London: The best position to sleep is on your backs while the worst position is sleeping on abdomen that can cause numbness, tingling and muscle pain, an expert said.
"People who feel groggy despite having a solid eight hours shut eye may benefit from changing their sleeping position. Those who lie on their backs are more likely to wake feeling rested due to the position reducing their risk of aches and pains, as well as heartburn", sleep expert Professor Shelby Harris from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said.
"Despite this position's benefits, only eight percent of people sleep facing up, with most opting to lie on their sides, which can worsen shoulder and hip pain, as well as causing acid reflux", Professor Harris said. "Lying on your front, which only seven percent of people do, is the worst sleeping position due to it putting pressure on the entire body, which can cause numbness, tingling, and muscle and joint pain."
Despite her recommendations, Professor Harris added, "Although it is commonly recommended that sleeping on your back is the best position to sleep in, comfort is key."
Around 10 percent of people in the US suffer from chronic insomnia, which occurs for at least three days a week for as many months. Sleeping on your side is thought to increase people's risk of heartburn due to it causing their food pipes to loosen.This can result in acid creeping up the oseophagus, leaving a burning sensation. Lying on the left side eases heartburn due to it closing a muscle that prevents acid entering the gullet, according to MailOnline.
If people insist on sleeping on their sides, Professor Harris recommends they use a thick pillow to support their heads, as well as tucking one under their knees to ease pressure on their lower backs. A flat pillow can reduce neck strain in those who prefer to lie on their front.
For those struggling to switch their sleeping positions, Professor Harris advises they sew a tennis ball into the lining of their pyjamas, which creates discomfort if they lie a certain way. "This comes after research released in January this year suggested less than eight hours sleep is linked to anxiety and depression", she said.
Insomniacs are less able to overcome negative thoughts than those who get sufficient shut eye, a study found. Being unable to nod off also reduces people's ability to disengage from negative emotions, the research adds.
Study author Professor Meredith Coles, from Binghamton University, said, "We found that people in this study have some tendencies to have thoughts get stuck in their heads, and their elevated negative thinking makes it difficult for them to disengage with the negative stimuli that we exposed them to. We realized over time that this might be important - this repetitive negative thinking is relevant to several different disorders like anxiety, depression and many other things."
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