Sleep – the one sleep position you should avoid or risk back and neck pain

Everyone needs to get enough sleep to help the body to function properly, according to the NHS. But, when you get your head down for a good night’s rest, you must avoid sleeping on your stomach, it’s been revealed.

Getting good quality rest is crucial. Without enough sleep, you’ll probably wake up feeling grumpy and irritable.

The way you sleep could be influencing your quality of rest, and choosing the right sleep position is very important.

Falling asleep on your stomach should be avoided at all costs, warned the National Sleep Foundation.

It’s seriously bad for your overall health, and you’ll likely wake up with back or neck pain, it said.

“Your sleeping pose can have a major impact on your slumber, as well as your overall health,” it claimed.

“Poor p.m. posture could potentially cause back and neck pain, fatigue, sleep apnea, muscle cramping, impaired circulation, headaches, heartburn, tummy troubles, and even premature wrinkles.

“While [sleeping on your stomach] is good for easing snoring, it’s bad for practically everything else.

“Seven per cent of adults pick this pose, but it can lead to back and neck pain, since it’s hard to keep your spine in a neutral position.”

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People that sleep on their stomach also tend to put added pressure on their muscles and joints.

That can lead to irritated nerves, and you’ll likely wake up feeling numb and tingly.

If you can’t help but sleep on your front, there are ways around it to make it slightly better for your health.

Try lying face down, instead of having your head turned to one angle, with a pillow propping up your forehead.


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The very best sleep position is on your back, added the National Sleep Foundation.

It allows the head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position, while also helping to prevent acid reflux.

“Just be sure to use a pillow that elevates and supports your head enough,” it said.

“You want your stomach to be below your oesophagus to prevent food or acid from coming up your digestive tract.”


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If you often struggle to fall asleep, it’s a good idea to try winding down before bed. That can include any way of relaxing the body, including reading a book or lying down quietly.

Some people find that having a warm bath before bed helps them to fall asleep faster, while others prefer writing a to-do list.

It’s important to keep to regular sleep hours, as this programmes the brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine, said the NHS.

The bedroom should be sleep-friendly, and a relaxing environment. It should be dark, quiet, tidy and kept at a temperature between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius.

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