The Best & Worst Sleeping Positions for Your Health

Is your sleep style at night leading to health problems in the morning? Keep reading for the optimal positions for your health—plus the ones to avoid.

 

BEST: On your back

Sleeping on your back ensures proper circulation to the brain, maintains your back and neck in a neutral position, and fights acid reflux—all great reasons to back-sleep. Looking for beauty rest? It helps with that too, preventing wrinkles (because nothing is pushing against your face all night) and keeping breasts perky (since they’re fully supported throughout the night).

That said, it’s not the ideal position for snorers, making the base of your tongue collapse to the back wall of your throat, causing a vibrating sound—try sleeping on your side to combat that.

 

GOOD: On your side

Side sleepers, you’re doing it right… as long as you’re on your left side. In addition to side-sleeping reducing snoring, sleeping on one’s left side also eases heartburn and acid reflux, making it easier to fall and stay asleep.

It’s a great option during pregnancy too, when back sleeping puts too much pressure on the spine. Sleeping on one’s left side during pregnancy improves circulation to the heart—doctors even recommend it since it’s so good for both Mom and baby.

What it’s not good for? Facial wrinkles and breast sagging—blame your pillow and gravity.

 

BAD: In the fetal position

It may feel comfy, but sleeping with your body curved in the fetal position restricts breathing and compresses vital organs. And, like side sleeping, it may bring on facial wrinkles and breast sagging.

Curling your back and tucking in your chin night after night also does a number of your neck and spine over time.

 

WORST: On your stomach

Spending eights hours a night sleeping stomach-down? You might be feeling it in the morning—the position flattens the natural curve of the spine. And since you don’t also sleep face-down in this position, your head and neck spend all night turned to one side. Just imagine how uncomfortable that would be for just a few minutes if you were awake…let alone up to eight or nine hours a day!

The stomach-sleeping position also puts stress and joints and muscles, leading to nerve irritation and pain, tingling, and numbness.

 

Related:
10 Sleep Mistakes and Their Solution
6 Bedtime Rituals for Better Sleep

484 comments

Pamela Lebowitz
Pamela Lebowitz8 months ago

TYFS. I grew up sleeping in the fetal position but over the years I slowly started to sleep on my side and then due to multiple surgeries I can only sleep on my back now. It really does make a difference for the better.

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Olga T
Olga Troyan8 months ago

Good to know, thank you. I like sleeping on my back, but unfortunately can't sleep on my left side anymore due to heart problems.

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Kristi M
Kristi M8 months ago

Ty!

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Carole R.
Carole R3 years ago

Very good to know. Thanks.

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Debbie Miller
Debbie Miller3 years ago

Thank you.

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Nicole H.
Nicole L3 years ago

Thanks.

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Chloe R.
Chloe R3 years ago

Thanks for sharing

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Therese Kutscheid
Therese K3 years ago

Interesting. Thanks for that article.

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Kim Janik
Kim Janik3 years ago

Thanks for posting.

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Brad H.
Brad H3 years ago

thanks

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