Which Sleeping Position Is Better?

Not feeling refreshed even after an entire night’s sleep? Are you tired of waking up with a stiff neck or a strained back? Wondering if your sleeping position is correct? I got good news for you! You have found the written article!

Did you know that obstructive apnea, a sleeping disorder, affects almost 9% of the population? This condition has been directly associated with your sleeping position!

Whether you are a side, back, or tummy sleeper, every position has advantages and disadvantages. Hence, in this article, we will discuss the various sleeping positions so that you can ultimately decide which one is best for you!

Want more? To make your time worthwhile, we will also answer some frequently asked questions! We will also mention some sleeping habits that you should consider if sleep still evades you.


Different Sleeping Positions (Benefits And Drawbacks)

Is sleep deprivation taking a toll on your peace of mind and health? If yes, then it may be because of your sleeping posture. More than the quantity of sleep, the quality of sleep is essential!

A good sleeping posture is a key to a night of better sleep. Let us look into the types of sleeping postures and their pros and cons!

1. Sleeping On Your Back: Soldier

Soldier Sleeping Position

It’s one of the most popular ways to sleep. The body weight is uniformly distributed since the head, neck, and spine are all aligned.


I got good news for all those that complain of back, neck, and shoulder pain! According to an article published in Cleavland Clinic, back sleeping works in tangent with gravity to reduce the pressure on your back muscles!


Have you ever heard of sleep apnea? It is a sleeping disorder in which breathing while sleeping is interrupted. Under the influence of gravity, the tongue and soft tissues move downwards into the airway. If left untreated, it can potentially result in a heart attack.

Sometimes this position can result in lower back pain! Cushioning the knee can help in reducing pressure on your lower back.


2. Sleeping On Your Back: Starfish

Starfish Sleeping Position

It’s similar to sleeping on your back, except your arms are raised in this posture, hence the name.


As mentioned above, sleeping on your back can be great for easing back pains! Furthermore, because your face is not in contact with the pillow or the mattress, this sleeping position is good for your skin. Less friction means fewer acne breakouts and wrinkles. Less friction will result in fewer chances of acne or wrinkles.


You may wake up with stiff neck or shoulder pain due to sleeping in this position. It is because it places undue pressure on your shoulders and neck muscles. Additionally, this can also aggravate snoring and sleep apnea.


3. Sleeping On Your Stomach

Sleeping On Stomach

A stomach sleeper is someone who sleeps on their tummy with their face tilted on either side of the pillow.


This position is excellent for opening up your airways; hence if snoring is a concern, you will notice a considerable difference if you sleep in this position.


Do you like sleeping on your belly? I think it is time to change! Allow me to elaborate on why.

Since your neck is twisted to one side, the spine is in an unnatural position. It can result in severe muscle pain as it puts strain on the neck and spine.

The midsection of our bodies tends to be the heaviest. Sleeping on your stomach can lead to an overarching of the spine.


4. Sleeping On Your Side

Sleeping On Side

In this position, the body is shifted entirely on one side such that the neck and spine are aligned.


Because the spine is naturally aligned in this position, the odds of waking up with a stiff neck or back are rare.

It has been demonstrated time and again that sleep can impact waste disposal and detoxification of cells. However, according to a recent study, side sleeping may be more effective in eliminating waste from the brain cells and preventing neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Spine alignment in this position is healthy for the posture; hence the odds of waking up with a stiff neck or back are reduced.

The lower oesophagal muscles prevent food from leaving the stomach. When these muscles become weak, acid reflux occurs. Sleeping on your side allows gravity to work in your favour since it prevents the liquid from escaping and reduces the risk of reflux.


Sleeping on one side might put unnecessary strain on your skin. According to research, it can cause early signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines.

Sleeping on our left side can induce severe heartburn, whilst resting on our right side can impact other organs such as the liver, stomach, and other digestive organs.


5. Fetal Position

Fetal Position

It is a variation of side sleeping in which the knees are folded towards the chest.


Because it promotes circulation, it is one of the most excellent sleeping positions for pregnant women. Additionally, if you have sleep apnea or lower back pain, sleeping in this position can help.


Because the strain on one side of the body is greater than the other, it can create stiffness in the shoulders and hips. It can also result in neck pains if the neck is curled forwards in an unnatural alignment.


Which Sleeping Position Is Better?

The best sleeping posture is the one that encourages proper spine alignment. Hence, sleeping on your back or your sides is recommended to avoid back and neck pains.

If you prefer to sleep on your stomach, you can continue to do so by making a few adjustments. It’s critical to buy the best mattress that will allow you to sleep by improving your posture with minimal discomfort.

Sleeping on your back can prevent back pains but can increase snoring and can cause low back pain. Whereas sleeping on your sides can reduce snoring and acid reflux. If appearance is important to you, sleeping on the side may not be the best choice.

Thus, depending on your body and its needs, you can determine the most comfortable sleeping position for yourself.


How Can You Make Your Sleep Better?

Lack of sleep is associated with weight loss, brain function, wrinkles, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, etc. Listed below are six tips that can help you sleep better!

1. Say No To Caffeine

No To Caffeine

According to research, consuming caffeine six hours before you sleep can interrupt your sleep schedule.


2. Check Your Mattress

Check Your Mattress

Make sure that you are sleeping on a mattress that complements your sleeping position. A good bed can make a lot of difference in your sleep quality.


3. Keep Your Phone Away!

Keep Your Phone Away

Eliminating any external source of light or sound can help you sleep faster. Hence, turn your phone off, shut the window and roll down the blinds before sleeping.


4. Set A Schedule

Our body works in a clockwork fashion! Set a schedule such that there is no time for daytime naps.


5. Avoid Alcohol Consumption

Avoid Alcohol Consumption

According to research, it can increase sleep apnea. Additionally, it can also promote snoring, which can result in a disturbed sleeping pattern.



Let us address some commonly asked questions.

1. Which is the best position to sleep with a stuffy nose?

Ans: Sleeping on your back with an inclined head position will help open your airways and promote proper breathing. Sleeping on a flat back can result in increased congestion; hence make sure you grab those pillows!


2. Which is the best position to sleep if you have high blood pressure?

Ans: It is recommended that one must sleep on the left side if they have high blood pressure because it reduces the stress on the superior and inferior vena cava that brings blood from the body to the heart.


3. What is the best position to sleep in with a cough? 

Ans: Coughing may become more common if you lie down on your stomach or back, it can also result in mucus accumulation. Thus, the best position to sleep is either on your back or side but with an inclined angle.


4. Best sleeping position for your digestion?

Ans: You should sleep on your left side because it allows gravity to work its magic! The small intestine on your left pushes the waste into your large intestine for further digestion and elimination.


Also Read:

How Does The Mattress Affect Sleep And Health?

Best Pillow In India

How To Choose A Mattress?



If you are struggling with sleep apnea or snoring, then you should consider sleeping on your side. Acid reflux, digestive issues, coughing and stuffy nose can be alleviated by sleeping laterally.

If you enjoy sleeping on the tummy, make sure you invest in a mattress that can support your body alignment.

Even though sleeping on the back is usually regarded as the best sleeping method, it can result in back pains and increase mucous. Hence, make sure that you decide your position based on your requirement.

It is also essential to consider and incorporate the above-mentioned sleeping habits to get a good and refreshing sleep.

Let us know if you found this article helpful. Don’t forget to tell us about your sleeping position!

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Dr. Med. Raoul Hasert is a specialist in dermatology and venereology. He is a senior physician in Praxisklinik Dr. Hasert.

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