This Is The Worst Position To Sleep In, Say Experts

Bad news for stomach sleepers…
There are some tips if you can't avoid sleeping the way you do.
miniseries via Getty Images
There are some tips if you can't avoid sleeping the way you do.

We all have our preferences when it comes to sleeping. Some like to curl up in a foetal position. Others love to starfish. And some love sleeping on their front, with one leg and one arm up, with their head turned to the side. Sound familiar?

According to a recent YouGov survey, 8% of Brits sleep on their stomach. A quarter (27%) sleep on their right side, while 23% sleep on their left side, and 7% sleep on their back.

And if you are a stomach sleeper, then you should maybe read on as experts are revealing it’s not the best for your bod…

“You’re rotating and twisting your neck,” James Leinhardt, founder of pillow and mattress brand Levitex Sleep, said in a recent viral TikTok video. “[The way you position your head] is fighting all the natural curves of your spine, you’re compressing your vertebrae,” he explains.

Waking up with back pain? Your sleeping habits might be the culprit says Leinhardt. “You’re getting pins and needles, neck pain, back pain, and you still do it every night, why? It’s not comfy, it’s what you’re familiar with, it’s what your body is used to.”

One user commented, “But how else am I supposed to get to sleep?”, with another relating, “This is me!”

While sleeping on your stomach is said to be good for some things – like snoring (one in five of us are said to snore regularly) – it’s generally thought to be bad for your joints and bones.

The Mayo Clinic agrees with Leinhardt, saying that sleeping on your stomach puts a strain on your back and spine. This is because most of your weight is in the middle of your body. This makes it difficult to maintain a neutral spine position when you’re sleeping.

Not only that but beauty lovers will be horrified to realise that sleeping with your face down on your pillow can contribute to extra fine lines and wrinkles.

If you absolutely can’t get off to sleep without sleeping on your stomach, then Leinhardt has shared some advice in a separate video that’s been viewed 5.2 million times: “You want a pillow between the tip of your ear and the tip of your shoulder, one that fills that space,” he explains.

“You’re going to put a pillow between your knees and ankles, that’s going to support and stabilise the hip and keep you feeling safer, and you’re less likely to bring that leg over.” Sounds simple enough!

As well as that, you can try the below tips from Healthline:

  • Use a thin pillow or no pillow at all. The flatter the pillow, the less angled your head and neck.
  • Put a pillow under your pelvis. This will help keep your back more neutral and take pressure off your spine.
  • Stretch in the mornings. A few minutes of stretching will help get your body back in alignment and gently strengthen supporting muscles. Be sure to warm up with a little movement before stretching, and be gentle!