The best way to sleep is usually the position that allows you to get sufficient rest. However, your sleeping posture can have a favorable or unfavorable impact on your body, especially if you have underlying medical issues.
Sleep postures generally fit into one of four categories, but there are some exceptions. The benefits of each category may differ depending on various factors, such as the placement of arms or other body parts or the strategic usage of a cushion for support.
Furthermore, research shows sleeping on your back or sleeping sideways is better than sleeping on your stomach or sleeping in the fetal position.
Sleeping on the back
- The head, neck and spine are in a neutral position, which is good for overall health
- Acid reflux may be relieved in this sleeping position
- Snoring and sleep apnea may be worsened
When you sleep on your back, make sure your head, neck and spine are all in a neutral posture (in a straight line). This is considered the finest sleeping position because it relieves pressure on the spine and back while simultaneously relaxing the entire body. A pillow under the knees relieves pressure on the spine and helps retain its natural curve.
This is by far the most common sleep position.
- Reduces acid reflux
- Reduces snoring due to breathing difficulties
- Reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea
- Prevents back and neck pain
- Side-lying fetal position causes back and neck pain
Because this position may not always be comfortable, sleep sideways so that your legs are properly aligned with your back. Placing a pillow between your knees as a preventative measure can assist to stabilize your posture.
Sleeping on the abdomen or face down
- Reduces sleep apnea symptoms, such as snoring
- May help with digestion
- Causes pain in the back, neck and joints
- It may make acid reflux symptoms worse
This is one of the worst sleeping positions because it messes with your spine's natural bend. Sleeping in this position for lengthy periods can cause major injury to the neck and spine muscles.
Sleeping in the fetal position
- This is a sleeping position in which a person's knees are curled up into the tummy or chest.
- One of the most prevalent sleeping postures, however, most people do not realize that it is an unhealthy position to sleep in.
- It causes the spine to flex, resulting in an abnormal C-shape rather than the normal S-shape, which can impact the discs in the spine, causing severe back pain.
- Apart from this, when you sleep in this posture, your discs are forced in the backward directions causing a disc bulge and increasing your risk of spinal disorders, such as a slipped disc. Hence, sleeping in the fetal posture is unhealthy.
Sleeping on your back and sides rather than on your stomach is generally more pleasant and less taxing on your spine. It is crucial to remember and maintain your spine alignment while sleeping because poor posture can lead to persistent and painful ailments in the future.
How does your sleeping position affect posture?
Maintaining an upright stance at your workstation is only one of the aspects of good posture. Because people spend one-third of their life sleeping, it is no wonder that sleeping positions have an impact on the overall alignment.
The natural curve of a healthy spine is an "S" form. When awake and asleep, it's critical to support the body along the length of this curve. A healthy sleeping position allows the muscles and ligaments to fully relax and repair when you sleep, as well as improves circulation and reduces back pain.
How to ensure a good posture while sleeping
An appropriate mattress plays a significant role in maintaining good sleep posture. Choose a mattress that will support your body and allow you to sleep in a variety of positions. You may wish to select a mattress and pillow that complements your preferred sleeping position.
If your hips are wider than your waist, a soft mattress is recommended. If your hips and waist are in one line, a hard mattress is preferable. The mattress must be neither too hard nor too soft.
The same can be said for your pillows. After roughly a year, your pillows should be replaced. The natural curve of your neck should be supported by a decent cushion, which keeps your neck aligned with your chest and lower back.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Leicht L. What's the Best Position to Sleep In? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/best-sleep-positions
Sleep.org. What Is the Best Sleeping Position for Restful Sleep? https://www.sleep.org/best-sleep-position/
Top What Is the Best Sleeping Position Related Articles
Bed Basics and SleepSleep. It seems like the easiest thing in the world. Until it's not. See tips on how to get your best sleep. Our gallery shows you how to get plenty of it.
How Can I Correct My Posture?Almost all of us have had stern words from our parents to correct our hunching or slouching postures during childhood. A good posture is not just aesthetically pleasing. Also, it is the most natural way to maintain a healthy spine and other joints.
How Can I Fall Asleep in 2 Minutes?Adequate quantity and quality of sleep are important for you to stay healthy, both mentally and physically. While for a blessed few dozing off is an easy affair, going to sleep can be a struggle for many. Falling asleep in a short while, such as in 2 minutes, may be achieved by following certain tips and sleep rituals.
How Can I Monitor Sleep Apnea at Home?Sleep apnea is a medical condition where the breathing cycle stops for a short while during sleep. It is a potentially serious condition that can cause several complications including heart diseases and high blood pressure.
How Do I Get Rid of My Fear of Sleeping?If the thought of nightmares or paralysis makes you anxious, you may have somniphobia. Here’s how to overcome fear of sleep and when to seek treatment.
How Do You Fall Asleep in 5 Minutes?Good sleep hygiene means practicing habits that help you get good quality sleep every night. Adequate sleep is essential for your overall mental and physical health. There are no quick fixes to fall asleep within five minutes, but there are strategies to help you fall asleep faster.
Sleep ApneaSleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea, obstructive apnea (OSA), and a mixture of central and obstructive apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep. OSA is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep. OSA is diagnosed and evaluated through patient history, physical examination and polysomnography. There are many complications related to obstructive sleep apnea. Treatments are surgical and non-surgical.
Dos and Don'ts After a Bad Night's SleepYou didn’t sleep last night. Now what? Find out from WebMD what to do to make the best of the day and night ahead.
Sleep Disorders: How to Get Back to SleepWide awake in the middle of the night? These tips will help you peacefully drift back to sleep.
Sleep Disorders: Why You Snore and How to StopMaybe you snore, and it keeps your partner up. Or maybe it's so loud it even wakes you up. But it can be more than a nuisance -- it can be bad for your health, too. Learn more from WebMD's slideshow.
Sleep QuizTake our Sleeping Quiz to learn which sleep disorders, causes, and symptoms rule the night. Trouble falling or staying asleep? Find out which medical treatments fight sleep deprivation, apnea, insomnia, and more!
What Are the Four Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can potentially lead to serious systemic health complications. It is a condition that causes a person to intermittently stop breathing during sleep. Warning signs of sleep apnea include snoring, nighttime gasping, intermittent pauses during sleep, and daytime sleepiness.
Which Way Should You Face Your Bed? Rules for a Better SleepThere is a lack of convincing scientific evidence to say that you should face your bed in a “particular” way or direction. However, as per the ancient Chinese practice, feng shui, you should face your headboard toward the south.