5 Best Sleep Positions

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Knowing the best sleep positions is important if you have certain health conditions, or struggle to get a full night of restful sleep.

Sleep Positions

Many people don’t think about their sleep positions or the effect that they can have on their health, but their impact is significant. The shape that your body takes while sleeping can affect blood flow, spinal alignment, stress hormones in the body, and quality of sleep, among others. [1]

The primary sleeping positions are on your back, on your side or on your stomach. Sleeping on your back is the most neutral position for the body, and applies the least amount of strain on the spine and joints, but it can increase your likelihood of snoring. Sleeping on your side is another acceptable option, with enough head and neck support. Sleeping on your stomach is a bad choice, as it restricts breathing and puts constant strain on your neck muscles. [2]

A young woman lying down side-way with a pillow for support

The best sleeping position for you shouldn’t be something to lose sleep over! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Best Sleep Positions

The best sleep positions include the soldier position, fetus position, and freefall position, among others.


This position is when a person sleeps on their side with their legs pulled up towards their torso, often with a pillow between their knees to reduce strain on their hips and lower back.


In this position, you lie on your back with your arms at your side and your head and neck supported by a pillow. While this reduces strain on the back, this can result in snoring. [3]


This position consists of sleeping on your side with both arms in front of you, with one arm typically supporting your head; this can be bad for arthritis but can eliminate snoring.


Less than 10% of people choose this sleep position every night, as it requires sleeping on the stomach, typically with the arms beneath the pillow for added support. This makes it less likely that you will change positions during the night, but it could restrict oxygen and blood flow. [4]

Pregnant Women

Sleeping on your side with one pillow under your belly and another between your knees is often the most comfortable position for a pregnant woman.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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