Have you ever considered the implications of your sleeping position? Oddly enough, it is something that can define you! Everyone has their own sleeping personality, would you believe!

Having completed your night-time routine (you know the drill – teeth, wash, get undressed) it is time to hit the sack.  One’s sleeping position is often entirely habitual; you start, each time, facing one way, you turn over and face the other way and so on. Eventually you settle on a position that is comfortable whether that is on your side, on your back or on your stomach.

Most of us do not think about what a sleep position actually means, aside from the desire for maximum or optimal comfort. However, studies have shown :

  1. The foetal position is more common in the case of women; it is linked to shyness and sensitivity.
  2. Sleeping on one side with arms outstretched indicate open natured traits.
  3. Stomach sleepers are linked to a sociable nature and a dislike of being criticised. 

It is Number Three – stomach sleeping that is of great interest. Here are some facts about sleeping on your stomach :

  1. Sleeping on your stomach naturally causes your torso to sink into your mattress because of its weight. This may cause your spine to stretch as your back arches. When your spine is not straight you may experience stress and strain, perhaps waking up with aches and pains. 
  1. Neck pain may result if you sleep on your stomach. The neck twists as you turn your head to one side in order to breathe and that moves the spine out of strict alignment.
  1. Headaches, shoulder and arm pain can be caused by poor sleeping posture such as sleeping on your stomach.
  1. More facial wrinkles! When one side of your head is pressed into your pillow, skin is stretched, pulled and compressed, this can contribute to wrinkles in the face.
  1. Stomach sleeping if pregnant is not recommended by healthcare workers. Instead, they suggest that a pregnant lady should sleep on her left side, which will take pressure off the liver and the vein that carries blood to the heart from the legs.
  1. On the positive side, sleeping on the stomach can reduce sleep apnea symptoms. It can also be useful in reducing snoring or mitigating against acid reflux.

Sleeping Safely on Your Stomach

If you are a stomach sleeper, there are things that you can do to sleep safely:

  1. Using a thin pillow to decrease chances of neck pain
  2. Putting a pillow under your pelvis in order to keep your back straight.  
  3. Before dozing off, focus on having your body in a neutral position – hands by sides, spine and hips straight.
  4. Keep legs flat and equally spaced, thereby avoiding twisting of the spine.
  5. Place a pillow under your pelvis.
  6. Stretch on a daily basis, concentrating on exercises that stretch out your neck and force your pelvis back.