What Is the Best Sleeping Position?

Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2021
best way to sleep
The best way to sleep is in a position that allows you to get sufficient rest. However, research shows that good sleep posture comes from sleeping on your back or side.

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

  • Advantages
    • 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
  • Disadvantages

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.

Side sleeping

This is by far the most common sleep position.

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

  • Advantages
    • Reduces sleep apnea symptoms, such as snoring
    • May help with digestion
  • Disadvantages

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.


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Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2021
Foley L. Best Sleeping Positions. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleeping-positions

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/