The Pros and Cons of Sleeping on Your Back


Although it’s the closest thing to feeling like you’re lying in a coffin, some prefer sleeping flat on their back. There are pros and cons of sleeping on your back, as with any sleeping position, but this list might be the longest.

Special to The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Pro: Reduces Acid Reflux & Heartburn

It’s easy to forget the aftereffects of eating deliciously spicy food as we scarf it down. But those 2:00 a.m. wake-up calls from indigestion and heartburn will make you want to swear it off forever. Fortunately, besides sipping on some antacid or popping a pill for gas relief, you can also combat this problem by sleeping on your back.

Since you slightly elevate your chest when you’re on your back, you significantly reduce your chances of heartburn. Moreover, a back position puts your stomach below your esophagus, restricting the path acid takes to your digestive system.

Con: Worsens Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder that inflicts millions of individuals, requiring treatment such as a CPAP device to keep things under control. As you’re beginning to use your CPAP machine, it may take time to acclimate yourself to your mask and its components, particularly since being on your back to sleep isn’t conducive to CPAP therapy because it can cut off your airflow.

Pro: Prevents Neck and Shoulder Stress

It might be difficult to maintain your neck alignment if you’re a side or stomach sleeper. With the proper pillow placement, being a back sleeper can ensure your neck is in the best position. Additionally, sleeping in an alternative position may cause excess stress on your shoulders, whereas lying on your back puts minimal pressure on them.

Con: Lower Back Pain

As good as the supine position is for your neck and shoulders, the opposite happens for your lower back. The rest of your body will sink in this position, putting more pressure on your lower back and glute region.

Pro: Prevents Wrinkles

When you’re laying on your back, you’re not smushing your face into your pillow or bed, helping your face remain blemish-free. Any way we can slow down the aging process is worth looking into, especially if you’re doing everything in your power to stay young.

Con: Disrupted Sleep

A back position isn’t for everyone, so if your doctor wants you to do so for whatever reason, your sleeping patterns could go awry. You can do what you can to stay on your back, but you’ll inevitably turn on your side if you cannot get comfortable.

The pros and cons of sleeping on your back illustrate what you can expect if you must adhere to a doctor’s orders. Everything we do has a learning curve, including our sleeping position. Stay the course, and it will become second nature.

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