Common Sleep Positions Ranked from Best to Worst

Posted by Emma Sarno on

Did you know that the position you sleep in can have a major impact on your overall health? Poor sleep posture can lead to poor impacts on your body, including:

  • Back pain
  • Neck cramps
  • Fatigue throughout the day
  • Muscle cramping
  • Premature wrinkles

The position you sleep in becomes even more important to health as you get older. Below are the most common sleep positions ranked from best to worst.

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1. Back Sleeping

Although only 8% of people sleep on their backs, research suggests this is the best sleeping position for one’s health. Back sleeping makes it easy for your neck and spine to maintain a comfortable position. This alleviates the pressure on these areas of your body, making it less likely you will experience back pain.

2. Side Sleeping

Fifteen percent of adults are side sleepers which is also a great position for your overall health. Side sleeping reduces acid reflux and alleviates neck and back pain by keeping your spine elongated while you sleep.

3. Fetal Position

This is the most common sleep position, with 41% of adults choosing this posture when they sleep. This is a common and relaxing position for many people, but research suggests it’s not the best for health. Curling up too tightly with your knees and torso bent can restrict your breathing and lead to muscle soreness when you wake in the morning.

4. Stomach Sleeping

If you’re a heavy snorer, this position is great for you. However, there are few other benefits to stomach sleeping other than alleviating snoring. Seven percent of adults are stomach sleepers, and research suggests this is the worst position for your health. Stomach sleeping makes it difficult to keep your spine in a neutral position, which can lead to back and neck problems. It also puts pressure on your muscles which can cause muscle aches and nerve pain. Pressure on the diaphragm while asleep can also lead to breathing problems. If you’re a stomach sleeper, it’s best to choose another position, or consider sleeping facedown with your forehead propped up on a pillow instead of straining your neck to the side.

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