When you crawl into bed, you likely have a go-to sleep position. It may take a bit of tossing and turning to get into it, but eventually you’ll assume a position you favor. However, did you know that not all sleeping positions are created equal? What may feel the most comfortable could actually have a negative impact on your health.
We’ve outlined popular sleeping positions, and their corresponding advantages and disadvantages, so you can determine what adjustments you need to make in order to diminish any harmful effects.
Back Sleeping Positions
- Starfish – On your back with both arms stretched upwards toward your head.
- Soldier – Flat on your back with arms resting downward and near the side of your body.
The good and the bad: Consider this the “winner” of sleep positions as it’s the ideal position to sleep in. It helps prevent wrinkles and acne, provides the best support for your neck and back, and reduces acid reflux. The only drawback is for people who are prone to snoring, they may find back positions exaggerate their condition.
Adjustments you can make: Place a pillow under your knees to take pressure off of your back. If you find your pillow is shifting or losing form, upgrading to a bed with an adjustable base can give you the most stability to maintain this type of support.
Side Sleeping Positions
- Fetal – Side sleeping with knees brought up to chest; this is the most common sleeping position.
- Yearner – Lying on your side with arms outstretched horizontally from your body.
- Log – Side sleeping with arms down alongside your body
The good and the bad: Sleeping on your side can help alleviate acid reflux and sleep apnea. It also reduces back pain since the neck and spine are typically aligned. But it’s not good for the skin, as it can encourage the development of wrinkles and acne since you’re smashing folds into your skin for extended and daily periods of time (and on a dirty pillow cover).
Adjustments you can make: Use a thick and firm pillow to give your head and neck support, and try to keep your body straight so your spine isn’t curved throughout the night. With an adjustable air bed, you can increase your head and lumbar support to achieve customized firmness for your body’s specific alignment needs, while in a side sleeping position.
Stomach Sleeping Positions
- Freefall - On your stomach with both hands up.
The good and the bad: Snoozing on your stomach is the worst sleep position for your back and skin. It provides no support or alignment to the spine and is a known antagonist to lower back pain. And, like side sleepers, stomach sleepers will age their faces even faster, given the pressure on their face is exasperated. The only benefit sleeping on your stomach can provide is reducing sleep apnea.
Adjustments you can make: If you are a stomach sleeper who snores, a thin pillow is the only kind you should be using, as it will minimize the strain on your neck and back’s alignment. Otherwise, it’s important to your health that you make the transition to side or back sleeping. One way you can force yourself onto your back, is by getting an adjustable base and placing it in a position that will prevent your body from turning back to your stomach. Over time, you can slowly decline your settings as you’ve fully accepted the change in position.
The Best Mattress for All Sleeping Positions
As we age and develop, our body’s change, which requires a shift in how we find a comfortable sleep position. It could be caused by an injury or physical changes such as pregnancy or health conditions, or simply just by getting older. The most responsive bed that can adapt to an evolving physicality is an adjustable air mattress.
Night Air® beds deliver an unmatched capacity to provide customized relief and relaxation. Compare to Sleep Number® and see how we can provide you with optimal sleep positions for a better night’s sleep.