Sleep of adults | 10/19/2021

The benefits of sleeping in the fetal position

The benefits of sleeping in the fetal position

The sleeping position can have an impact on our health. Sleeping in the wrong position for long hours can lead to back problems, stiff neck, affect the quality of our waking hours and aggravate certain health problems. While some people sleep on their backs, stomachs or sides, most sleep in the fetal position, a position that offers many advantages.

Why do we sleep well in the fetal position?

As its name indicates, this position is the position of the fetus in the mother's womb. Reproducing this position during sleep allows us to find the feeling we had in utero, to find this feeling of calmness and therefore to sleep better. It is a reassuring position that is particularly suitable for people with anxiety. This sleeping position "in a ball" is the most relaxing position because it allows the muscles to relax naturally, it relieves the tensions of the back, it is therefore recommended for falling asleep. On the other hand, spending a whole night in the fetal position is not very good physiologically, it causes tension in the neck, spine and pelvis. The rib cage is closed, which can sometimes make breathing difficult.

How can the fetal position be made more comfortable?

Sleeping completely curled up makes it easier to fall asleep, but if you keep this position all night, beware of painful awakenings! To limit tension, it is advisable to extend at least one leg and if possible place a small pillow between the knees to relieve the pelvis. In the foetal position, the head is not always well positioned on the pillow, beware of a stiff neck when you wake up! To avoid this, choose a quality pillow that is firm enough to support the nape of the neck and not so heavy that it can be easily manipulated during the night. This way, the cervical vertebrae are better aligned and the pain disappears! It is obvious that to sleep well in the fetal position thechoice of mattress is essential. A mattress that is soft on the surface and firm in the core is the key to better sleep, regardless of the sleeping position.

On which side should I sleep in the fetal position?

We all have a favourite side, a side where we fall asleep more easily, but did you know that sleeping on the left side is better for your health? Indeed, when you sleep on your right side, all the weight of your body rests on the digestive organs (stomach, spleen and pancreas), this sleeping position can aggravate digestive problems such as heartburn and acid reflux. Sleeping on the left side, on the other hand, promotes digestion and blood circulation. For "right-side sleepers", try switching sides from time to time until you gradually change your sleeping habits to always sleep on your left side.