Which Sleep Position is the Best Sleep Position?
Kimber Rozier, CSCS
What sort of sleeper are you? Do you like to curl up in the fetal position for the night? Are you face-down on your stomach, passed out after a long day? Or do you recline on your back to catch some Z’s? With three main sleep positions, finding the “right” one for the best night’s sleep can be hard. Check out the pros and cons of each sleep position below.
If you’re a stomach sleeper, ensure you’re sleeping on a firmer mattress. Due to the angle of a firm pillow, sinking into a soft mattress will likely have you waking with pain in your neck. It also creates a weird position for your spine, flattening out the natural curves. Adding a pillow or under your hips or switching to a firm mattress can help if it starts to cause pain. However, if you’re persistent in snoring, consider switching to your stomach for your partner’s sake.
- Eases snoring
- Can be very comfortable with a pillow underneath the hips
- Potential neck pain with a soft mattress and hard pillow
- Can cause back pain
Recommendation: A Firm Mattress
If you deal with digestion issues, curl up on your side before falling asleep. Sleeping on your side has been shown to ease acid reflux and calm your stomach down. Due to the placement of your body’s organs, sleep on the left side for best results. Unfortunately, it can also increase the breakdown of collagen in your face. If you’re particularly worried about wrinkles or facial skin health, try not to spend too many nights sleeping on your side.
- Eases digestion
- Helps with acid reflux
- Improves circulation
- Increases likelihood of wrinkles
- Can cause shoulder pain
- May make one arm numb
Recommendation: A Soft Mattress
Back Beauty Sleepers
If you’ve ever seen a cartoon exaggerating their snoring, they’re always on their back, probably blowing a feather on and off their face. Back sleeping definitely increases the likelihood of snoring throughout the night, due to the positioning of your tongue. It can also contribute to sleep apnea. But if those aren’t issues for you, the right mattress can ease lower back pain when you’re sleeping supine.
- Ease lower back pain
- Great for cosmetics, as you’re not pressing your face against a pillow
- Spinal and neck alignment
- Increases snoring
- May increase severity of sleep apnea
Recommendation: A Hybrid Mattress
What’s most important is that you sleep however you’re most comfortable. It doesn’t matter which position you choose as long as you’re getting a good eight hours. However, if you’re experiencing sleep difficulty, consider switching positions or getting a different mattress and pillow designed to provide the comfort and support needed for your favorite sleep position.