According to Steven Park, MD, author of Sleep, Interrupted and clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at New York Medical College in Valhalla, N.Y., sleeping posture can affect an individual’s quality of sleep and overall health. Park explained that fatigue, sleep apnea, headaches, heartburn, and back pain are several of the most common complaints that can be aggravated as a result of improper sleep posture and a bad night’s rest.
But, when it comes to sleeping on your side, stomach, or back, which is the best sleep position? Additionally, if the certain sleep position one currently favors is not the best for their health, many individuals frequently question whether switching to another position may offer better health benefits for them. “You’re naturally going to gravitate toward a position that you feel best sleeping in,” Steven Park stated. Also, individuals will generally choose their preferred sleep posture based on how well they’re able to breathe in that position. “The smaller the airway in your throat becomes at night, the more likely it is you’re going to sleep on your stomach,” Park added.
Back sleeping is not recommended for individuals who snore or for those with sleep apnea. Individuals with these complications should preferably sleep on their side because it can help maintain their airways open. Research suggest that sleeping on the left side can relieve heartburn symptoms while right side sleeping can worsen them. Left side sleeping is also recommended during pregnancy as it can improve circulation to the heart, which is good for both mom and baby.
Steven Park advices that people may attempt to experiment with different sleeping postures but he strongly suggested against switching from the individual’s natural sleep position unless a previously diagnosed or currently identified health condition demands it.
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Sleeping posture can be just as important as an individual’s sitting or standing posture. While there is not enough research to determine which of the various sleep positions is best, sleeping posture can affect an individual’s quality of sleep and may also aggravate some conditions, such as headaches, heartburn and back pain. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.
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