Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Pros and Cons of Different Positions While You Sleep

Feb 23, 2021 7:36 AM ET

iCrowdNewswire   Feb 23, 2021  2:36 AM ET

Research shows that the recommended amount of sleep for adults is 7 to 9 hours per night. This ensures optimal rest and recharging of the body after a long days’ work. However, some factors need some consideration that might affect getting adequate sleep – pregnancy, aging, changing time zones, and even your favorite sleeping position.

You may ask, “But this is how I normally sleep! How does it even affect the amount of sleep I get? What other positions should I be aware of that could enhance the quality of my sleep?” Here are some positive and negative factors when it comes to different sleeping positions and their effects when you get that snooze:

1. On your side

Sleeping on the side is the most common sleeping position among adults. Some prefer it with a pillow tucked under their hand as they sleep or to snuggle with.

Pros: Sleeping on one’s side is known to help clear brain waste more compared to sleeping facing up or on your stomach. This implicates that side-sleepers have fewer chances of getting Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neuro-related diseases. Brain waste build-up is known to usually factor in the development of these diseases.

Side-sleeping is also known to lessen acid reflux and is excellent for those who have breathing problems while sleeping.

Being the most natural sleeping position that adults go into while sleeping, side-sleep can also be enhanced by setting up a surrounding that improves sleep quality. One important consideration should be your bed’s mattress quality. To find out more about these mattresses, reading side sleepers mattress review can greatly help.

Cons: Side sleeping can be uncomfortable for some, especially those who feel chest tightness once in a while because there might be some slight pressure to your chest and side in this position. Some complain of a feeling like being pricked by needles when sleeping in this position is prolonged for those who like to side-sleep while hugging a pillow.

2. On your stomach

With side sleeping as the position that most people naturally fall into and prefer, sleeping on the stomach is the opposite. The National Sleep Index provides that only 16% of the world’s population prefer to sleep on their stomach.

Pros: The only thing that experts say that serves as an advantage when sleeping on one’s stomach is that it decreases the risk for sleep apnea as it lessens snoring. Other than that, there are no other advantages to attribute to sleeping on the stomach.

Cons: Being the least preferred sleeping position, it is safe to assume that the reason people don’t adapt to lying on their stomach so much is the un comfortability of the position. On top of this, it harms the spine as it strains the back’s neutral position and may induce back neck, or shoulder pain.

For expectant moms, this position is a big no-no, according to medical practitioners. Back pain among pregnant women is usually attributed to the latter’s hormonal changes, and sleeping on the stomach does not help address such issues.

3. On your back

A middle ground between side-sleeping and sleeping on one’s stomach, sleeping on the back is perhaps the most comfortable among the hierarchy of sleeping positions. Sleeping on the back, especially with arms on the sides, provides a neutral position for your spine and supports the back.

Pros: There are fewer back pain chances as sleeping on the back fleshed with the mattress provides steady support to the back, neck, and head. This also helps those who have acid reflux problems as it keeps the head above the esophagus, keeping the stomach acid from coming up from the digestive tract to the throat.

For those who are extra conscious of their facial wrinkles, back sleeping is advantageous as it keeps your face in contact with your sheets, free from friction and bacteria.

Cons: This is not the ideal sleeping position for snorers or those who have sleep apnea, as it induces the tongue to collapse into the throat, which aggravates snoring.

4. In a fetal position

This can be considered as a variation of side sleeping. Others extend sleeping on their sides by curling up into a fetal position – pretty much why they say “sleeping like a baby.”

Pros: One could say this position mimics a baby’s sleeping form, which also brings a familiar and comfortable feeling to people in their slumber. This could also be a good position for pregnant women, who need to rest their bellies. Menstruating females may also benefit from this position as it crunches the abdomen and upper chest together.

Cons: Those who prefer sleeping curled up on their side in a fetal position could lead to neck and back discomfort and may cause numbness in the arms when holding the legs close to the chest for too long.


Being aware of your sleeping positions assures good sleep quality and pinpoints underlying health problems that might worsen. With the right amount of research and active awareness, you might get the good night’s sleep that you need and deserve.