How Sleep Position and Comfort Impact Your Sleep

Posted by Darian Dozier on Dec 20, 2021 8:00:00 AM

How Sleep Position and Comfort Impact Your Sleep

Preference of side sleeping, or back sleeping aren't just for comfort. There can actually be some health benefits and positive impacts on your sleep, and overall health, by choosing specific sleeping positions.

If you have certain types of pains or sleeping disorders, like sleep apnea, positioning your body is certain ways can truly help relieve some of those ailments so you can get better sleep.

Good sleep is essential for overall health, mood, and many other aspects of the day. By making a few simple changes, you may unlock the key to getting really good sleep. 

How to choose the best sleep position based on health needs

If you have specific health concerns or needs, certain positions will do you more good than bad. 

Back and neck pain

For back and neck pain, sleeping on your back is a toss up. If sleeping on your back hurts because you have neck pain, then it may be more beneficial to sleep on your front. However, sleeping on your back may do wonders for alleviating low-back pain. Soreness in the spine may push you to try different positions and try out combinations with pillows for increased comfort. 

Sleep apnea

If you have sleep apnea, or tend to snore, this is due to the fact that your airways have collapsed during sleep. This leads to pauses in breathing or snoring which comes from an increased effort to take in enough air through a tight space. Sleeping on your stomach or side may help to open up these airways and reduce snoring to alleviate mild sleep apnea. 

Reflux or heartburn 

If you have reflux or heartburn then sleeping on your right side may make things worse. Those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may truly struggle, including populations like pregnant women. Flipping to the left side may cool this burn. 


Appearance is another health need that can be affected by sleeping habits. Sleeping on your side or stomach can create creases and wrinkles on your face when you wake up. This can also lead to breakouts or chronic changes to the skin. Sleeping on your back can mitigate these problems. 

Best sleeping position for a good night's sleep

Fetal position

Fetal position is a winner, especially for those with lower back pain, pregnant women, or anyone who will benefit from the lower back stretch that the fetal position provides. Sleeping in fetal position, however, can make your posture loose and limit deep breathing while sleeping. Any issues with joint pain or stiffness, especially after a big workout, can be worsened in the fetal position. 

Side sleeping

Side sleeping is actually very good for, but especially on the left side and to reduce snoring, as aforementioned. However, sleeping on the side can also led to some problems like stiffness in the shoulders and jaw tightness on that side. Wrinkles are also a problem. Putting a pillow between your legs while sleeping on your side can help better align your hips to avoid low back pain. Having a good pillow under you head can also help reduce any pain from a misalignment between your neck and your spine.  

Stomach sleeping

Stomach sleeping is actually one of the worst sleeping positions, regardless of its impact on snoring or sleep apnea. Although it's great for those disorders, the benefits of stomach sleeping pretty much stop there. Sleeping on your stomach can cause back and neck pain, adding a lot of unnecessary strain to your muscles and joints. Strategic placement of a pillow under you stomach may help to reduce any pain or stiffness. 

Flat back sleeping

Flat on your back is another position with numerous health benefits. It's great for protecting the spine, as well as relieve hip and knee pain. Sleeping on your back uses gravity to keep your body in alignment which can reduce unnecessary pressure on your back or joints. A pillow under your knees may help to support the natural curve of you back and reduce any unnecessary stress. The downside the back sleeping is that it can be difficult for anyone who has problems with snoring or sleep apnea, and anyone who has already struggled with back pain. 

The importance of your bed comfort

In addition to making sure your sleeping position is perfect for a good night's sleep, you have to make sure that your bed is comfortable. Without a comfortable bed, it doesn't really matter what position you sleep in. An old mattress or flat pillows will wreak havoc on your body at all times. 

Find the perfect mattress for you, and make sure to replace it when it's reached the end of its life. Also don't forget pillows. Having the right pillows with enough fluff can truly help you get the right alignment in any position for a perfect sleep.. 

Try visiting a mattress store or a sleep score clinic to find out what kind of mattress you need to get the best night's sleep. 



Take a Free Online Sleep Test

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all