We spend a lot of time telling you how choosing the right mattress can affect your health, how well rested you are, and your overall ability to be comfortable in certain sleeping positions. All of that is true. However, the sleep position that you choose can also have an impact. In fact, your sleeping position could lead to neck, back, or hip pain, sleep apnea, muscle cramps, poor circulation, stomach discomfort, headaches, and other issues. Who knew choosing the right sleep position was so important?
What’s the best position to sleep? We’ve listed some common sleeping positions so you know the best sleeping position and the worst!
Only 8% of people sleep on their back. Still, where health is concerned, back sleeping is the best sleeping position. The reason back sleeping is the best position to sleep is because it keeps your head, neck, and spine aligned in a neutral position. You’re not adding any pressure on any of these areas, which means you can expect less pain overall. If you sleep with a pillow elevating your head it can also help your acid reflux. However, if you have sleep apnea sleeping on your back could become dangerous, as your tongue could block your breathing. Snoring also tends to be worse for people when they lay on their back.
Pros to back sleeping: It’s the best position to sleep to minimize pain, keeps your back aligned, cuts down on acid reflux
Cons to back sleeping: increases snoring, could be bad for sleep apnea
About 15% of people choose side sleeping. There are a lot of benefits to sleeping on your side. Side sleeping refers to when your body is on one side, but otherwise relatively straight. On the good side, it reduces acid reflux and helps to reduce snoring. On the downside, since most people usually sleep on the same side every night, it can create wrinkles, as half of your face remains pushed against a pillow each night.
Pros to side sleeping: side sleeping reduces snoring and cuts down on acid reflux. It’s also the most comfortable sleeping position for sleep apnea.
Cons to side sleeping: could cause wrinkles on the part of your face that sleeps on the pillow
The Fetal Position
If you consider the fact that 41% of people sleep in this position, you might think it’s the most comfortable sleeping position. This position, sleeping on your side with your torso out and knees bent, is one of the best sleeping positions when you’re pregnant. This position will stop the baby from pressing against your liver. It also improves your circulation for you and the baby. As for non-pregnant fetal sleepers, like side sleeping, this position cuts down on snoring. If you have hip pain when you sleep, try putting a pillow between your knees. On the downside, if you’re curled too tightly you could end up sore and you could end up restricting your breathing by compressing your diaphragm.
Pros to fetal sleeping: great for pregnancy, cuts down on snoring, a popular sleeping position overall for comfort
Cons to fetal sleeping: curling too tight could lead to soreness, the diaphragm could be compressed
Only 7% of people sleep on their stomachs. The good news is that stomach sleeping will stop snoring. On the downside, stomach sleeping can lead to neck and/or back pain. This is because your spine is not in a neutral position. When you sleep on your stomach you can put pressure on your muscles and joints. This could lead to numbness, aches, and tingling.
Pros to stomach sleeping: less snoring
Cons to stomach sleeping: potential aches and tingling as pressure is put on your muscles
As you can see all the major sleeping positions come with positives and negatives. At the end of the day, whatever makes you most comfortable is going to be your best option. If you’re looking for added help, check our mattress guide to match the perfect mattress with your sleep position and other sleep needs.