Revealed: The sleeping position most harmful to your health

The way you sleep has long-term effects on your overall health and wellbeing.

Revealed: The sleeping position most harmful to your health

The way you sleep not only affects the quality of your sleep but also has long-term effects on your overall health and wellbeing.

So, which sleeping position is the best for your health?

Many sleep experts say that sleeping on your back with your neck, head and upper chest slightly elevated is the best position for a restful night.

Others claim that sleeping on your side is best, with a supportive pillow for your head and one down the side of your body.

“From a structural, neurological and muscular perspective, as well as for your airway it is kinder to the body,” says author of A Life Less Stressed, Dr Ron Ehrlich.

“It also happens to be better for digestion, particularly lying on the left side, considering where the oesophagus enters the stomach.”

While stomach sleeping has long been considered the worst sleeping posture, as it strains your head, neck and jaw muscles, puts pressure on your lower back and pelvis, and restricts your ability to breathe properly during the night, sleep coach Elina Winnel believes that sleeping curled up in a foetal position is the position we should avoid.

“What we may not realise is that we are putting our body into a fight or flight posture,” she said.

“If we go to sleep in this position, we may be signalling to our nervous system that we are in fight or flight, and that it is not safe to go to sleep.”

Ms Winnel recommends sleeping in an open posture, as it helps to open up your lungs and allows you to breathe easier at night, with less strain and pressure on the rest of your body.


Which position do you think is best? No matter how much advice you receive on sleep and sleeping positions, do you find yourself sticking to your sleep habits?



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    21st Jun 2018
    on the side with a pillow or some such under the knees
    21st Jun 2018
    Better yet - between the knees.
    21st Jun 2018
    At the wheel while driving is definitely not recommended.
    21st Jun 2018
    Leon: unusual for you to do this sort of story. Good one.

    Realistically people turn and sleep in all positions. As far as pulling the knees up and sleeping in the fetal position I would think that this would cut off your circulation and not be good for you over a period of time. Often wondered if that was how people, mainly women, got varicose veins but not sure.
    21st Jun 2018
    Whichever position is most comfortable and helps you sleep is best. Have spent nights in hospital where the only position possible was on my back and I never got a good night's rest. Of course the constant ward noise and interruptions didn't help!
    21st Jun 2018
    50 years ago (I was 20 years old) I had a corneal graft and had to lay on my back 24 hours a day for four weeks (not allowed to move around at all). My most vivid memory is the excruciating back pain I suffered as a result of this. To this day I never, ever lie on my back to sleep, always on my side....
    21st Jun 2018
    I always sleep on my side...lying on back allnight (for me)is impossible.
    21st Jun 2018
    What my body does when it sleeps is none of my business.
    13th Jul 2018
    I sleep on either side as I turn many times during sleep.

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