There’s a reason that ‘tossing and turning’ is a phrase ― it’s because many of us do it every single night but where should we actually be landing? What is actually the best position to sleep in?
Really, it is a little bit personal ― however you sleep that gives you a good, restful night’s sleep can feel like what must be best for you, but is there really a universally great sleeping position to lie in?
Well, according to the experts at The Sleep Foundation, yes.
The importance of sleeping in a good position
According to research, the correct sleeping position can relieve stress on your spine but an incorrect, unhealthy sleeping position can increase pain or stiffness in the back, arms, or shoulders all while contributing to lower-quality sleep.
The best sleeping position to settle into is, drum roll please, on your side! According to The Sleep Foundation, sleeping on your side promotes healthy spinal alignment and is the position least likely to result in back pain, especially when supported with pillows. It can also reduce heartburn, snoring, and pregnant people to sleep more comfortably.
Not only should you be sleeping on your side but, especially if you struggle with back pain, you should be sleeping on your side with a pillow or blanket between your knees.
The Sleep Foundation recommends choosing a pillow with a thickness that matches the distance between your neck and your shoulder. This will mean that your neck will stay aligned with your spine, preventing pain and soreness while maintaining proper alignment.
Which side is better to sleep on?
So, you know it’s best to lie on your side but WHICH side? Well, according to Dr Karan Raj, the left side is a better side to sleep on. In a TikTok video, the doctor said that sleeping on the left side, especially if you often experience acid reflux or heartburn, is the better choice when choosing sides.
This is because sleeping on the right side can increase pressure on internal organs, intensifying the symptoms of both positions.
Finally, Raj adds that you should’t just use one pillow. Use one or two to ensure that your spine is aligned from your hips to your head and, if you really want to optimise your sleep, The Sleep Foundation recommends keeping pillows on either side of yourself to keep you in place as well as one between the knees.