficult for you to fall asleep. But if you have clean beddings, it has a softer and a cleaner feel when you lay on it. The material of your beddings also matter. Choose cotton or a silk fabric for your beddings. This can help your skin breathe and at the same time make you feel more comfortable when you are about to sleep. Because this will make you feel more comfortable and more relaxed.
- Use a humidifier – A humidifier can help prevent allergic reactions on your body and at the same time cleans the air that you breathe when you are sleeping. Because there are times when you sleep you will wake up with colds or flu, dry or chapped lips, and a dry throat and many more. According to molecule.com, a humidifier, it can help combat dry air in your room or in your home.
- Keep the room fragrant – Keeping your favorite scent in your room will help you get a good night sleep. Most especially if you choose aromatic scents. This will help relax your mind and body and at the same time. And it allows keeping your entire system calm. This way you will be able to fall asleep easily.
- Listen to soft music – Smooth and soft music can help you get a good night sleep. Most especially if the tunes are mellow and consistent. It will seem like it hypnotizes you and put you to a night of good night sleep.
Our bodies have a unique structure and we require having a comfortable space to keep it safe. Our bones and muscles are fragile. That is why even if we are asleep we need to have one of the best ways just to keep our bodies as comfortable as possible. If you want to keep a healthy body, start with sleeping in a comfortable position. Just keep in mind the alignment of the spine and the body. Because having a well-aligned body will help keep you in a good posture. And it will also make you look good and feel good about yourself.
Sleeping on your back is one way in making the right alignment on your spine. It has a lot of health benefits that can give you. Most especially if you are having lower back problems. Sleeping on your back can help elevate that pain and keep it from happening. If you are new to this position, don’t be afraid to try it out. There are some tricks and tips for you to follow and start your journey as a back-sleeper.
Article Written by:
Dr. Jasmine De Leon. Dr. De Leon is an Orthopedic surgeon and a chiropractor. She is also a professor at Harvard Medical School and has a lot of contributions in finding the right way in curing back problems. She wrote a book for back pains: Guide for Living With Back Pains.