Sleep Positions: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly.

September 18, 2017

We know the classics: starfish, fetal, side, stomach, stick straight, and many more. However, what is the best sleep position for you and how can you get the most out of your sleep position? 

Side Sleepers

There are so many different ways to sleep on your side, but all help relieve and calm insomnia and chronic sleep deprivation. While sleeping on your side, putting a pillow between your legs/knees can also relieve back pain by taking pressure off your hips and lower back. P.S -- many believe it is most comfortable to bend your knees towards the chest while sleeping on your side. "This position (where your torso and legs are relatively straight) also helps decrease acid reflux, and since your spine is elongated, it wards off back and neck pain. Plus, you’re less likely to snore in this snooze posture, because it keeps airways open. For that reason, it’s also the best choice for those with sleep apnea" (National Sleep Foundation). 

Back Sleepers

If sleeping on your back is your most comfortable sleep position maybe try a few of these alternatives. Back sleeping is known to cause lower back pain and episodes of sleep apnea. This can cause a lack of sleep and overall restfulness. To ease these symptoms place a pillow under your knees to allow your spine to curve naturally. On Health.com, " It’s also ideal for fighting acid reflux, says Eric Olson, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. 'If the head is elevated, your stomach will be below your esophagus so acid or food can’t come back up.'"

Stomach Sleepers

Though it can be done, and with fewer risks with a proper pillow, many sleep professionals are against sleeping on your stomach due to the major strain on your lower back and neck. Stomach sleepers also tend to have more restlessness and don't feel fully alert because of tossing and turning at night. If you sleep on your stomach try your best to sleep with a thin pillow, if any, this allows your neck and vertebrae to align and cause less strain. Stated by the National Sleep Foundation, "seven percent of adults pick this pose, but it can lead to back and neck pain, since it’s hard to keep your spine in a neutral position. Plus, stomach sleepers put pressure on their muscles and joints, possibly leading to numbness, tingling, aches, and irritated nerves."