What’s The Best Sleeping Position For Me?
All living beings need rest, and humans spend about a third of their lives either asleep or trying their hardest to get some shuteye. However, getting enough sleep can be challenging.
This is because so many factors impact the quality of our sleep, with sleep position being one of the most important ones. That being said, what’s the best sleeping position for quality rest, if there is one at all?
Read on to find out.
What's The Best Sleeping Position?
Everyone wants fast and easy answers to the ideal sleep position. Unfortunately, there is no one perfect position to beat sleeplessness and finally get the restful night you deserve.
Sleep needs and positions vary from person to person. In addition, when our bodies change, go through stress, or get sick, our own personal sleep needs may change too.
Below are some of the most popular positions to snooze.
Sleeping On Your Side
Sleeping in a fetal position means resting on your side with your legs bent and curled up toward your body, just like a fetus in the womb. This comfy position is popular because it opens up your back, especially through late pregnancy. On top of this, it can help you achieve deep sleep despite airway obstructions (because lying on your side keeps your throat more open), like when you have a cold.
However, fetal sleepers need to be aware of their body and spinal alignment in a fetal position, but it’s nothing that a pillow between your legs can’t fix (this is a GREAT sleep hack).
The yearner position is basically like the fetal position except looser. This less popular sleep position will have you slightly less curled up, with your arms outstretched in front of you as if “yearning” for something. This results in a few added health benefits, like better body posture at night and less pressure on your hands and wrists while you snooze.
If you’ve been sleeping in a fetal position only to wake up with your body pain worse than ever, consider starting in the yearner position instead.
Sleeping like a log is one of the less popular side sleeping positions. Log sleepers lie directly on their shoulders with all limbs stretched straight down. Because your arms and legs are in the optimal position for proper blood flow, you’re less likely to wake up with arms that are numb and tingly, but this does come with some caveats.
Log sleepers are more likely to sleepwalk and experience shoulder and neck pain. However, sleeping with a pillow between your legs may help with this.
Sleeping On Your Back
Here’s a good guideline: the best sleeping position is the one that supports your body’s natural alignment the best. That usually means sleeping in a neutral position without holding too much tension in your body – which is exactly what sleeping on your back does. Here are a few variations of back sleeping.
The soldier is a less common sleeping position despite its health benefits, and that’s likely because of how stiff it can feel for most people. When snoozing soldier-style, your arms and legs are positioned straight down like you’re standing at attention.
This upright position is excellent for proper alignment and minimizing facial wrinkles, but it does have some drawbacks. It can be the worst sleeping position if you’re actively battling snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. However, using a flatter pillow helps tremendously, but you may still need to speak to your doctor.
Maintaining starfish sleeping posture is pretty easy for folks who naturally gravitate toward supine ( on your back) position. Not sure what this means? If you sleep with your legs slightly apart with arms stretched above your head, you’re a starfish. Stop thinking Sponge Bob, and think sleep!
Starfish sleepers are more likely to sleepwalk and experience tingling and numbness throughout the night. On the other hand, this sleep posture does help with spine alignment and stalling facial aging and sleep wrinkles.
Sleeping On Your Stomach
Stomach sleeping is rare, with less than 10% of people calling it their favorite position. Given that it’s one of the worst overall sleep positions for supporting the natural curve of your body, this is understandable. However, this is also the most comfortable sleeping position for some people, which goes to show that there’s something for everyone.
If you’re the kind of stomach sleeper that flops onto their bed and goes straight to dreamland, you may be sleeping in a freefall position. However, there are a few things you need to know about sleeping belly-flopped onto your bed.
This position wreaks havoc on your spinal alignment, which can make symptoms worse for people with neck pain.
What Type Of Sleeper Are You?
Whether you’re a back, side, or stomach sleeper, the most important thing is that you get quality sleep. The truth is, most folks aren’t one kind of sleeper, with many people switching between positions several times overnight. However, identifying your main sleep style is instrumental to beating restless nights.
For example, back sleepers who snore may want to consider training themselves to sleep on their sides, while pregnant women may have more luck sleeping on their backs. On the other hand, stomach sleepers may want to consider trying out a different sleeping style since prone sleeping is associated with a laundry list of possible sleep complications.
In short, your sleep style can impact how much rest you get, but there’s always a solution for your specific snooze-related issue.
The Best Sleeping Positions: Which Is The One For You?
So what’s the best sleeping position for you? The answer is that it depends on you and your body. Body pain, pregnancy, sleep apnea, snoring, and other underlying health conditions all influence the “best” option for you – but being informed about each position’s benefits and drawbacks can make things easier.
Our recommendation: write down your specific sleep-related concerns, your favored sleeping positions, and try something new.