NO ONE wants to listen to their partner snoring all night long – or be woken up by their own snoring, for the matter.
Luckily, sleep expert Kiera Pritchard from Eachnight.com revealed a simple trick meant to prevent snoring and help people get a well-rested slumber.
Her tip? Just turn to the side.
"Perhaps the biggest advantage to sleeping on your side instead of your back is that side sleeping can prevent snoring," she stated.
"Back sleeping can often lead to worsened snoring and obstructive sleep apnea."
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Explaining what happens when you sleep on your back, Pritchard said: "Your jaw, tongue, and other soft tissues collapse in your throat when you lie on your back.
"The collapsed soft tissue narrows your airway and makes breathing more difficult, thus resulting in snoring."
She also explained that sleeping on your stomach is another way to prevent snoring, but it's not as effective because it causes people to misalign the neck region of their spine, which can narrow the airway.
And while sleeping on your side is the best way to prevent snoring, Pritchard said there are several other benefits that come with it.
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PREVENT SLEEP APNEA
Sleep apnea is a condition in which "breathing repeatedly stops and starts," according to the Mayo Clinic.
If left untreated, several health issues such as high blood pressure, acid reflux, weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and asthma can develop, according to Pritchard.
"Through side sleeping, you can significantly reduce your chances of having obstructive sleep apnea," she said.
Sleeping on your side also helps your digestion system do its job by preventing acid from rising and holding "stomach contents in place better," as noted by Pritchard.
"When you lie flat on your front or back, your stomach’s acid can flow up your esophagus, causing damage," she explained.
"However, lying on your side ensures gravity will keep your stomach acid from flowing upward."
Another way to help your digestive system function smoothly at night is to eat a few hours before hitting the hay and to avoid certain foods at night, according to sleep science coach Sanchita Sen.
GET THOSE TOXINS OUT
"Your body has a waste system known as the glymphatic system," Pritchard said.
"Its job is to clear out any waste in the brain and may also help deliver compounds such as glucose, lipids, amino acids, and neurotransmitters."
Noting that how you sleep can affect this system and how it works, she confirmed that side-sleeping is the best way to allow it to function properly.
She added: "Scientists have suggested that its waste disposal function may play a key role in preventing neurodegenerative diseases – for example, Alzheimer’s disease is linked to the pile up of proteins in the brain."
SO, IS THERE A DOWNSIDE TO SLEEPING ON YOUR SIDE?
Despite all the benefits that sleeping on your side offers, there is a potential downside.
Pritchard said that people sometimes shift their spine too much while they sleep on their sides, causing issues with posture.
She said the best way to prevent this is by using knee and body pillows, which help keep your body in place.
"For side sleepers, the best pillows to use will be ones that have a high loft between four to six inches," she explained.
She also said memory foam mattresses are ideal, as they are affordable and great for pressure relief.
And for those who need help falling asleep in general, there are also tricks to help with that.
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For instance, a fitness guru shared how people in the military are taught to fall into a slumber in just two minutes.
Plus, a productivity expert revealed her five tips for calming your brain down and preparing your body for sleep.
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