Everyone has a favorite sleeping position, and some people go as far as not being able to sleep in any position other than their favorite one. But, is there a best way to sleep? There’s no completely solid answer.
We asked our friends at the American Sleep Association to weigh in, and received an answer from sleep specialist Dr. Neil Kline.
“During sleep, we shift positions many times,” said Dr. Kline. “In fact, is very rare to stay in the same position during the entire night. Changing positions helps to relieve pressure on and reduce the likelihood of pressure sores. There is no data to suggest that one position is best for sleep. However, for some sleepers there may be some benefits to avoiding the supine, or back, position.”
People who should avoid sleeping on their back include snorers and those with sleep apnea. Average everyday snorers can avoid annoying their sleep partner by finding another position. Those with sleep apnea should avoid it because the position tends to cause more breathing issues. Dr. Kline says science is still determining the reasons, but it’s believed gravity or the change in shape of some airway structures causes more of a problem with apnea sufferers who sleep on their back.
Another sleeping position that can cause problems for some is the stomach position, because it can aggravate back issues. If you find that you can’t sleep in any position other than on your stomach, you should use a low-loft pillow under your head, and put another pillow under your pelvis.
So, what about sleeping on your side? If you do prefer that position, we recommend using a pillow under your head with a higher loft, and to put another pillow between your legs in order to straighten your back.
In the end, there is no best sleeping position for everyone. It’s best to know your body, and sleep how you’re most comfortable.
Do you need a new favorite pillow? Check out our Recommended Products page for ideas!