Sleep in the fetal position; Advantages and disadvantages

Sleep in the fetal position; Advantages and disadvantages

According to psychology, the position we sleep in says a lot about our personality. One of the most common, especially among women, is sleeping in the fetal position. Sleeping curled up like a fetus in the womb is a choice to feel more secure, but also relaxed and away from the worries and stresses of everyday life and is assumed according to statistics by 41% of adults.

The fetal position also brings several benefits not only for the rest of the person but also from the point of view of the health of the body. It is indeed one of the most recommended by doctors because it helps maintain the correct posture of the back during the night. So, let's look at the features of the fetal position, advantages and contraindications.



Sleeping in the fetal position: etymology, meaning and characteristics

The position takes the name "fetal" because it recalls the posture of the fetus in the womb: in a position curled up on one side, the knees bent and the arms crossed on the chest, sometimes even hugging the pillow. The matrix is ​​not only evoked from the physical point of view, but also from the meaning.

Indeed, adopting the fetal position to sleep is to recreate a cocoon in which to feel safe and protected from the outside world. According to psychology, a person who sleeps in the fetal position is a person who feels the need to be reassured, who is often withdrawn and withdrawn into himself, and who during his sleep wants to regain the feeling of being a child in order to find a protection .

Sleeping curled up is also a way to defend yourself from stress and seek comfort in the rest of your bed. Sleep becomes a time for sheltering from the cares of life and finding relief. Often, those who adopt this position often choose to pull the blankets up to the head, so that they are wrapped in a real bundle.

Sleeping in the fetal position is therefore a choice dictated by your mind but is also the most recommended by doctors to obtain the right posture. This does not apply to everyone, especially those with particular back and body problems, and it is important in these cases to contact an expert to find out the most suitable position. However, the benefits of the fetal position are many and significant.


  1. Ideal for back and sciatica

The first benefit of the fetal position concerns the back. This in effect, together with the posture on one side and the scrunched legs, maintains the freedom and flexibility necessary to move during sleep without causing trauma. In addition, the vertebrae remain well aligned, which avoids pain and back problems.

Likewise, the fetal position helps people with sciatic pain and is the most recommended posture for this disorder. Indeed, as we have seen, the back is kept straight and if you hold a pillow between the legs, the pressure on the sciatic nerve is reduced.


  1. Benefits of sleeping on your side

Being in the fetal position necessarily means sleeping on your side, which has additional benefits. Sleeping on the left side, for example, helps with digestion and against heartburn and nausea. The alignment of the organs reduces the leakage of gastric juices from the stomach to the esophagus, which is a source of discomfort. Sleeping on the right side, on the other hand, is an excellent choice for those who suffer from hypertension as it reduces the pressure on the heart and therefore the heart rate.


  1. Relieves stress

As we have seen, those who sleep in the fetal position are often trying to find relief from stress. By reconstructing the position in the amniotic fluid and in the mother's womb, it is easier to rest and protect yourself from the worries of the outside world.


  1. Respiratory problems

The position of the head on one side and the aligned lungs also allow for easier breathing and counteract breathing problems that can occur when sleeping on your back or on your stomach.


  1. For pregnant women

Finding the right sleeping position during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester, is difficult for expectant mothers. The fetal position is also the most recommended for them, because in this way the belly is not compressed, but you do not have to carry all the weight on you, but rather lay it on your side.


Contraindications of sleep in the fetal position

The benefits of fetal posture are therefore different, but it is not recommended for everyone and certain precautions must be taken. The main contraindication is for people with neck or neck pain, as this position could fuel the ailments. In addition, it is good to pay attention to the choice of the pillow, because often it is not the position in itself which poses problem, but the pillow and the mattress on which you rest.

Finally, it is important to often change the side on which you sleep, because resting on the left and on the right have contraindications. The former seems to cause more nightmares, while the latter compresses the spleen and interferes with the lymphatic system. In either case, keeping the weight on one side all night tends to compress the organs and stop blood flow.


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