Which Sleeping Positions Are Best and Worst For Your Health?

By on June 12, 2018

By Penny Carter—

We all tend to sleep in the position we find most comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with that. But are you aware of the ways different sleeping positions can effect your health?

The thing is, some people are unsuited to certain sleeping positions and these should be avoided. The wrong sleeping position can have serious implications for your health and could be the reason behind your constant back or neck pain, stomach problems, and even wrinkles.

In this article, we’re sharing the best and worst sleeping positions, how they affect your health, which pillow is suitable for it, and which ones you might want to avoid.

Let’s get started…

1) Sleeping on your back

Sleeping on your back is one of the best possible positions for your health and it has minimum downsides as compared to other positions.

In this position, your arms are kept by either side and your head straight.

Advantages of Sleeping on the Back:

  • Prevents neck and back pain – in this position, your body maintains a neutral position for your head, neck, and spine.
  • Reduces acid reflux – since your head is elevated above your stomach, it prevents acid  moving up into your esophagus and reduces symptoms of acid reflux disease.
  • Minimizes wrinkles– Back sleeping also helps you in minimizing premature wrinkles as nothing is pressed against your face

Disadvantages of Sleeping on the Back:

  • Snoring – People sleeping on their back are more likely to snore.

2) Sleeping on your side

The next most healthy position is sleeping on your side. Here the person falls asleep on one of their sides laying on their respective arm or hand.

This position is much acceptable by a major group of sleepers.

Advantages of sleeping on your side:

  • Reduces snoring – Sleeping on the side reduce the chances of snoring by elongating your spine.
  • Reduces acid reflux – Similar to the back sleeping, the head is kept above the stomach which reduces acid reflux.

Disadvantages of side:

  • Muscle cramps – sleeping on your side can sometimes cause nerve compression in your arms and legs because of the constant pressure

3) Fetal Position

According to a popular survey done by Chris Idzikowski, director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service in London, around 41% of people prefer to sleep in the fetal position.

Here the individual sleeps on their side with their knees curled toward their body.

More than the benefits, the fetal position does more harm to your body. As discussed below,

Disadvantages of Sleeping in Fetal Position:

  • Can increases joint pain – Since, your knees are bent for quite a long time during the night, it might increase arthritic pain. Also, your neck and spine are vulnerable to posture.
  • Restricts diaphragmatic breathing

Advantages of sleeping in the fetal position:

  • Your head and neck are supported in a neutral position.

4) Sleeping on your stomach 

This might come as a big shock to you, but sleeping on your stomach is possibly the worst sleeping position for you.

Unless you are a loud snorer and don’t suffer any neck or back pain, you should avoid sleeping on your stomach.

Disadvantages of Sleeping on Your Stomach:

  • Difficult to maintain a neutral spine position
  • Pressure on joints and muscles – Sleeping on your stomach puts a high pressure on your joints and muscles. It could lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. Also, it can irritate nerves sometimes.
  • Neck pain – constant incorrect head position followed in stomach sleeping position may lead to neck pain.

Final Words

If you’re suffering from poor quality sleep then it’s worth considering your sleeping position. If you need to change positions then you can look into position pillows that can help you adjust to a new way of sleeping. 



Penny Carter is a sleep-obsessed student of marketing and finance. In her spare time she enjoys watching the Lakers, music festivals  and writing about anything related to sleep, beauty and technology. She writes regularly at SleepGadgets.io

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Which Sleeping Positions Are Best and Worst For Your Health?