The Best (and Worst) Sleeping Positions Backed by Science
We’re all familiar with the expression, “I must have slept wrong.” Who hasn’t found themselves second-guessing their sleeping position after waking up with a crick in their neck or kink in their back?
While many of us are in the habit of dozing off in whatever position our body settles in, choosing the right sleeping position is actually much more complicated.
The distinctions between sleeping positions may seem negligible, but they can actually mean the difference between a good night’s rest and a night spent tossing and turning.
For example, sleeping on your left side is best during pregnancy, as it increases circulation to the fetus and prevents the uterus from pressing against the liver; sleeping on your back is good for reducing acid reflux, but bad for sleep apnea sufferers.
Check out our infographic below to find out which sleeping position is best for you.
Choosing the wrong sleeping position can have an effect on your overall sleep quality and health. Sleeping the wrong way can potentially result in back and neck pain, fatigue, snoring, muscle cramping, premature wrinkles and, of course, a bad night’s sleep.
According to the National Sleep Association, sleeping on your back is the best choice, because it eliminates pain in your neck, back and spine, and wards off acid reflux and premature wrinkles.
In general, the best positions keep the airways open to prevent snoring, the limbs long to prevent cramping, and the spine straight and elongated to eliminate back and neck pain.
If you’re consistently waking up sore and fatigued, it may be time to try a new sleeping position. If you still find yourself constantly tired, you may be making common sleep mistakes before bed, suffer from a sleep disorder or need a new mattress.