The 6 Most Common Sleeping Positions (Backed By Science) and Their Implications For Your Health

Are you waking up with back pain or a sore throat? Do you snore too much? Or if you don’t: would you want to keep those issues far away from you? Well, then the key could very well lie in your sleeping positions.

For even with an appropriate pillow and mattress, many people prioritize comfort over proper posture. This often means sleeping in a way that is bad for your neck, back and joints, and this in turn can cause or aggravate health issues like back pain, acid reflux or “aesthetic” issues such as snoring.

That’s why this article discusses the health benefits of particular sleeping positions from a scientific perspective. So let’s jump right in:

3 Common Sleeping Positions

1. Back Positions for Pain Relief.

Sleeping on your back is a very comfortable way to get a good night’s rest for a lot of people and when on a good mattress, results can be optimal. 

The most common back sleeping positions are the soldier and the starfish. These positions work by alleviating the pressure on your discs and spreading weight evenly across your neck, spine, and joints, thus reducing and preventing pain.

Sleeping in the soldier position with a plush pillow underneath your knees can alleviate lower back pain.

Just in case you care about aesthetics, you’ll be pleased to know that sleeping on your back is also a natural way to minimize wrinkles and maintain the perkiness of your breasts.

Many people often sleep in this position the wrong way which can cause pain.

To fix or prevent this, you should aim for your neck to align with your spine. This can be done with pillow support or by adjusting the position of your mattress. A good mattress is key when it comes to sleeping on your back because it can be therapeutically comforting.

Back sleepers tend to need more support than side sleepers so a medium firm memory foam mattress will give you the adequate cushioning your back needs.

2. Side Positions to Prevent Snoring.

Unlike back sleeping positions, sleeping on your side in the log or yearner posture is a great way to keep snoring under control.

Professor Idzikowski claims that sleeping on your left side positions your stomach underneath the esophagus thus prompting gravity to chime in and keep reflux under control.

However, sleeping on your side for too long can cause nerve compression and even worse conditions like sciatic nerve pain so to keep this at bay, ensure you alternate from your left to right when sleeping.

Ensure you pillow is firm and high enough to support your head as this prevents neck pain and stiffness.

Sleeping on your side is one of the best ways to get a good night’s rest and combined with the layers of a memory foam mattress, it will provide your body with some stability by adapting to your sleeping position.

3. Stomach Positions to Help You Feel Sleepy.

Sleeping on your stomach is a great way to induce sleep because your movements tend to be quite restricted which results in fewer disturbances. However,  the cons outweigh the pros with this position.

Professor Idzikowski has shown that this way of sleeping can come with potential disadvantages and put pressure on your lungs and organs. It can also put a strain on your neck from all the twisting during the night.

With that being said, the best mattresses for stomach sleepers are soft or plush memory foam mattresses because they allow the body to fall into its natural curve.

So, your style of sleeping does impact your health – but it’s up to you to decide whether this impact is of a positive or negative nature.

When you sleep in good sleeping positions, you can alleviate and prevent pain and soreness in different areas of your body. When you sleep incorrectly, you stand the risk of causing long-term damage and developing back pains, sore throats, snoring and some sleep apnea symptoms.

Adjusting your sleeping position to a more healthy one may take a while, but you can habitualize it like any other beneficial behavior.

What about you? What are your favorite sleeping positions, and do you think you can optimize the way you sleep?

About The Author

This is a guest post by Yannick, the head of a team of product investigators at Best Patrols.