My best friend Cory and I always say that if you see us sleeping in a bed together, you’d think it was two corpses lying side by side. Yes…we are the enviable back sleepers. It’s been proven that sleeping on your back leads to less aging on your face and chest area because when you sleep on your side or stomach, you get “sleep lines” that eventually turn into “sleep wrinkles.” And I really hate to drop this beauty bomb, but……..side/stomach sleeping makes your boobs droop/lose elasticity quicker, too. #DontShootTheMessenger! This CNN piece breaks it down.
And this endearing New York Times story just came out about a 103-year-old man who eats a fancy dinner every night. He attributes his long and healthy life to…you guessed it…sleeping on his back.
I KNOW some of you are hating me right now and saying you just can’t do it, but here’s the good news–it only takes about three weeks to form a habit, so if you can just force yourself to back sleep for 21 days, you’ll be set for life. I mean, just get someone to handcuff you to the bed. If you’ve read 50 Shades of Grey, you know you’re dying for that anyway.
I actually used to be a side and stomach sleeper, but I had a surgery when I was 20 that forced me to sleep on my back and VOILA: It became a comfortable position. But THEN, I had a (drunken) tailbone injury last Halloween and I couldn’t sleep on my back for about a month. Sure enough, when I finally could again, I had turned into a side sleeper and was like, Oh snap, I need to remedy this shit REAL quick.
A few ways to change your sleep style:
1. Get a therapeutic pillow designed for back sleeping and neck support. It may keep you from turning to the side as the most comfortable position for your face and neck will be on your back.
2. Pretend you’re in Shavasana (corpse) pose when you’re in bed. I don’t know about you guys, but that is definitely the best part of a yoga session for me, and I nearly fall asleep every time. Channel that relaxing energy and get into the “dead” position when attempting to snooze.
3. Put a pillow under your knees. This is comfy anyway (especially if you have lower back problems), and it will keep you from flipping onto your side or stomach.
4. Try different positions to see what feels best. Put your hands above your head, cross your ankles, cross your arms over your chest, put your legs into tree pose, spread out like a starfish, whatever. There was a time when I slept on my back with my arms crossing my chest and seriously wondered if I was part vampire (I also may have been reading Twilight at the time). Now I (weirdly) feel comfortable with my legs in a relaxed tree pose under the covers.
And there’s one thing I haven’t addressed yet: Snoring. Yes, back sleeping is the worst for it. If you’re a nighttime noisemaker, you need to think about how important younger skin, perkier breasts, longer life, and less back/neck problems are to you. Your bedmate complains? Ask him if he likes your lovely lady lumps the way they are or if he’d rather see them droopy and wrinkly. Then hand him a pair of earplugs.