Everyone knows that a bad night’s sleep leads to a terrible day after, but not everyone pays attention to the position they wind up in while getting there. Health Magazine’s laid out the best and worst of sleep positions over at CNN Health, and some of the findings might make you second-guess your own sleeping habits.
Listed as the best of all sleeping positions, laying on your back can help with a number of daily problems, ranging from acid reflux to chronic back and neck pain. The only catch? It’s almost sure to cause snoring if you’re prone to sawing logs.
The worst for people who already suffer from mild back or neck pain is laying on the stomach. Oddly enough, the position itself might not be so bad for people, but most stomach sleepers still use a pillow — which puts a lot of strain on the spine and neck muscles. As Eric Olson, MD, co-director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine puts it, “stomach-sleeping may even be good for you” — if you snore, have no back problems, and use ultra-thin pillows.
The ideal middle-ground between the two extremes is sleeping on your side, which experts seem to agree is pretty good in every way, assuming you’ve got the right pillow. If not, all the positives of keeping the spine straight and elongated get thrown out the window.
Which sleep position is healthiest? [CNN Health]