Every night, you slip upstairs and tuck yourself up in bed, without a thought of whether your favourite sleeping position is healthy for you or not. But do you know about the health and beauty benefits of sleeping on your back?
“Not a chance – I’m a stomach sleeper”, we hear you say. But if it was easy, it wouldn’t be ‘training’ would it? Read on to discover how to sleep on your back and why it might be a good idea to do so.
Improved spinal health and posture
Lying on your back for sleep is one of the best positions for keeping your spine in neutral alignment, as you are not contorted into any crazy shapes for endless hours. This sleeping position is particularly good if you suffer with back pain.
For those suffering with back pain, when lying on your back you can place a pillow under your knees to help maintain the normal curve of your lower backbone. You can also roll up a towel and place it under the small of your back for extra support.
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Reduced chance of acid reflux
Have you ever had heartburn before? Also known as acid reflux – this is a condition where acid from your stomach leaks into your throat which can cause a burning sensation, coughing or hoarseness. This condition is often worsened when you lie down, because your stomach and throat are on the same level. However sleeping on your back is known as the best position to ward off acid reflux, but you will need to make sure that your pillow keeps your head elevated enough so that it is below your oesophagus.
Some people believe that sleeping on your back helps to drain fluid from your body, which means that you’re less likely to wake up in the morning with a puffy face. Because your face is not in contact with the pillow, it also means you aren’t smothering your face in bacteria that builds up over time and can cause spots.
Want to be wrinkle-free?
When you sleep on your side, you squash your face down into a fluffy pillow and stay there for hours until you need to roll over. In doing so, you may wake up in the morning with creases etched into your face. As a fit young thing, you have the collagen in your face which allows it to spring back into shape but older people may find these wrinkles take longer to disappear. Therefore, some people believe these wrinkles may become embedded, especially if they have a habit of sleeping on the same side night after night. These are known as ‘sleep lines’.
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How to sleep on your back
Have you read enough to make you want to sleep on your back yet? Read on to discover our top tips for sleeping on your back with the correct support.
One top tip for getting a good night’s rest is by using a firm pillow to support your neck. You can even use a pillow to prop under your knees to make sure your back is properly aligned. If you are worried about moving position while you are asleep and want to remain on your back, you can use a further two pillows under your arms.
Once you’ve sorted your pillow support, you will need to make sure you have a firm mattress. If yours is in any way saggy or lumpy, it may be time to replace your mattress. An adequate mattress will support all the pressure points on your back while you sleep.
Avoid late meals
Having midnight snacks or a late heavy dinner can make it difficult to fall asleep – this is especially problematic when you are trying to learn to sleep on your back! For the best chance of relaxing before a restful night, don’t eat any food within three hours of going to bed.
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You may find that for the first few nights you wake up on your stomach on your side. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you have failed! You could have spent most of the night on your back so it’s not the end of the world. Try, try and try again if you don’t get the hang of it immediately, as it will take patience to succeed. Roll your head back to a central position if you find yourself out of position.
Now you know how to train yourself to sleep on your back, it’s time to get practising. You will be able to do it in no time. If you need further help with replacing your mattress, contact our experts today.