When we go to bed at night, we give relatively little thought to the position in which we fall asleep, because our body automatically knows which position feels most comfortable for us. Researchers have found out that we all have a preferred sleeping position, which can even indicate our state of health and provide clues as to what character traits we possess.
In this article, we’ll provide you with all the essential information you need as a back sleeper: Which factors you should take into consideration when buying a new pillow, how you should adjust your mattress as a back sleeper and which character traits this preference is thought to reveal about you.
What are the sleeping positions?
In addition to the typical and well-known sleeping positions of back position, side position and stomach position, there are also rarer positions such as fetal, mummy, sphynx or flamingo positions. While the best sleeping position depends on what’s right for you as an individual, you should keep in mind the health implications it might have.
Very few people succeed in changing their sleeping position overnight. However, if you struggle with pain in your neck and/or cervical spine, you should avoid the prone or stomach position. If you have sleep apnea or typically snore at night, it is best to adopt a position other than the supine position.
The safest position is considered to be on your side, to be exact on your left side. However, we rarely remain in one position throughout the entire night, as we change our position about 25 times per night on average. This is also better for our body, as it prevents one part or side of our body from being unduly stressed.
Here are the most typical sleep positions and their popularity:
About 7 percent of the population prefers the supine position. Side position About 68 percent, and thus the majority, like to sleep on their side.
About 17 percent of the population sleeps in the prone position.
Fetal, mummy, sphynx or flamingo position
These sleeping positions are relatively rare and found most frequently in children. By the time we reach adolescence, we make the shift to the more typical positions.
Back sleeper pillows: Which one is the best?
When choosing a new pillow, you should always ask yourself which pillow is best for which sleeping position. After all, the main task of a pillow is to fill the empty space between your head and your mattress. This helps prevent your neck and neck muscles from becoming overstretched. How much space there is between your head and the mattress depends on your sleeping position.
For back sleepers, the space isn’t as large as it is for side sleepers, so you should choose a flatter pillow that allows your body to lie horizontally on your mattress. In addition, a narrow pillow is more suitable so that the shoulders can sink into the mattress. The pillow should lie beneath your shoulders, because this places your cervical vertebrae in an incorrect position.
A neck support pillow can also be a good fit for back sleepers, as it will help you stay in the orthopedically correct position while you sleep. When buying a new pillow, it is best to go to the store together with a friend or ask the professional staff for advice, so that they can judge whether you are lying straight or not.
Mattresses for back sleepers
Years of sleeping on a mattress that is too soft or too hard can cause us to suffer from higher rates of neck pain, back pain or headaches. It’s important to relieve the spine as much as possible, especially when we’re lying down for hours. If the mattress is too hard, our body can’t sink into it properly, which can lead to a kink in the spine. A mattress that is too soft doesn’t provide sufficient support to our muscles and causes our body to sag.
The best mattress for back sleepers is one with a variable degree of firmness. Basically, back sleepers should lie in a flat posture, so that neither the head nor the legs remain in an elevated position while we sleep. The perfect mattress for back sleepers should have some give in the shoulder area as well as in the lower back area, allowing these parts of the body to sink into the mattress.
Adjusting a slatted frame for back sleepers
For many people, the task of correctly adjusting a slatted bed frame often proves more difficult than expected. As with your pillow and mattress, you should adjust your slatted frame to your preferred sleeping position. A good slatted frame should be able to provide optimal support for the spine and thus relieve the shoulder girdle.
Another task is to ensure that the mattress is sufficiently ventilated. The spacing of the individual slats in your slatted bed frame provides better air circulation under the bed and reduces the accumulation of moisture in the mattress. This is important in preventing the development of mold and dust mites.
While shopping for a new slatted bed frame, back sleepers should make sure that their slatted frame provides adequate support for the buttock area. Furthermore, a slatted frame with overarched spring slats is recommended for back sleepers; it should have some reinforcement in the middle zone. This provides additional support to the lumbar vertebrae or intervertebral disc area. The pelvis should lie on the part of the slatted frame that is best supported.
What to do if back sleepers snore?
Back sleepers are more likely to snore or to experience interrupted breathing at night. The anatomical cause of snoring is usually an altered structure of the upper airway. As a result, the airflow is forced to push past the altered structure, which often creates a noise. In addition, the muscles in our neck relax and slacken while we sleep and the air we breathe can cause them to vibrate.
At night, back sleepers snore more often because the base of their tongue slides toward the throat, leaving the latter partially closed. Back sleepers who often snore can prevent this by lying in a slightly elevated position, for example, with a special pillow or an adjustable slatted frame.
What does sleeping on your back reveal about you?
Back sleepers are said to be very self-confident and completely at peace with themselves and their surroundings. In addition, back sleepers who tend to hold onto their pillow as they fall asleep are considered to be particularly helpful and excellent listeners.
Unlike the prone position, sleeping on your back is healthier because it allows for a good level of blood circulation and prevents undue pressure on the organs. However, as already mentioned, this condition is also conducive to snoring; in addition, heartburn is also not uncommon amongst back sleepers.
Pillows for every sleeping position at Zizzz
At Zizzz, we make products from sustainable and natural materials. Not only are these more comfortable for you, they’re also better for the environment. For this reason, we offer pillows with three different fillings: goose down, duck down and pure virgin Swiss wool.
Our goose down pillows are available in four different sizes. The down comes from ethically-correct European farms and has been awarded with the DownPass certificate. The European duck down pillows are available in six different sizes. Our adjustable wool pillows allow you to determine their thickness yourself by adding or removing the wool balls, and so are suitable for different sleeping positions.