The Best Sleeping Positions for Health and Better Sleep
2/19/2020 | Casper Editorial Team
We all toss and turn at night to some degree — it's just the body getting comfy — but one thing we get to choose is the position we drift off in. For all sleepers, from snorers to backache sufferers, how we fall asleep can have a positive impact on the quality of our rest.
Here’s what the experts say are the best sleeping positions for all types of people and pets. Because at Casper, we're all about sleeping better.
There’s no shame in snoring, but that doesn't mean you always have to put your partner through it. Adjusting your sleeping positions is one of the easiest ways to mitigate snoring.
Best Position: On Your Side
The number-one cause of snoring is any airway obstruction. Back sleeping makes it easier for the tongue to relax backward and block the airway, which can lead to chronic snoring, and stomach sleeping puts the neck in a twisty shape, which is no good.
Experts recommend side sleeping as the best position for nighttime rumblers.
Back Pain or Neck Aches
The best sleeping positions for back pain are those that avoid any twists in the spine. Flat on the back or balanced on one side are both good for keeping everything aligned.
Best Position: Flat on Your Back or Side
For spine aches, doctors also recommend taking weight off your back while you snooze. Adding a soft but supportive pillow under or between the knees should do the trick. And if you’ve got a smushy old mattress, upgrade your ergonomics with a more advanced mattress to rest that body on.
Sleeping isn’t always easy when you’re pregnant. And soon-to-be moms need a lot of rest.
Best Position: On the Left Side
Doctors say that the best sleeping position during pregnancy is on the left side with knees bent. In this position, blood circulates easily between key organs like the heart, kidneys, and uterus.
Side sleeping also keeps the growing baby from pressing down on some big, important veins. Also, certain pillows help! One between the knees and one at the small of the back keep mom and baby balanced and comfortable.
Brand new babies have a lot to learn, including good breathing habits; it’s not all eat-sleep-poop heaven. Babies need to sleep a certain way to ensure they’re safe and get the rest they need.
Best Position: On the Back
For this reason, pediatricians are united in saying that the best sleeping position for babies is on their backs, which gives them plenty of access to air and avoids any mouth-mattress contact.
Doctors also recommend a firm crib mattress with a fitted sheet, and advise giving these babies some space in the crib. Keeping toys away from the baby’s sleeping area might seem counterintuitive, but it keeps them breathing easy (at least, until they get hangry).
Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach… Insomnia!
Finding external calm when your insides are churning is a pain. Doctors recognize heartburn and conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as a cause of insomnia — but there may be a sleep solution worth trying.
Best Position: Upper Body Elevated
The best sleeping position for indigestion, heartburn, and GERD is to elevate the upper body so that acid stays low in the belly. Medical experts recommend elevating the top of the bed frame, an adjustable bed frame allows you to do this quite easily. This is because propping oneself up with pillows bends the body and can put pressure on the belly.
It’s also important to note, your pre-slumber diet can influence sleep dramatically. Some foods help you ease into sleep, while others can be detrimental.
Calling all lobsters! Deep slumber can be elusive for a body that’s stinging all over. To avoid painful friction against burned parts, the best sleeping “position” with a sunburn is in the buff.
Best Position: In the Buff
While this isn’t a sleeping position, perse, it is helpful to know. Getting nude-y with it not only helps reduce friction but can also help skin breathe and lower body temperature.
Other tips for sleeping while sunburned: use your softest sheets and stay moisturized.
Ultimately, you should sleep in a way that maximizes comfort. Our bodies usually let us know when things aren’t good for it — hence a sore neck or stomach ache in the morning. The best way to switch your sleeping position is to use extra pillows and prop your body up in the desired position before falling asleep.