Best and Worst Sleep Positions

October 23, 2023 · Mattress Warehouse
sleep position

Some say you can tell a lot about a person based on their sleep positions, although there's no science behind that thought. There is, however, plenty of science backing up what is the best sleep position and what is the worst sleep position.

As you might be aware, your body moves throughout the night. Your body will shift to a more comfortable position while you sleep if there's pain. It could be a lumpy mattress, or a coil that keeps poking you. While a new mattress might help solve that particular issue, chances are you're still going to move around as you sleep.

Even though your body is trying to make itself comfortable, it might not be the best sleep position for you. Let's take a look at some sleep positions and how they may or may not be the best for you.

sleep position

Sleeping On Your Back

Did you know that only 11 percent of people sleep on their backs, even though most people (more than 62 percent) start out sleeping on their backs. It's not the most popular, but it is the best sleep position.

Sleeping on your back allows your head, neck, and spine to line up in a neutral position, which means there shouldn't be pressure on those areas. This leads to the likelihood of back and neck pain being extremely low. Sleeping on your back also helps ward off acid reflux.

All that being said, this sleep position can cause issues for people who have uncontrolled sleep apnea. This sleep position can cause your tongue to fall back in your mouth, restricting air flow and causing you to snore more.

sleep position

Sleeping On Your Side

Around 60 percent of the population choose this sleep position and it is considered one of the best sleep positions. Side sleeping offers many benefits, from improved spinal alignment, to a reduced risk of snoring, heartburn, and back pain.

This position is the best choice for those who have sleep apnea since the tongue is less likely to block the breathing tube, which means you’re also less likely to snore. Since your spine is elongated in this position, it helps with back and neck pain as well.

One drawback of sleeping on your side is shoulder pain. If you're constantly waking up with shoulder pain, consider a new mattress or pillow to help alleviate the pain.

sleep position

On Your Stomach

Sleeping on your stomach is, by far, the worst sleep position you can choose for a myriad of reasons. Sleeping on your stomach puts a lot of pressure on your muscles and joints, so neck, shoulders, and back will all suffer thanks to this particular sleep position.

The one positive to sleeping on your stomach is that it decreases your level of snoring. Of course, if you do have sleep apnea and use a CPAP or BiPAP machine, you're probably not going to sleep well with a mask pushing into your face all night.

Remember, the best sleep position is one that aligns your spine so you don't have back, hip, or neck pain.

Find the Right Mattress and Pillow for Your Sleep Position

No two people sleep exactly the same. That's why it's important to find not only the right mattress, but the right pillow to match your preferred sleep position. For the best mattress, we have bedMATCH®.

bedMATCH® is Mattress Warehouse’s diagnostic sleep system that uses advanced technology to provide you with mattress recommendations that match your body type and sleep preferences, including your preferred sleep position. After just a few minutes of our in-store test, or after taking our online bedMATCH® quiz, you can narrow your search by confidently exploring mattresses that are a perfect fit for you.

Plus, each of our sleep experts in-store or online via chat can help you find the perfect pillow for your unique sleep needs. Visit a store today and see how the right mattress and pillow can make all the difference in the world.