Sleep positions: 15 tips to sleep better

Almost everyone has their preferred sleeping position. Whether you prefer to sleep on your back, side, or stomach, sleeping position can affect your health. In this series of photos, we will tell you how you can sleep better with the right sleeping position and counteract health problems such as headaches, neck or back pain, snoring and  menstrual cramps  .

Sleep on your side if you have shoulder pain

For  shoulder pain  , sleeping on your side can help relieve the sore shoulder. A pillow under the upper arm can provide additional support. However, this sleeping position is only recommended if only one of the two shoulders hurts, so that you can sleep on the other side. If both shoulders hurt, you should sleep on your back.

Sleeping position for lower back problems

In  the case of lower back pain  , it can help to relieve the lumbar spine. You should sleep on your back and put a small pillow under your knees.

Against back pain after sleeping

If you suffer from back pain, you should sleep  on your back.  In order to ensure that the muscles in the body regions that are lying on it are evenly loaded and that blood is supplied, the supine position should be alternated with the  side position  . Placing a pillow between your knees makes it more comfortable.

Sleeping on your stomach causes tension

Those who prefer to sleep on their stomach put a strain on their back and neck. This sleeping position does not support the natural S-shape of the spine and puts strain on the lower back. The head is turned to the side, which promotes tension in the neck. People with back or  neck pain  should therefore avoid this sleeping position.

Rolled up towel helps with neck pain

If you have frequent neck pain after sleeping, lying on your back is recommended as a sleeping position. A rolled up towel can help against the symptoms. Simply place this in the neck and place it under the pillow to support the neck area. However, the towel should not be too big.

Neck support pillow for neck pain

An orthopedic neck support pillow is a professional alternative to the towel roll. Especially if you choose to sleep on your back, this relieves the shoulders in the neck area, which can prevent neck pain.

Counteract headaches after sleep

To prevent  headaches from occurring while sleeping  , one should choose the supine position as a sleeping position. The spine, neck and head should form as straight a line as possible. A flat pillow or a neck support pillow can help here. To prevent tossing and turning while you sleep, a few pillows around your head can help stabilize the position.

Sleeping position against snoring

People who snore frequently should avoid sleeping on their backs if possible. In this position, the  tongue  can slip back slightly, narrowing the airway. Snorers should therefore sleep on their stomach or side. The latter variant is healthier for your neck and back.

The right sleeping position for hip pain

If  you have hip pain  , you should sleep on your back. This sleeping position does not put increased pressure on the hips.

Sleeping with a dry cough

If you suffer  from a dry cough  , you should sleep with your upper body elevated. This means that less mucus collects in the airways and they are less irritated. In addition to an adjustable slatted frame, pillows can also be used to elevate the upper body at night.

Sleeping position for menstrual cramps

In the case of menstrual pain, the so-called embryonic position can help to alleviate the symptoms. The abdominal muscles are relieved by the drawn-up legs and the rounded back.

The right sleeping position for heartburn

If you  suffer from heartburn frequently  , you should sleep on your left side. This can reduce the risk of heartburn. This is because the esophagus is on the right side of the stomach. Lying on your right side or on your back is not recommended for heartburn.

Better sleep for edema and leg pain

If  you have water in your legs  , it can help to elevate them overnight with a couple of pillows. This prevents further lymphatic fluid from accumulating in the legs; instead, it drains better.

Sleeping position for heart problems

In order to prevent symptoms such as  tachycardia  or shortness of breath when sleeping, those affected should lie on their right side. If you lie on the left side, the blood can flow more poorly into the left atrium of the heart.

The right sleeping position during pregnancy

During pregnancy, sleeping on the side is recommended, more precisely: in the  left side position.  This ensures that blood can flow freely in the lower vena cava (vena cava) on the right side of the body.

In late pregnancy in particular, the weight of the uterus can compress the vena cava when lying on the right side or on the back. This can also negatively affect the blood supply to the fetus. Symptoms of the so-called vena cava syndrome in the mother include  nausea , dizziness and cold sweats. A pillow on your back can help you lie on your side.


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