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Sleep: What Are the Best Sleeping Positions?

December 22, 2021 3 min read

Sleeping woman

Most of us spend a third of our lives sleeping. This is the time when our mind and body need to regroup and regenerate. What position are you in when you fall asleep? That may depend upon how you feel when you wake up. If you’re in the wrong position, you can wake up stiff and sore, and have some neck and back pain, or stiffness. Being pregnant or having certain health problems can also determine your sleeping positions. Sleeping positions can affect your health in ways you never imagined, from apnea to filtering out toxins.


There is no significant or decisive research that connects the many sleeping positions with what makes us all unique, how often we awaken during the night, whether we snore, or whether we awaken with pain, but there are some compelling associations with sleeping positions that should be noted.

The Pros and Cons of Sleeping Positions

Spooning: Ah spooning. This requires another person of course. Some can get a good night's sleep this way, those that sleep soundly. Others may find themselves too restricted or jostled awake by the other bed partner. Spooning is a form of cuddling though, and cuddling is a good thing. Cuddling releases the hormone oxytocin, which decreases stress, promotes bonding and helps you get to sleep.

The Yearner: Approximately 13% of us sleep in the “yearner position.” This means you are sleeping on your side with your arms outstretched in front of your body. This is good for breathing problems but bad for arthritic pain.

Like a Log: If you sleep like a log, you are part of the 15% of us who do. Sleeping like a log means sleeping on your side with your arms straight down next to your body. This may be good for snoring, but you may wake up in pain.

The Fetal Position: Roughly 41% of us sleep in a specific side position, curled up, with our knees bent. This is the fetal position. This may be a good choice for pregnant women. Someplace a pillow between knees to relieve pressure.

On Your Side: Sleep scientists refer to this as the “lateral sleeping position.” It is by far the most common sleeping position. It may suppress snoring, and it is thought to clear “brain waste” more quickly (involving the lymphatic system, which is the cleansing system that removes waste from the brain). But there are not so nice things, like more wrinkles due to pressing down on your face, and skin stretching.

The Starfish: 5% of us sleep on our backs with our arms up over our heads. This position may mean that you are prone to snoring and sleep problems.

The Soldier: 8% of us sleep in the soldier position; lying on our backs, with arms down at our sides and close to the body. This is not a good position to be in for snoring. You’ll need to determine whether you are getting enough sleep.

On Your Back:There are advantages and disadvantages to this “supine” position. This position is not good for lower back pain, sleep apnea, and late pregnancy. This position is good, however, for avoiding neck pain, and heartburn.

On Your Stomach:7% of us sleep on our stomachs, or in the prone position. The good part is that it helps ease snoring, the bad part is that this may aggravate other conditions like problems with your neck and spine, causing possible nerve pain or numbness. There are also those “free-fall” stomach sleepers and turn their heads to the side, with their arms wrapped around a pillow or tucked under a pillow. Surprisingly, these people are not anxious or insecure, they are adventurous and confident. You need a strong spine for this position.

Buy a Latex Mattress from Nature’s Embrace Online

You simply can’t be in a better position than stretching out on a high-quality mattress, like a Nature Embrace Dunlop latex mattress. Contact Nature’s Embrace online or by phone, for the best natural organic latex mattresses in Vancouver and across Canada.


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