Which Sleep Style Is the Healthiest?

Most of us sleep  less than we should, leaving us weary, bleary, and at greater risk for depression, weight gain, high blood pressure, and several chronic health conditions. But even if you are clocking the expert-recommended 7 to 8 hours a night, your time in bed may be messing with your health in unexpected ways.

According to sleep experts, your preferred sleep position could be giving you back and neck pain, tummy troubles, even premature wrinkles.

Here, discover the best p.m. pose for your body—plus the one you may want to avoid—so you can score the refreshing snooze time you deserve.

The best: Back position

Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts

Bad for: Snoring

The scoop: Sleeping on your back makes it easy for your head, neck, and spine to maintain a neutral position. You’re not forcing any extra curves into your back, It’s also ideal for fighting acid reflux,  "If the head is elevated, your stomach will be below your esophagus so acid or food can’t come back up."

Back-sleeping also helps prevent wrinkles, because nothing is pushing against your face, And the weight of your breasts is fully supported, reducing sagginess.

Back sleepers: Consider this

Snoring is usually most frequent and severe when sleeping on the back.

Perfect pillow: The best pillows for back sleepers are puffy, and their goal is to keep your head and neck supported without propping your head up too much. 

Next best: Side position

Good for: Preventing neck and back pain, reducing acid reflux, snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy

Bad for: Your skin and your breasts

The scoop: Side-sleeping is great for overall health—it reduces snoring and keeps your spine elongated. If you suffer from acid reflux, this is the next best thing to sleeping on your back. The downside: "Sleeping on your side can cause you to get wrinkles, Blame all that smushing of one side of your face into the pillow.

Side sleepers: Consider this

If you’re pregnant, sleep on your left side. It’s ideal for blood flow.

Perfect pillow: The best pillows for side sleepers are thick and firm, helping keep your spine in alignment as you snooze. "You need to fill the space above your shoulder so your head and neck are supported in a neutral position. 

Not ideal: Fetal position

Good for: Snoring less, sleeping during pregnancy.

Bad for: Preventing neck and back pain, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts

The scoop: When you snooze with your knees pulled up high and chin tucked into your chest, you may feel it in the morning, especially if you have an arthritic back or joints, 

"This curved position also restricts diaphragmatic breathing,"  And if you make this your nightly pose, you may bring on premature facial wrinkles and breast sag.

Fetal-position sleepers: Consider this

 Just straighten out a bit—try not to tuck your body into an extreme curl.

Perfect pillow: One plump pillow—the same as side position, to give your head and neck support.

The worst: Stomach position

Good for: Easing snoring

Bad for: Avoiding neck and back pain, minimizing wrinkles, maintaining perky breasts

The scoop: "Stomach-sleeping makes it difficult to maintain a neutral position with your spine, It puts pressure on joints and muscles, which can irritate nerves and lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. "Think about the soreness you’d feel if you kept your neck turned to one side for 15 minutes during the day,

In this position you have your head to one side for hours at a time. You won’t necessarily feel it the next day, but you may soon start to ache.

Stomach sleepers: Consider this

 Do you snore? Stomach-sleeping may even be good for you, Facedown keeps your upper airways more open. So if you snore and aren’t suffering from neck or back pain, it’s fine to try sleeping on your belly.

Perfect pillow: The best pillows for stomach sleepers are thin; one that's about 3 inches thick will keep your spine aligned while you sleep.

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