Certain sleep positions are better in providing better sleep because it enables your body to feel more relaxed at night time. This can be achieved if the body is kept in proper alignment.
This is probably why some people try to find ways on how to change sleep positions, albeit being a challenging task to take.
Some studies support the idea that sleep positions are determined by personality types. If this is actually true, then transitioning between sleeping positions prove to be a difficult feat. After all, one’s subconscious is not easy to control.
It is not impossible, although it may be a little hard at first. But, if you apply the tips you will learn here, you will be surprised at how smooth the transition will be.
Changing Sleep Positions with Ease
A lot of people are side sleepers. Most people love to sleep on their sides. Some are more likely to take fetal position while there are those who prefer sleeping like a log facing one side. Then there are those who love to cuddle or spoon. Most people stick to their side of the bed for the rest of their lives.
Advantages: Side sleeping is beneficial to a person’s overall health. For one obvious reason, misalignment of the body is minimal. Mostly just on the neck region, but this can be remedied easily by using the proper pillow. Also, this position does not inhibit or put pressure on any organ.
Additionally, pregnant women experience better blood circulation when sleeping on the left side propped up with some extra pillows. Adding a pillow in between the growing belly and the bed is good additional support and source of comfort.
For people who suffers from indigestion, side sleeping promotes digestion. Back pain is also not often encountered in this sleep position.
Disadvantages: Chest and facial wrinkling are likely to happen because the certain side pressing on the pillow gets increased pressure. Breast sagging for women can also occur, but by wearing a soft bra while sleeping, it can be avoided.
Tips: If you have sciatica or back pain, place a pillow between the knees and hug your knees closer to your chest. Head pillows that are good for you should be those that can secure the neck and head firmly in a steady straight line from the bottom of the skull all the way to the tailbone. However, the pillow should not be too hard to the point that it is no longer comfortable.
Personality type: Fetal – sensitive on the inside but acts tough; Log – relaxed and chill, very extroverted, but can also be strict and bossy; Yeamers (those who sleep with their arms out in front) – takes time making decisions, but is always on the move towards their dreams.
Those who lie on their back, obviously. Most people who sleep on this position tend to be snorers. However, this is the position that has the least change to the body’s natural alignment.
Advantages: Sleeping on your back is perfect for the spine. This also does not place any pressure on any organs, like side sleeping. Also for those who have injuries on their shoulder, this is preferred because it offers no interaction on this area.
Disadvantages: Snorers and people suffering from sleep apnea will just worsen their conditions. When you sleep on your back, your jaw will drop openly with the gravity placing pressure on the base of the tongue, which then restricts the flow of air.
Tip: If you are wondering about how to sleep on your back properly, using a thin pillow is a good way to start.
Personality: Starfish (arms above the head) – good listeners but introverted; soldiers (arms by the sides) – reserved but sets high expectations.
A lot of people also sleep on their stomach, but this is the least adviced sleeping position.
Advantages: If you have, sunburn, blister, or something similar on your back, you will benefit from sleeping on your stomach.
Disadvantages: Plenty. It puts pressure on the neck, since your head will be facing one side creating tension on the area. Then, there is the pressure on your chest and stomach. Wrinkles might also develop due to the interaction of the face and the pillow. Also, it is highly advised not to let babies sleep on their stomachs.
Tip: If you are wondering how to sleep on your stomach can be made easy for you, try the thinnest pillow you can find. Or better yet, skip the pillow.
Personality: Free fallers (those who have arms to their sides) – extroverts that are sensitive, anxiety ridden individuals.
Once you know which sleeping position to take, start practicing. Here is a single most effective tip you can use to fully make the easy transition:
Use Pillows To Keep Yourself In Place.
How? Here are some ways pillows will become your powerful allies towards this change.
If You Want to Sleep On Your Back
- If you are concerned about “why can’t i fall asleep on my back”, well the good news is here, putting one pillow on each side of your body is a good way to secure yourself of sleeping on the back. A good head pillow to sleep on your back is something that is of medium loft and softness. Too high, you might end up putting your neck more forward than it should. Too soft, your head might sink lower than where it should be.
- Add another one in the middle of your knees. All of these pillows will help you to transition to sleeping on your back in no time. The pillows will lock you in your current position (which is sleeping on your back), so you will not be rolling on to your stomach or flipping to your side.
If You Want to Sleep On Your Side
- If you want to become a side sleeper, positioning pillows are your best bet. Extra pillows will benefit former stomach and back sleepers.
- For those who fall asleep on their bellies, placing a pillow in front of your belly while lying on your side will imitate the feeling of your former sleep habit. Additionally, it will prevent you from rolling over to your tummy once again.
- For former back sleepers, a heavy pillow placed behind you will stop you from rolling over to your previous sleeping position.
- You can try sleeping on a couch for a few days, securing yourself in both sides. With limited space, there will be limited movement while you zzz the night away.
If You Want to Sleep On Your Stomach
- If you think stomach sleeping is good for you, train yourself to sleep without a pillow on your head. You can use an adjustable pillow, so you would not be overwhelmed of the change. For some stomach sleepers, throwing away their pillow seem to be a wrong choice, an adjustable pillow can help pinpoint exactly what their preferences are.
- Put some heavy pillows on both sides to make sure you stay in place.
- Experts will have you sleeping on your side or by your back, reduce the pressure on your lower back and neck by sleeping with a pillow beneath your hips. Doing this will elevate your pelvis away from the surface of the mattress and reducing the downward bend your back creates when sleeping on the stomach.
- Changing your mattress is also advised if you need more support on the pelvis. A soft mattress can worsen lower back pain. Of course, the above solution is a lot cheaper, so maybe you might want to give that a try first before making an expensive purchase.
Continue practicing on the position that you chose. A sudden change in sleep position can be quite disarming. You need to be patient with yourself. Learn how to reposition yourself in the middle of the night. Sooner, your body will recognize the efforts in changing your sleep position and will begin to adapt. For motivation, track your progress and star a rewards system. If you din yourself sleeping on your target position when you wake up in the morning, gift yourself a hearty breakfast. If not, keep trying because practice makes perfect.
A Bit of Motivation: How I Changed my Sleeping Position
How long does it take to change your sleep position? Well, honestly, nothing is for certain. Getting used to a new position requires time and continuous efforts. According to studies, only 5% of individuals attempt to change their sleep habits.
In my personal experience, I decided to shift to left side sleeping from my usual go-to position of right side sleeping. I have been suffering from reflux for years. It started when I was in college, all those coffee to power through a day of attending classes and a whole night of studying and cramming to get all the submissions done by next morning (you know the drill) got to me.
Since medications rarely help my case (my body probably got used to most of the proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers in the world), I decided to go the natural way, such as drinking apple cider vinegar in the morning. This helped, but of course I need to get rid of trigger factors like food and even unhealthy bedtime habits. A friend recommended to me an article about side sleeping. I am a side sleeper, but I favor the right side usually. You might think it is not all that hard to shift from right to left. At least I am already sleeping on my side, right?
Nope! It is just the same. It took me about six weeks to fully adjust. Even then, I still sometimes end up waking up on my right side. Of course, this can happen a few times, so I do not beat myself up over it. What method did I try to transition to the best sleeping position for me, you ask? I slept on the couch for more than three weeks. The minimal space left no room for shifty movements!
How will you know if you should return back to your former position?
If you notice that when there is a night that you successfully fell asleep on the position you are targeting, you felt more refreshed upon waking up in the morning. Then, it is a good idea to initiate the change. However, if the result is the opposite, you might want to halt the process and go back to your old sleeping habit. Unless of course, the change is health-related. If advised by the physician, try to push for it a little more until you are more comfortable.
Changing position takes time. Also, you need to gear yourself up for the change. You need to make sure you are using the proper accessories, such as mattress and pillows, before you start on your little project. A special precaution: if the change is for health related reasons, do not assume that the shift will qualify as treatment for your condition. This is only a supplementary solution. Have a talk with your physician for a more medical intervention/approach.