To Sleep, Perchance to Dream: The Best Sleep Positions for Your Problems

Sleep Positions

The perfect night's sleep in the perfect position to be in. Who wouldn't want to wake up without a backache, a sore neck, acid reflux and know they didn't spend the whole night snoring? Pretty sweet deal, no? Well, the Wall Street Journal brings to us humble people still looking for the perfect position the advice of multiple doctors. And boy do they have a lot to say.

First of all, did you know that most people prefer to sleep on their side (57%), followed by back with 17%, followed by the stomach with 11%, according to the 2000 people surveyed by TempurPedic?

Those suffering from obstructive sleep apnea or excessive snoring might be because you sleep on your back. Stay off it. Always. According to specialists, this position narrows or completely closes off your airways, something that can be extremely dangerous. How do you prevent yourself from rolling onto your back? Dr. Eric Olson, co-director of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester, recommends sewing a tennis ball to the back of your nightshirt. Pretty cool method, no?

If you have acid reflux or heartburn while you sleep, it would probably be best to turn to your side. Propping your head up with pillows or elevating the head part of your bed by adding bricks or books under the legs would also help quite a bit.

For back pain sufferers, sleeping facing the ceiling, comfortably on your back is the best solution. Make sure the bed you have is not too soft,a s you want your spine as straight as possible. A pillow under the knee or turning into fetal position will also help, according to Dr. Nick Shamie, associate professor of orthopedic surgery at University of California, Los Angeles and spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Shoulder pain should effectively keep you from sleeping on your side and turn you to your back or possibly stomach. You can also simply sleep on the non-injured shoulder and a pillow for proper support. Your neck should also be getting its own support to keep the pressure on your shoulder minimal.

The problems of neck pain can be alleviated by avoiding sleeping on your stomach like it is the plague. Turn to your side, get on your back but do not sleep in a position where your neck is strained by being turned to the side. Your pillow should also be soft enough or built specifically to fill the hollow between neck and shoulder.


The position you pick to sleep in can have a major impact on your health, but apparently could tell you and the world around you your personality as well. Both men and women find the secrets of sleeping positions rather intriguing, is a certain article in the Men's Health Magazine is any indication to go by. One particular article recounts director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service` Professor Chris Idzikowski's analysis of the six most common sleep positions in a survey conducted with 1000 participants.

Freefall Position: On stomach with hands up around pillow and head to one side. If you like this position, you will have a myriad of health problems but digestion won't be one.

Fetus Position: Curled up to the side, arms and legs kept close. Simply the most common sleeping position of all, those who prefer it might have problems with their organs but be quite comfortable if they turn to their right side. Less pressure on the heart and all.

Log Position: Straight-back side sleeper it is. This position means no back pain and a straighter spine.

Yearner Position: Side-sleeper who likes keeping his or her arms out away from the body. Those in this position need not worry about sleep apnea or acid reflux.

Soldier Position: On back with arms at side. This darling soldier just might have the worst night's sleep and keep everyone awake with his snoring. Best turn around.

Starfish Position: Just like the soldier but with arms up over head or simply out away from the body. Once again, this is probably a position to avoid if you have a snoring problem.

The best position is as of yet unknown, but the latest call issued is that even with all its problems, sleeping on your back is the closest thing you have got. Apparently the quality of sleep in this position cannot be found elsewhere. I wonder what the next year or so will yield in sleep research...

There you have it folks! Your sleeping positions decoded. According to your health needs, which is your preferred sleep position to take at night?