We may not always be conscious about it, but every person has their preferred sleeping position. It may come naturally when we’re sleeping, or in the case of others, it’s much more intentional.
Different sleep positions impact our bodies and our sleep in different ways, some of them allowing you to sleep more comfortably.
In reality, there is no single best sleep position as it varies on your body’s needs. Continue reading to know which sleep position will work best for you.
Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your back (also known as supine position) is how we usually visualise the way people sleep. Back sleepers generally enjoy a comfortable sleep as it offers a neutral position for the neck, the spine, and the lower back.
Back sleepers may sleep in a soldier position with arms against their body or in the starfish position with their arms and legs out to the sides.
One of the comforts of sleeping on your back is that it can alleviate any pain coming from pressure points of different sleeping positions. This effect is even greater magnified when sleeping on ahigh-quality memory foam mattress.
Sleeping on your back can also help you overcome bouts of heartburn, but it’s not necessarily the best position for hyperacidity. Remember to leave two hours between eating and lying down, as this can worsen symptoms of heartburn.
The downside of back sleeping is that when you have existing low back pain, this position may worsen it, and you could wake up feeling pain in your lower back. Sleeping on your back may also cause loud snoring, making it a poor sleep position for those who experience obstructive sleep apnea.
Pro-tip: if you prefer sleeping on your back, place a standard pillow under your knee, and make sure that your head pillows aren’t too high. This method makes back sleeping more comfortable and maintains the natural curve.
Sleeping on your side
It might be easy to visualise a person lying on their back when sleeping, but in reality, side sleeping is the most common sleeping position.
There’s more to side-sleeping than you may think. Sleeping on the left side and sleeping on your right side has its advantages and disadvantages. Both sleeping postures allow you to get a good night’s sleep and can reduce lower back pain.
Sleeping on the left side
You might have heard that you should sleep on your left rather than your right side. But why?
Sleeping on your left side helps prevent the acids from your stomach to rise to your esophagus and significantly reduces your risk for acid reflux and heartburn, and may improve your digestion.
Pregnant women are advised to sleep on their left side, allowing for better blood flow for the fetus, the uterus, and surrounding organs.
Sleeping on the right side
If hyperacidity or heartburn isn’t a recurring issue, sleeping on the right side comes with benefits that improve your body’s overall wellness.
Some studies suggest that sleeping on your right side is advantageous for your heart as gravity pulls your heart towards the cavity rather than having it pressed against your rib cage. This allows for less tension in the chest area, which is suitable for people with hypertension.
The pressure relief of sleeping on your right side can help influence your heart rate and blood pressure, leading to better sleep.
Other side sleeper positions
Side sleepers often sleep in different positions, most notably the fetal position where knees are bent and curled up. This position causes some pains in many cases, but tucking a small pillow or a body pillow between your legs can help with pain relief.
The log position and the yearner position have their body straightened but with their hands placed on the side. We don’t recommend these positions as they can often lead to shoulder pain in the long run.
Sleeping on your stomach
Stomach sleeping isn’t as common compared to the other different sleep positions. Lying pronated may feel uncomfortable and often leads to waking up with numbness and muscle pain.
But, of course, there are still some advantages to sleeping on your stomach. For starters, it’s helpful for those who snore loudly at night as the pronated position helps in clearing your airways.
However, sleeping on your stomach often causes back and neck pain due to the unnatural curvature of the spine. This can be counteracted by propping your head up a bit with a flat pillow to get the spine in a more neutral position.
You may also place a pillow under your stomach to better support your spine, although this might be uncomfortable for some, especially during hot summer nights.
The best sleeping position for you
A big part of our day is dedicated to lying down and sleeping, and the way we sleep can have a significant impact on how we feel the next day.
Find a position that will give you the most restful sleep and allows you to wake up feeling fresh rather than sore. It might sound like a simple thing, but your sleep position can significantly affect your sleep quality. Try out the different positions and find out what’s best for you.