These Sleeping Positions can Harm your Health

Some slap their arms over their heads, others can only fall asleep on their backs – each person has their own sleep routine. The position in which you sleep at night has an impact on our health and well-being as well as on the duration.

There are many factors that ensure a restful sleep: a regular rhythm, a rest period before bedtime, in which you do not eat a heavy diet and turn off your mobile phone, or the correct room temperature. However, in order for your body to recover and detoxify optimally, it is crucial how you lie at night.


These Sleeping Positions May Damage Your Health

Back position: best for the body – and against wrinkles

Doctors recommend the back position because the head, neck and torso are in a neutral position and the bodyweight is evenly distributed. It spares your back and shoulders when you put your arms on the side of your body.

It is important that your head is on a flat cushion that supports your neck and you do not wake up with tension. Back sleepers are also less likely to have impressions of the pillow on their face – and this can even prevent wrinkles.


Disadvantage: Back position favours respiratory failure

But: On the back, it snores especially loudly. In addition, the back position favours respiratory failures. In the case of sleep apnea, breathing is phased out. The body may then be inadequately supplied with oxygen for seconds. For the body, the dropouts mean stress: the risk of high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, heart attack and stroke can increase.

If you not only snore at night but also have respiratory failures, you should consult a doctor. Signs of this can include headaches and a dry throat after getting up, as well as daytime sleepiness.

Among other things, special vests help to prevent sleep apnea from being on your back when you sleep. Breathing masks can also help if you wear them all the time at night. These produce a slight vacuum and thus pump ambient air into the airways.


Abdominal position: against snoring, but bad for the joints


Abdominal sleeping position

The advantage of the abdominal position: snoring or short-term respiratory arrest are the most unlikely. However, this position also has disadvantages: it puts a strain on the back and lumbar spine because the natural S-shape of the spine is flattened.

Turning the head to the side also strains the cervical spine and jaw, and the pressure on the muscles and joints can lead to pain and numbness. It’s best to avoid a fluffy pillow – or leave it out altogether.


Side position: good for the spine, but load for the shoulders

Left or right

This sleeping position is basically good because it stretches the spine and so relaxes. In addition, snoring attacks are reduced. However, side sleepers can sometimes lie down on their arm, temporarily pinching 

blood supply or nerves. This is not necessarily harmful to health, but it makes you feel deaf. In addition, saliva tends to flow on the pillow in this location. To relieve the neck and shoulder muscles on which the entire body weight is loaded, you should invest in a thick, well-supported pillow.



It also makes a difference whether you sleep right or left: Sleeping on the right side of your body can promote heartburn. If you are prone to sour bumps, it is better to turn to the left. Lying on the left side presses the internal organs such as the lungs, stomach and liver together, but this does not always have to be harmful.

According to a study in The Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, this can promote digestion by channelling the digestive juices and better secreting the enzymes of the pancreas. In addition, this sleeping position is said to have a positive effect on the heart, lymphatic system and spleen.


Embryonic position: less snoring, but joint-damaging

Many people feel particularly safe in bed when they roll together to the side. Especially for pregnant women, this position is pleasant because it relieves the spine. It gets really comfortable with a side sleeper pillow, over which you put an arm and a leg.

Snoring can be reduced in the embryonic position, however, this sleeping position restricts the diaphragm breathing and can restrict the chest. The tightened knees and chin on the chest can exacerbate joint pain and arthritic discomfort, so it is better to stretch the body a little more.


What is your situation?

If you want to know what your favourite secret position is: sleep out and pay attention to how you lie when you wake up. It is best if you change your sleeping position from time to time.

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I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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