Is sleeping on your stomach dangerous? The most useful and harmful postures for sleep, according to scientists
Most of you are probably familiar: in the morning, about 9-10, in the conditions of ringing silence, I woke up in a state as if I had not rested at all. The reason, in most cases, is an improperly chosen posture for sleep.
In a state of sleep, we spend 1/3 of our lives. Sleep is the time when the body is at rest. Breathing and cardiac activity slows down, muscles relax, consciousness turns off. But in order for the body to rest and gain strength, you need to sleep in the correct position. Pros and cons of the most popular options later in the article.
On the back
Doctors call the position “on the back” with arms extended at the seams or arms folded on the stomach one of the best for a good rest and the most beneficial for health.
“When we sleep on our back, our spine is in a natural“ alignment ”position, without curvature. In addition, sleeping on your back is the best position for the neck and head, because with this position there is almost no pressure and even weight distribution occurs, ”explains Dr. Melamed Mehmet from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
At the same time, according to the physician, the pose "on the back" is not suitable for people suffering from bronchial asthma, as it will provoke attacks.
According to a dermatologist from the University of St. Louis, the “back” pose is ideal for those who want to maintain youthful skin, since in this position the face is almost not in contact with the pillow, which means it does not run the risk of wrinkles.
In turn, therapist Stephen Diamant from New York adds that night rest on the back (in this position the stomach is below the esophagus) is best for those who suffer from heartburn - the likelihood of its occurrence is reduced.
- Sleeping in this position is recommended for people suffering from scoliosis.
- With back injuries, it is most comfortable to sleep in this position - all muscles are relaxed and tension is relieved.
- The most useful pose for the skin. Lying on our backs, we do not touch the pillow with our faces.
- Sleeping on your back is the best option for hypertensive patients. In this position there is a uniform load on the heart.
- This position is contraindicated for those who snore and suffer from sleep apnea.
The next one on the list of safe ones is a pose on the back with arms outstretched to the side or raised up. It is often called the "starfish".
“This position is good for the back, but in this position people also often snore (especially those who are prone to this phenomenon),” says neurologist Deacon Jimey of the Norwood Hospital in Birmingham.
Also, according to the doctor, because of the arms thrown up, there may be pressure on the shoulders, which can lead to discomfort and pain in the morning.
On the side
In general, doctors on the side of the dream are classified as safe, but this method has several important features. For example, regardless of the chosen side, rest in this position is fraught with the appearance of wrinkles on the face and neck (if you constantly sleep on the same side).
Sleep on the right side can cause heartburn in people suffering from this problem. And on the left - cause an increased load on some internal organs. At the same time, sleep on one side reduces the likelihood of snoring. Doctors recommend pregnant women to sleep on their left side to maintain optimal blood circulation (this pose increases blood flow to the uterus).
By the way, neuroscientists from the University of Rochester in New York, as a result of their recent research, have come to the conclusion that sleeping on your side is most effective at getting rid of metabolic waste products (amyloid beta protein, which leads to Alzheimer's disease) accumulated per day. In other words, scientists argue that the position on the side allows you to best offload the brain and prepare the body for new feats.
- This pose is suitable for those with lower back pain. When we lie on our side, our spine acquires natural bends and the back is resting.
- Pose helps reduce discomfort during indigestion and heartburn.
- Also, this pose helps to cope with snoring.
- After sleeping on the side, pain in the cervical spine may appear.
- People suffering from hypertension are undesirable to sleep on their left side. This position has an extra burden on the heart.
- When we sleep on our side, we run the risk of getting wrinkles on the side of the face that we touch the pillows during sleep.
In the fetal position
The position on the side in the fetal position (with tightened knees) is most often chosen by people who experience a feeling of cold during sleep. Sleeping in this position is the best way to keep warm. However, this is perhaps the only plus position.
Resting with your knees pressed to your chest can lead to back and shoulder pain in the morning, as it involves increased stress on the joints, says Dr. Melamed Mehmet of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Also, the fetal position can cause respiratory failure, which in turn will lead to insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain during sleep.
On the stomach
Doctors call this pose the most dangerous. When resting on the stomach, the spine suffers primarily. Not receiving any support at all, he bends, which leads to a violation of his natural position. In addition, sleep on the abdomen is fraught with circulatory disorders, numbness and tingling in the shoulders and neck, since the head in this position is always turned to one side at a right angle, explains orthopedic surgeon from New York Jonathan Fitzgordon.
If the posture is “on the stomach” - the only one in which it is possible to fall asleep, doctors recommend placing a small pillow (in the pelvic area) to adjust the position of the spine and thus reduce the load.
- It’s easier on your stomach to fall asleep. Therefore, this pose is considered the most convenient, but by no means the most useful.
- Doctors believe that it is worth sleeping in this position if you experience an uncomfortable state in the digestive system. Sleeping on your stomach helps reduce discomfort.
- If we lie on our stomachs, we turn our heads on their sides. At this moment, one of the vertebral arteries bends and squeezes. Because of this, the blood supply to the brain is disturbed.
- During sleep on the abdomen, the lungs are not able to completely straighten out, the chest is compressed. It makes breathing difficult.
- Sleeping on your stomach can cause sexual problems. Moreover, both women and men. This happens due to the fact that the body weight puts pressure on the internal organs. This disrupts blood circulation in the lower abdomen. And blood circulation directly affects sexual health.
- Sleeping on the stomach is not recommended not only by sexologists, but also by cosmetologists! Due to this situation, wrinkles on the face (often in the nasolabial area) appear earlier in a dream. Also, women are at risk of acquiring unwanted folds and wrinkles on the chest, which are difficult to get rid of. Those who like to sleep on their stomach often show swelling in the morning.