Get help from best doctors, anonymously
Common Specialities
{{speciality.keyWord}}
Common Issues
{{issue.keyWord}}
Common Treatments
{{treatment.keyWord}}

Sleeping Positions - How They Affect Your Health?

Dr. Arunesh Dutt Upadhyay 89% (318 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Aerospace Medicine, Eular Certification in Rheumatology
General Physician, Pune  •  32 years experience
Sleeping Positions - How They Affect Your Health?

Have you ever realised the importance of your sleeping position? Perhaps, you hardly care about the posture, you just lie down and close your eyes. But, did you know your sleeping position can directly affect your health? As quoted by Thomas Dekker, "sleep is the golden chain that ties our health and bodies together."

You may have your own preferred position which you like to fall asleep in and grovel about, but you never care if it is correct or not. While sleeping on your back with your arms by your sides is considered to be the best, here are some common sleeping positions and their effects on your well-being:

  1. On your back, arms at sides: Sleeping on your back with your arms at your sides is proven to be the perfect sleeping position in regards to your neck and spine health. That being said, back sleepers tend to snore more as compared to those who sleep in any other position, and sleep apnea is greatly associated with sleeping on the back.
  2. On your back, arms up: Also called “starfish” position, sleeping on your back with your arms up is good for your lower back. This type of sleeping position can also help to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts. However, this can also result in excessive snoring and problems, such as acid reflux
  3. On your stomach, face down: Sleeping on your stomach can improve digestion but can put a lot of strain on the neck. This type of sleeping position is most likely to tilt your face in one direction or the other. Also, sleeping with your face down can cause back pain, as the curve of your spine is not supported.
  4. Fetal position: Sleeping curled up into a ball, probably is the most comfortable position for some, but it actually is the worst sleeping position to go with, as it can lead to pain in back and neck. Also, sleeping in this position can restrict deep breathing.
  5. Arms at sides: The spine is best supported when you sleep on your side with both arms down. This position helps reduce back and neck pain along with reducing the problem of sleep apnea. However, the downside is that side sleeping can contribute to skin aging, sagging breasts, and facial wrinkles. The side you choose to sleep also makes a difference. Sleeping on the right side is bad for your heart health while sleeping on the left side can put a strain on organs like liver, lungs, and stomach. For pregnant women, it is usually advised to sleep on the left side, since this can improve blood circulation to the fetus.
  6. Pillow-supplemented: Though it is important to choose the right sleeping position, however, regardless of which sleeping position you prefer, it’s always recommended to supplement your body with a comfortable pillow to get a sound sleep. 
11070 people found this helpful