The 8 Sleeping Positions That Can Hurt or Help Your Health!

Young man peacefully sleeping in bed

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Although it seems everyone knows that getting at least 8 hours of rest is essential for a healthy mind and body, almost no one knows that what position you sleep in is also a big factor.  Since a good night’s sleep is so important to our health, let’s take a look at the top 8 sleeping positions and what they might mean to your overall wellbeing.


1. If  You Sleep on Your Right Side

More than half of all Americans say they sleep on their sides, and which side you sleep on can make a difference. Sleeping on your right side can turn a little indigestion into a terrible case of heartburn. Most people enjoy sleeping on their sides because their airway is most open, making it easier to breathe.

2. If  You Sleep on Your Left Side

Sleeping on the left will help reduce your heartburn symptoms, but it also can put a lot pressure on your other internal organs including your lungs, liver, and stomach.

That being said, sleeping on the left can help minimize acid reflux.

Most pregnant women are advised by their doctors to sleep on the left side since this improves blood flow, which is good for both mother and baby.

3. If  You Sleep on Your Back, Arms at Your Sides

This position is probably best for you if you have spinal or back trouble.

It can also help ease neck tension, provided you aren’t propping yourself up with several pillows.

Now, most people tend to snore more when they are on their back, so those with sleep apnea are advised to avoid this position.

Read more about the dangers of sleep deprivation.

4. If  You Sleep on Your Back, Arms Up

Some people refer to this as the starfish or ballerina position.

Whatever you want to call it, this position is also good for you back. Also, people who sleep on their backs develop fewer wrinkles, as there is no pressure on the face.

Again, this is not a good position for those who snore or those with sleep apnea.

Also, if you sleep long periods without moving, you might find that this position can put pressure on your shoulders, causing them to “fall asleep” and be stiff in the morning.

5. If  You Sleep on Your Side with Your Arms at Your Sides

This is perhaps one of the best positions to reduce snoring, neck, and back pain.

It can also diminish the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring.

However, this can cause facial wrinkles due to the pressure put on the face, and sagging breasts.

6. If  You Sleep on Your Side with Your Arms Out

This has many of the same advantages of sleeping with your arms at your side; though some people claim that their arms and shoulders are often numb or stiff in the mornings due to the restricted blood flow and pressure on the nerves.

7. If  You Sleep on Your Stomach

Although this position can enhance your digestion, there is always that little problem about breathing!

Most people will be forced to move their face to one direction or the other, and this puts considerable stress on the neck and back.

See also 6 ways to sleep better every night.

8. If  You Sleep in a Fetal Position

When you were in your mother’s womb, the most natural position in the world is all curled up, knees drawn up to your chest, head tilted down.

However, after leaving your mother’s body, this position, while still comfortable, can put considerable pressure on your back and neck, as well as restrict deeper breathing.

Many people, though, especially pregnant women and those who snore, find this position very comforting as well as comfortable.

Regardless of which position you prefer to sleep in, the right pillow will help you tremendously, as well as the right mattress. Find out sleeping positions that suit you. Side sleepers can put a pillow between their knees to help support their back.

The same is true of stomach sleepers. Placing a pillow under your hips, or those who prefer to sleep on their backs can place a pillow under the arch of their spine to help both support the spine and support a great night’s sleep.