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Expert says common ‘knee up’ sleeping position could be impacting your health

Expert says common ‘knee up’ sleeping position could be impacting your health

A sleep expert and physiotherapist has revealed why your sleep position can affect more than just your sleeping.

Getting your full eight hours of sleep might not be beneficial if you're sleeping in the wrong position, an expert has revealed.

Don't get me wrong, having between six and eight hours is important, while having just four or five hours is certainly not good.

"Studies have shown again and again that the optimal amount of sleep is between six and eight hours a night, preferably at least seven," Dr Dan Friederich of St. Louis, Missouri explains.

"If you go more than nine hours it's also bad for your health. But sleeping less than five is the worst thing you could possibly be doing," the award-winning eye care doctor said.

"Increased mortality all across the board, cardiovascular disease, all types of diseases are associated with sleeping that little."

Now, if you are getting your hours in, make sure you're sleeping in the best position.

Sammy Margo, a sleep expert and physiotherapist, says that the 'freefaller knee up' position - in which you lie on your front with your hands up near your head and one leg cocked to the side - can result in hip problems as it puts unnecessary strain on your front. It also puts pressure on your back.

But it's the 'freefaller' position - which is pretty much the same but without the bent leg - that is the worst according to Margo.


She told The Sun: "Probably the worst position anyone can sleep in, this could leave you with a lifetime of back and neck problems.

"Your lower back bends in towards the mattress, which means it becomes hyper-extended, squashing structures and reducing the space in the lower back area, which may cause aches and pains such as sciatica, knee pain and cramps."

Margo says if you struggle to nod off in any other position then you should use a pillow under your stomach and another under your shins to help take some of the strain off your body.

Meanwhile, the 'foetal' position - on your side curled up - can give you a bit of a sore neck if you're not properly supporting your head with pillows. She also reckons having your face squished against a pillow for hours on end could cause wrinkles.

If you're struggling to sleep, here's some good advice.

Margo added: "This position is still better for you than lying on your stomach, but add a pillow between knees to keep hips neutral."

Next up, the 'soldier' position - which sees the sleeper lying on their back with their arms by their sides.

Margo says this is a bad sleep position for snorers or those with sleep apnoea, and it can also exacerbate acid reflux or heartburn as well as aggravating lower back pain.

She suggests sleeping with a pillow under you knees to try and reduce strain.

If you sleep in the 'starfish' position, on your back with your arms and legs spread, then you might be making yourself more susceptible to nightmares, according to Margo.

Meanwhile, people who sleep in the 'log' position, on their side with arms and legs straight down, might end up with shoulder pains.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images/Pexels

Topics: Sleep, TikTok, Health