Revealed: Worst sleeping position

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?

Related articles:
Too much sleep can kill you
Sleep issues linked to heart attacks
Can sleep help to prevent Alzheimer’s?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.


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