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What Are the Best Sleeping Positions?

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Sleeping positions

Choosing the wrong sleeping position can hurt your back and body in ways that can be harmful to the body. These are called bad sleeping positions. These positions do more harm than good. 

In this article, we will be exploring sleep position meaning, healthy sleeping positions, sleeping positions for sciatica, pregnancy, and much more.

What Is the Best Sleeping Position?

The best sleeping position would be the one that promotes healthy spinal alignment and distributes the bodyweight evenly. It also matters which you find comforting. Some people are stomach sleepers, while some side sleepers. You have to be in a comfortable sleeping position to sleep better.

Some sleep positions are good for the body. They help to align the bones properly while you sleep and relieve the tissue weight evenly throughout the body. 

Different Sleeping Positions

Different sleep positions are beneficial for different situations such as back pain, acid reflux, pregnancy, etc. Back pain can be the reason you might be looking up different sleeping positions. What would help you here would be knowing the causes of back pain. Accordingly, you can switch to a comfortable position. 

You might be having some burning questions like, is it bad to sleep on your stomach? Is sleeping without a pillow beneficial? Read on to know more about the sleeping positions and see the plus and minus points of each. 

Different sleeping positions and whom it is best for

Stomach Sleeper

Did you know that stomach sleepers are able to breathe better? In the latest outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many patients were suggested to sleep on the stomach. This helped them to open their airways. 

Stomach sleepers might develop back and neck pain easily. To avoid pain, you can place a pillow under your stomach.

This position is ideal for: 

  • People with sleep apnea 
  • Younger people 
  • Toddlers

Back Sleeper

Sleeping on the back is helpful for those who have knee pain, and it also protects the spine by putting your head, neck, and spine in a neutral position. This reduces the unnecessary pressure on the spine and evenly distributes the body weight. It is also the second most common position among people. This position helps to clear a congested nose. 

Although it is quite a comforting position to sleep in, pregnant women should not sleep in this position as it could be uncomfortable for them. 

This position is ideal for: 

  • People with neck pain 
  • People with nasal congestion 
  • People with lumbar spinal issues 

Side Sleeper

As children, we sleep in all positions, but the preference for side sleeping emerges as we grow. This is the most common position of sleeping in adults. Almost 60% of adults sleep in this position. This position doesn’t have any issues with back pain, but it can be a bit uneasy for people with acid reflux issues and can even cause heartburn. 

This position is ideal for: 

  • Pregnant women
  • People with back problems 
  • People with acid reflux 
  • Older people 
  • People who snore 

Which Is the Best Side to Sleep on for GERD?

Acid refluxes can be very uneasy, and it can become worse if you sleep in the wrong direction. Knowing the right direction for sleep will only help you lower acid reflux. Sleeping on the left side lowers the acid reflux as the esophagus is properly relaxed. 

This is considered one of the healthiest sleeping positions. Sleeping in other positions that even includes sleeping on the back might just elevate GERD

You can also try to avoid eating late or heavy meals at night as this issue tends to flare up at night. People with GERD should really take care of their diet as a poor diet is the main cause of GERD in the first place. 

If this position doesn’t work out for you then you should consult a physician to resolve this issue because GERD can grow with age and cause complications. 

What Is the Best Sleeping Position for Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

The best sleeping position for sleep apnea is side sleeping. People who suffer from it should consider sleeping on the left side. As suggested by research, sleep apnea and snoring are reduced when you avoid sleeping on the right side. This position creates optimal blood flow and opens up the airways. 

Finding the right pillow could also help in reducing snoring and sleep apnea. A very thin pillow might be good for stomach sleepers as it would align the body without causing any issues. 

Another way to reduce snoring and sleep apnea is to sleep with a body pillow. This approach aligns your body in a way that opens the airways and reduces the snoring considerably. 

People with sleep apnea and snoring issues should avoid sleeping on the back as it can only increase it further. 

What Is the Best Sleeping Position for Lower Back Pain?

Sleeping on your sides can help you reduce lower back pain considerably. You should sleep on the side by partially bending the knees and adding a small pillow between the knees. This could be one of the best sleeping positions for back pain

People who like to sleep on the stomach can use a thin pillow under their head and a more supportive pillow under their hips. This would support the back and reduce the back pain considerably. This position also helps in putting the spine in alignment and doesn’t let it sink.

Sometimes, an uncomfortable mattress can also be the reason for back pains. You should get a firm mattress if you are suffering from lower back pains.

What Is the Best Sleeping Position for Neck Pain?

Finding the right sleeping positions for neck pain is not that hard. You can sleep in the famous side sleeping position and use a soft pillow instead of a hard one. Sleeping on your side wouldn’t strain your neck and help it align with the spinal cord easily. 

Another good sleeping position to reduce neck pain would be sleeping on the stomach by supporting your neck with a round pillow. This would not let your neck sink or cause any neck pain. So, if you are a stomach sleeper, sleeping with the right pillow would really help you. 

What Is the Best Sleeping Position During Pregnancy?

The best way to sleep while pregnant would be to sleep on the left side; This position is considered ideal for pregnant women. While a woman might try a lot of different pregnancy sleeping positions, sleeping on the left side allows the blood to flow properly. The veins supply blood to the heart and the baby adequately when you sleep in this position. 

A full body pillow or a stomach pillow is a good way to adjust to this position. As the size of the baby grows, this position will become more adaptable and comforting for the mommy to be. Did you know that 87% of women suffer from back pain during pregnancy? This can be reduced by using a side pillow. 

These pillows come in U or C shape and wrap around the body for complete comfort. These can help you choose the best side to sleep on during the last stages of pregnancy. 

FAQs

The Log position, in which a person sleeps on their back with arms tucked into their sides, is considered the least common sleeping position

One of the benefits of sleeping on your back is preventing wrinkles. If you choose to sleep on the stomach or sideways, it can increase wrinkles. To avoid wrinkles, consider sleeping on your back.

According to Vastu Shastra, you should lie with your head pointing towards the south. The best position would be facing the north or east. This sleeping direction allows the blood to flow properly. Check out our blog to know the best direction to sleep according to science.

Side sleeping helps with the breathing problem. Try to use a pillow between your legs and under your neck to open the airways. 

There are 2 sleeping positions for shoulder pain – sleeping on the back and sleeping on the unaffected side. This could give you all the support you need to reduce the pain. 

Acid reflux usually occurs when you sleep. So if you sleep in the wrong direction, it can elevate your GERD issues and disturb your sleep immediately. Hence it is advised to eat light during the night to avoid any such issues.  

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Ergo therapist, paediatric and sleep consultant certified for adults, Reiki practitioner and massage instructor.
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Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

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Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by healh experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians

Meet Our Review Board

Each week our team researches, writes and collaborates with industry leaders to bring you simple easy-to-read sleep information.

David Bridge

Sleep Coach

Siddhesh Tiwatne

Sleep Coach

Authored by health experts and journalists

Fact checked and science-backed

Medically reviewed by physicians