When you go to sleep at night, you hope to wake up feeling refreshed and restored—not achy and sore. But if you're consistently waking up with new aches and pains, it might be time to take a closer look at your sleep position. While most people focus on establishing healthy sleep habits, like reviewing noise and light exposure and bedding choices, few give much thought to how their body is supported when they lie down at night.
Sleeping on the stomach can be uncomfortable and cause back pain. This posture compresses the inferior vena cava, which can lead to decreased blood flow and circulation. This position can also increase the risk of acid reflux and snoring. In addition, sleeping on your stomach can contribute to facial wrinkles, because your head is twisted and stretched unnaturally.
For most adults, the best sleeping position is on your back or side. These positions are better for supporting the natural curvature of your spine, which can help prevent aches and pains. Sleeping on your back may also reduce snoring and nasal congestion. If you are a stomach sleeper, try propping up a pillow or blanket under your abdomen to help support your stomach and keep your spine in a better alignment.
For those who follow feng shui or vastu shastra, you might want to avoid sleeping with your feet pointed toward the door, since this is considered an unlucky pose that mimics the way a corpse is carried out of a room. The optimal position is with your head pointing southward while you sleep, in line with the Earth's magnetic pull, which is believed to promote good health.