How to sleep on your back and what are the benefits?
Are you a sleeping on back, front or side person? Sleep positions play an important role in the quality of our sleep, but just like pizza toppings, we all have a preference.
Did you know that only about 10% of people are back sleepers? Well, we’re here to tell you that if you fall into that “pro-sleeper position” category, then you’ve nailed the best position for deep, restful sleep.
If you’re not, however, you might be convinced to swap the pillow-hugging-wrinkle-inducing side slumber for sleeping on your back after learning these benefits.
Is it good to sleep on your back?
In short, yes. By sleeping on your back, you allow your body to do all its sleep restoration in a neutral position. Your head, neck and spine are aligned, reducing pressure on your hips, lower back and shoulders. Because your body is under less muscular pressure, sleeping on your back means waking up on the pain-free side of the bed.
Do you notice one side of your face is ageing quicker than the other? When you sleep on your side or stomach, you’re encouraging the wrinkle-witch to overextend her stay. (It’s even said that some dermatologists can tell which side you sleep on from the condition of your skin. What?!) Sleeping on your back helps to prevent pillow creases on your skin, letting the restoration sleep fairies keep up your youthful appearance.
How to sleep better on your back?
Sleeping on your back doesn’t come naturally, and it can also be hard to change your sleeping position when you’re so accustomed to your current one. But if you’re really serious about sleeping health, you can start by doing a little sleep training (it only takes 21 days to change a habit) to get you sleeping on your back, comfortably.
- Lay flat on your bed and get your arms into your most comfortable position. They could be down by your sides, above your head or stretched out straight on either side of you.
- Elevate your upper body slightly, using an incline of pillows. This helps your back be more comfortable so that you can stay in this position while you sleep.
- Then adjust your spine angle by putting a pillow under your knees to alleviate pressure on your spine.
Pro back-sleeper tip: create a pillow fort. Place pillows on either side of you to prevent you from rolling over and help you feel more secure in this position.
Benefits of sleeping on your back
If you need more reasons to change your sleeping arrangement, we’ve gathered the top benefits of back sleeping for a better night’s sleep.
Prevents shoulder pain
I’m sure you’ve woken up from sleeping on your side with shoulder aches? Snoozing on your back is shoulder-friendly.
Stops neck pain
Sleeping on your back keeps your neck aligned with the rest of your spine. Say goodbye to neck pain from sleep when you’re snoozing face-up.
A better night’s sleep
Peaceful sleep starts with uninterrupted sleep. This means that any position that causes muscle pain and discomfort should be banished from the bedroom. If you’re feeling like your current sleep position is causing you sleeplessness, try sleeping on your back to align your body into a more neutral position.
Sleeping on your back with your head and chest slightly elevated is the best position to help eliminate heartburn. For optimal effect, avoid late-night snacking.
Less pressure on internal organs
Just because we can’t see them doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look after their sleeping positions too. When you sleep on your back, you put less pressure on your internal organs.
Disadvantages of sleeping on your back
Ok, so sleeping on your back can have a few disadvantages. Depending on how long you’ve been an “alternative” sleep-position sleeper, if you have a sleep disorder, or if one of the below issues resonate with you, sleeping in this position may not work for you.
Lower back pain
We know it, you know it, lower back pain can sneak up on the best of us. Sleeping on your back can (if you’re prone to it) worsen your pain. To help alleviate your discomfort, you could invest in a more supportive mattress and practise core-strengthening exercises before giving back-sleeping another go.
The secret is out: back sleeping is well-known for making snorers out of non-snorers and worsening sleep apnea. As the position can cause your tongue to roll into the back of your throat and obstruct your breathing, it can cause you to snore or gasp for air. To ensure this doesn’t happen, make sure you fall asleep with your chin pointed up, neutralising your spine and throat position.
For some of us, sleeping on our backs will just never be comfortable. While we encourage you to give it a try, don’t stress if you can’t seem to grasp it. Try alternating back sleeping with side sleeping to assist in giving your body that neutral position opportunity. At the end of the day, it’s about being comfortable and getting restful sleep.
Other sleeping positions
There are 3 main sleeping positions: back, side, and stomach. (Although we’re sure you’ve invented many of your own without even knowing it). While most people opt to sleep on their side because it has the most options for comfort, side sleeping, as well as stomach sleeping, can have their disadvantages too.
Sleeping on your back is, (sleep expert-approved) the best way to sleep. Although it might take some practise, it will help improve sleep aches and pains, keep you looking young and give you an overall good sleep experience.