How do you know what kind of mattress to purchase? By the position you sleep in. Sleeping in different positions affects your body differently. The four different sleeping positions are back, stomach, side and fetal.
Back sleepers, congratulations! You are in the best sleeping position. Sleeping on your back reduces the amount of pain and stress you put on your body. Your weight is being evenly distributed and therefore no single muscle is being strained. Another benefit to being a back sleeper is preventing wrinkles. Since you don’t put any weight on your face there will be fewer ways to create wrinkles. The best mattress to sleep on if you’re a back sleeper is pretty much any mattress you want. As long as the mattress is level you will be comfortable. If you’re a back sleeper the bad news comes for anyone you share your room or bed with. The sole disadvantage to sleeping in this position is the high likelihood of snoring.
Side and fetal position sleepers aren’t in the best positions, but they’re not in the worst either. These positions are very similar sleep orientations. Side sleepers, you are likely to suffer from neck and back pain. Because of the way your neck is positioned while you’re on your side you’re straining muscles. The head is on a slightly elevated plane. That is also why you side sleepers will often wake up with a numb or sore limb. Also, you are more likely to get wrinkles because of the amount of pressure on your face.
The advantages to sleeping on your side are your open airways, which reduce snoring. This also increases the circulation of blood flow, which reduces acid reflux. For the fetal position sleepers you will notice all of these same advantages and disadvantages, but you will also suffer from one more disadvantage. When sleeping in this curved position you are restricting breathing much more by closing off your airways. If you are a side or fetal position sleeper a highly conforming mattress will benefit you the best. This will provide you with the most even distribution of your weight as possible. If you’re sleeping on a surface that is too firm it is common that you will experience hip, shoulder and lower back pain.
Sorry stomach sleepers, you are definitely in the worst position. The only benefit you will find is decreased snoring because of how open your airways are. In this position you will not only increase the amount of wrinkles you obtain, but also experience the most pain. Stomach sleepers are straining many muscles in this position. When you’re sleeping on your stomach your head remains in the same position for hours, it’s higher up than the rest of your body and turned to one side. Back pain is also common for the stomach sleeper. When you lay on your stomach your back sinks lower than the rest of your body so you’re sleeping sway back all night. For this reason, the best mattress to sleep on is a firm one. This keeps your back as high and close to the rest of your body’s sleeping plane as possible.
Picking a mattress is tricky business. It’s hard to change how we sleep, but it’s not hard to change how it affects us. With the correct mattress the downsides to how we sleep, aren’t so bad. Pick your mattress to meet your needs and you’ll be sleeping like log.
Author: Kyle Scott with Schneiderman’s Sleep Zone- a Minneapolis Mattress Store