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The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions

A woman rests in a side sleeping position

Side sleeping positions can be beneficial for people with sleep apnea.

The way you position your body when you sleep is a decision that has a real impact on your quality of sleep as well as your overall health. Poor sleeping positions can potentially cause back and neck pain, fatigue, sleep apnea, muscle cramps, impaired circulation, headaches, heartburn, and even premature wrinkles. There are certain sleeping positions, however, that have been proven to be more beneficial to your health. Read on to discover which positions are best for sleeping, and which can lead to potential health troubles. 

Sleeping On Your Back

Only about eight percent of people say they sleep on their back, but this may be the most beneficial sleeping position you can choose.


This position allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position with no extra pressure applied that may cause pain. Sleeping on your back can also help ward off acid reflux. For best results, use a pillow that elevates and supports your head enough so that your stomach is below your esophagus. 


Sleeping on your back can cause the tongue to block the breathing tube, which makes this sleeping position dangerous for sufferers of sleep apnea. This position can also make snoring more severe. 

Sleeping On Your Side

About 15 percent of adults say they choose to sleep on their side.


Sleeping on your side with your torso and legs relatively straight helps to decrease acid reflux. Additionally, because your spine is elongated, this position helps to prevent back and neck pain. This is the best sleeping position for people with sleep apnea and heavy snorers because it keeps your airways open. 


This sleeping position may lead to wrinkles because half of your face pushes against a pillow for many hours a night. 

The Fetal Sleeping Position 

About 41 percent of adults choose to sleep in the fetal position, which makes this is the most popular sleeping position. 


Sleeping in a loose fetal position when you’re on your side, your torso is hunched, and your knees are bent, is excellent for pregnant women. If you sleep on your left side, this position improves circulation in your body and that of the fetus. Sleeping on your left side also prevents the uterus from pressing against the liver on the right side of your body. This pose is also suitable for snorers because it also helps leave your airways open. 


Resting in a fetal position that is too tight can restrict breathing in your diaphragm and leave you feeling sore, especially if you have arthritis in your joints or back. You can help prevent this by stretching your body as much as you can. You can relieve strain on your hips by placing a pillow between your knees as well. 

Sleeping On Your Stomach

Just about seven percent of adults prefer sleeping on their stomachs. 


Sleeping on your stomach is primarily useful for easing snoring, but its cons outweigh all other sleeping positions.


Sleeping on your stomach can cause back and neck pain because it is challenging to keep your spine in a neutral position. Stomach sleeping puts pressure on their muscles and joints, which can lead to numbness, tingling, aches, and irritated nerves. If you must sleep in this position, try lying facedown, instead of with your head turned to one side, to keep upper airways open. When sleeping in this position, keep your forehead propped up on a pillow to allow you room to breathe. 

Sleep Well With A Mattress From All American Mattress

At All American Mattress, we have the expertise and great prices to help you choose the perfect pillows and foam mattress for your bedroom. We have mattresses and bed frames available made from a variety of materials to suit your needs, whatever they are. Stop by our showroom, visit us online, or give us a call at (410) 451-9006 to see how we can get your toddler sleeping through the night. We offer brand names at affordable prices, and we will always work hard to keep your whole family comfortable. For more mattress shopping tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.