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Best sleeping position: Why you shouldn't sleep on stomach or right side

Emeh Joy
By Emeh Joy

Basic Medical Scientist, Freelance Health Writer, Lifestyle Blogger and Business Enthusiast

What is the best sleeping position?

Sleep is essential for the normal functioning of the body. However, people have asked which position is best for sleeping. Read to find out the best sleeping position and why you shouldn't sleep on your stomach or right side.

Do you know that you spend about a third of your life sleeping? Do you also know that lack of adequate sleep or adopting a bad sleeping position can have a negative impact on your health?

The type of mattress you sleep on will also affect the quality of sleep you get. Find different mattresses for various sleeping positions.

Your best sleeping position would also depend on factors such as your health status or present condition. For instance, the best sleeping position for pregnant women might differ from the usually recommended sleeping position.

What is the best sleeping position for general health?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the best sleeping position for health is sleeping on the back. However, only about 8% of the general population sleep in this position.

The Foundation noted that sleeping on the back is the best sleeping position as it keeps the spinal cord and neck in a neutral position, thus reducing pressure to those areas.

The National Sleep Foundation has stated that the best sleeping position is sleeping on your back.

Sleeping on the back is also the safest and best sleeping position for infants and newborn babies. Sleeping on the back reduces the risk of death resulting from sudden infant death syndrome.

5 reasons to stop sleeping on your stomach or right side

Some of the health conditions people suffer from, such as back pain and heartburn are caused by a bad sleeping position or posture.

Asides adopting a comfortable sleeping position for you, you should also think about your body needs. Here are reasons why you shouldn't sleep on your stomach or your right side.

1. Lying on the right side can cause heartburn

When you lie on your rights side, the gravity in this position causes the stomach's content to be brought to the bottom of the oesophagus.

The valve around the entrance to the stomach cannot control the food reflux; thus, acid and stomach contents rise into the oesophagus.

The result of this could be heartburn, the taste of acid in the mouth, distress, bad breathe and chest pain. Sleeping on your left side would prevent such from happening.

2. Sleeping on your stomach can cause chronic neck problems

In order to breathe properly when lying on your stomach, you will have to turn your neck to the side. This sleeping position can cause chronic neck problems because your head and spine are not well aligned.

Constant bad sleeping position can cause damage to the vertebral disc; thus, leading to chronic pain.

3. Sleeping on the stomach can put undue pressure on a foetus

Pregnant women need to be even more careful with their sleeping habits but for their health and the baby.

One of the worst sleeping positions for a pregnant woman is sleeping on the stomach. Sleeping on the stomach places extra weight in the abdominal region and too much pressure on the spine.

Asides that, sleeping in this position doesn't give the baby the needed space to move freely as it gets squeezed in between the bed and the spine.

4. Sleeping on the stomach puts pressure on the breast

For women, extra care should be taken with sleeping position to keep organs of the body like the breast healthy.

Sleeping on your stomach is not the best sleeping position and can put undue pressure on the mammary glands

According to health experts, lying on your stomach might put unnecessary pressure on the chest, leading to chest pain.

In some cases, it can cause saggy breast over time as gravity tends to pull the breasts downwards.

5. Sleeping on your stomach can cause face wrinkles

When you lie on your stomach or even on your side, sleeping with one side of your face pressed on the pillow is inevitable.

Studies have indicated that too much pressure applied to your face in this manner can cause facial wrinkles over time.

"What is the solution to this, then?" you tend to wonder. In this case, it is better to sleep on your back to avoid facial wrinkles.

When you sleep on your back, your face won't be pressed into the pillow, and your skin pores will be able to breathe freely.