Skip to content

What’s the Best Sleeping Positions: And How Can You Get The Most Out Of It

Personality is highly related to the sleep position, and it has been in discussion for decades. The common types of bedtime positions include the stomach, fetal, log, soldier position with arms placed on the side and sleeping on the back, starfish with arms upside lying down on the back and yearner in which you lay down in a turned position with arms placed straightly in front.

Idzikowski conducted a small survey including 1000 people from Britain where he asked them about the positions and their personality traits. The results were not universal and did not match with the Southeast Asians.

Best Sleep Positions?

Some interesting facts are found which correlate the position of personality.

The following positions of lying down in bed include:

Side Sleepers

These individuals lay down with arms placed on sides and back turned towards one side. 15% of such people according to the survey are found who are trust-worthy and easily have faith in strangers, easy-going, social and gullible, but they are inflexible about their thinking. These individuals are also termed as Log sleepers.

Health Benefit

The side g position aids in keeping the spine aligned, which is beneficial for people suffering from back pain.

  • This bedtime posture aids in the reduction of acid reflux. In sideways posture, you are less likely to snore as the airway stays open. It is the perfect choice for people suffering from sleep apnea.
  • The sideways posture while resting might lead to the formation of wrinkles because you are pushing your face towards the pillow.
  • The side position helps the pregnant ladies with complete circulation all over the body because it avoids applying pressure over the lower back area which might result in fainting.
  • The side sleepers experience pressure over the vital organs such as lungs and stomach leading to organ strain. Side posture during rest might lead to numbness in arms. The arms get numb due to the restriction of blood flow and impingement of nerves resulting in “rubber arm” or pins and needle sensation.



People who lay down with the arm placed in a straight way. Around 13% people were found to sleep in such method according to the survey. They were open-minded, suspicious, cynical, eager, stubborn and were quickly demotivated.

Individuals who lay down on their sides have a sore and stiff feeling when they wake up, due to which they need stretching during the morning as well as night. They also require a supporting mattress for the reduction of pressure points and maintains the spine in the aligned position.

Health Benefit

Sleeping on the side aids in alleviating the issues linked with sleep apnea and acid reflux disease. However, if these symptoms appear commonly, then you need to visit the specialist.

Fetal Position

In this position, the person lays down towards the side with the knees pulled upwards against the chest. It is a favorite position among women. 41% people were found sleeping in this fetal posture according to their comfort mode. The fetal position is considered as one of the most frequent types among all individuals.

These individuals have a soft interior along with a tough exterior, warm but shy, organized, conscientious and ready to face the troubles all day. Add a pillow among your knees which might be beneficial for individuals who sleep in such position.

Health Benefit

The fetal positions prevents you from stressing over the vital organs which include stomach, liver, and lungs. So curl yourself over the right side inside of sleeping on the left.

  • The fetal position helps the patients suffering from herniated disk by opening the spaces present between each vertebra. During herniated discs, the soft cushions present among the spinal vertebrae push out of standard space leading to nerve impingement and weakness.
  • The fetal position is perfect for those ladies who are pregnant, especially if they prefer left side. This aids in improving the circulation all over the body and the fetus. The left side fetal posture while sleeping prevents your uterus from applying pressure over the liver present on the right side.

The fetal posture prevents you from snoring. However, resting in a fetal position might make you feel stiff in the morning, so straighten yourself while you wake up.

Stomach Sleepers

These individuals are termed as Free Fallers, who hold the pillows with the help of their arms placed on sides. 7% people were involved in this bedtime position with personality traits including anxious, brash and outgoing.  These individuals are nervy but are skinny people who take the criticism of their character.

The stomach sleepers have increased pain in the neck and back and usually, sleep without pillows. You need to have full support to the body which aids in minimizing the back pain. A thin, soft cushion should be used to maintain the neck in a neutral position.

Health Benefit

This position is perfect for better digestion. This position also helps the patients suffering from degenerative disk disease if you place a pillow underneath your lower abdomen to relieve the back from pressure application.

  • The lying down position over the stomach aids in easing snoring issues. The stomach sleepers usually suffer from back and neck pain because they are unable to keep the spine aligned.
  • The individuals opting for stomach position during bedtime apply pressure over the joints and muscles resulting in tingling, numbness, irritated nerves and aches. Try to nap while facing downwards to maintain a patent airway allowing you to breathe.

Back Sleepers

These individuals lay down flat on their back, the arms placed near the bodies and positioned downwards on the side. The back sleepers usually have a snoring issue which leads to the decrease in sleep quality. This position is considered as the best sleeping position which aids in reducing back pain. The personality traits of soldier sleepers are high expectations, reserved and quiet in nature.

8% people were involved in this sleeping position; the position can be made extremely comfortable with a thin pillow pressed in between the knees similar to a starfish. Firm mattress and a contour pillow are the perfect addition to such sleepers, allowing them to reduce the back pain.

Health Benefit

Back posture results in difficulty to breathe along with snoring issues, leading to overall bad quality sleep. Flipping over to another position might make you feel refreshed.

  • It aids in the prevention of joint and back pain.
  • The back sleepers also enjoy an advantage of delayed skin aging. The bedtime position of lying down on your back leads to the alignment of head and neck along with spine in a natural position.
  • The back posture serves as an ideal position to avoid acid reflux issues. You can use a pillow to elevate yourself and provide support to the head. This position aids in keeping the stomach placed at a lower level of the esophagus, preventing the acid or food to expel out of the digestive tract.
  • However, lying down on your back leads to the blocking of the tongue towards the breathing tube, making it severely dangerous for people who suffer from sleep apnea and obstruct the breathing mechanism.
  • Back sleeping is considered as the winner for people as an inclination for cosmetic reasons. If you do not smudge yourself in the pillows, it will result in the formation of less facial wrinkles.

Starfish Position

These individuals lie down on their back, the arms are positioned upwards towards the head. This position results in enhanced snoring issues along with restless nap. The personality traits of such individuals include discomfort while in center or front, they have good listening power and are helpful. 5% people were involved in the survey who slept in the starfish position. It is advised to add a thin pillow underneath the knees which aids in reducing the discomfort.

Health Benefit

The starfish position also leads to discomfort during nap due to snoring and breathing issues resulting in less refreshing sleep at night. The people who take nap in starfish position are more prone to sleepwalk at night.

What Does Your Sleeping Position Say About You?

Sleep specialists, psychologists, and the researchers have been researching the sleep patterns of different individuals and how it affects their personality. Many people and their sleeping positions tend to remain constant throughout life. However, only 5% claimed that they sleep in different postures each night. There are around nine different types of sleeping positions, which describe your personality.

The sleeping positions include the following:

  • Fetal position- If you sleep in this position, you are described as ones having a tough shell, e., soft inside. They are very shy during the first meeting.
  • Log position- people in this position are social butterflies. They are very friendly, simplified and care-free.
  • Yearner position- people who like to sleep in this position are slightly complicated; they are cynical but open-minded. Such individuals make a decision slowly.
  • Soldier position- people in this position are quiet in nature and reserved in public.
  • Free faller position- If you’re a free faller sleeper then you’re sociable and bold, but they cannot bear absurd or critical situations.
  • Starfish position- Starfish sleepers are eager and offer a helping hand to friends in need.
  • Stargazer position- people who likes to sleep in this position prioritize their friends and stay positive.
  • Pillow hugger position- Pillow hugger holds love and value for their personal and close bonds. They love to cherish their friends as well as family relationships.
  • Thinker position- people in this position have two high extremes, and they are very emotional.

Sleeping Position for (Lower) Back Pain

Lower back pain is considered as one of the primary cause of pain. The best position for treating the lower back pain includes the following:


Lying flat on the back sometimes result in discomfort so try shifting on your side. Allow the left or right shoulder to keep in contact with your mattress, with the rest of the body on that side. Now place a pillow between the knees. If you find a gap between the bed and the waist, you can add a small pad underneath for extra support. Either you choose a single or double cushion, avoid sleeping on the same side as it might result in medical issues such as scoliosis or muscle imbalance.


If you have a herniated disc, try sleeping on the side in a fetal position. Lay down on your back and roll over slightly to your side. Try tucking your knees towards the chest and curl your torso in the direction of your knees. Avoid sleeping on the same sides to avoid muscular imbalances.

Fetal position aids in reducing the lower back pain by cushioning your herniated discs and space opens up between the vertebrae when you sleep in the fetal position.


If you feel comfortable while sleeping on your stomach, then place a pillow under your lower abdomen and pelvis to relives the pressure from your back and neck. People suffering from degenerative disc diseases find relief in sleeping on their stomach as it relieves the stress present between the discs.


Sleep on the back and place a pillow under the knees to maintain the neutral position of the spine. This position aids in distributing the weight evenly and less strain is placed on the pressure points. It also aids in keeping your spine and other organs in complete alignment.


Recliner aids in relieving the isthmic spondylolisthesis. This position creates a perfect angle between the thighs and trunk to reduce the pressure from the spine.


Sleeping Position for Neck Pain

13% of the American population suffer from neck pain. Neck pain occurs due to the involvement of your tendons, muscles and the ligaments which are termed as soft tissues. The neck pain is a severe pain which occurs either due to age, wear and tear due to age factors. Muscle spasm or strain occurs due to the underlying conditions such as arthritis, spinal stenosis, disc degeneration or trauma which might result in neck pain. The two best sleeping positions for neck pain include the following:


Lay down on your bed with arms placed aside and back slightly turned towards one side. The side sleeping posture aids in keeping the spine in a neutral and aligned position which is beneficial for relieving the neck pain. 15% of the side sleepers are described as trust-worthy and are easy going in life. The side sleepers are also termed as LOG SLEEPERS.

The side posture aids in reducing the acid reflux. The snoring issue is diminished while sleeping on the side and is a perfect choice for people having sleep apnea.


Lay down flat on your back and arms placed downwards around your sides. It is the ideal position for relieving the neck pain. Back posture also helps in reducing the back and joint pain. People in such posture also have an advantage of wrinkle-free skin. This position maintains your back and spine in a natural position which maintains the alignment of your body.

If you choose to sleep on back, then opt for a round pillow which supports the natural curves for your neck. Now select a flat cushion for your head and sleep well with such position.


Sleeping Position for Sciatica

The sciatic nerve is a part of the nervous system which runs down from the back of each leg and then feet. When this nerve gets injured, inflamed or irritated then it results in severe pain associated with legs, buttock or lower back pain which is termed as SCIATICA.


Sleeping position for individuals suffering from sciatica includes the posture which aids in relieving the pressure from the nerves. For side sleepers, it is recommended that you should bend the top knee in the direction of your head and place a single or double pillow in between your knees. The placement of pads helps in the prevention of twisting movement of the lower back when your knee drops down towards the mattress and results in irritation of the sciatic nerve.


For back sleepers, it is advised to place a pillow underneath the knees which aids in maintaining the neutral curves of the spine. However, you can choose the position accordingly as one sleeping position might suit an individual while others might feel uncomfortable in sleeping in that position.


The suggestions for patients suffering from sciatica include the use of the hard mattress along with the extra pillows so that additional support is offered to the back. The head pillow provides the spinal alignment.

Sleeping Position during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful phase of life but it’s very hard to sleep at night, and you may find yourself wrestling at night to have a comfortable sleep. The regular sleeping postures do not work well during pregnancy due to the increased back pain, abdomen size, insomnia, and heartburn.

Sleeping on the side

It is recommended to sleep on your left side during pregnancy as it increases blood level and nutrients to the placenta along with your baby.

Try keeping your legs and knees bent by placing a pillow in between. If you experience back pain while sleeping on your side, then try placing a pillow under your abdomen.

If you experience heartburn, then you need to place two or more than two pillows underneath your head to raise your body a bit.

During late pregnancy, many females experience shortness of breath for which you can try lying on your side or prop up your upper body with pillows.

Sleeping positions you need to avoid

Avoid sleeping on your back as it results in breathing issues, digestive problems, backaches, hemorrhoids, a decrease in circulation and low blood pressure.

Avoid sleeping on your stomach as the size of your abdomen increases with time and you will not be able to sleep.

Sleeping Position for Newborns

If you have a newborn at your home, you must know simple tips to avoid the sudden infant death syndrome as there are around 80% deaths in infants according to the latest survey. The most effective way to make your newborns sleep well is to choose the back sleeping position which allows the baby to sleep in the supine position.

Sleeping on the back is the ideal position for babies as it helps in keeping the airway patent. According to Us National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, SLEEP-ON-BACK is the best position for newborns. However, it is advised to keep changing your baby’s sleeping position so that no pressure is exerted on the same side. If the baby is left resting on the back for extended periods, he might end up in a condition termed as “POSITIONAL PLAGIOCEPHALY.” In this condition, the back of the skull gets flattened also known as “BRACIOCEPHALY.”

Sleeping Postures Which You Should Avoid For Newborns

The sleeping positions which you should avoid for newborns include the stomach or side sleeping postures. These sleeping positions are discouraged as they result in pressure on the baby’s jaw, restrict their breathing and might lead to suffocation.

Related: Best Crib Mattresses 2024

Best Mattress Based on Your Sleeping Position

The choice of mattress should be made according to your sleeping position. The pressure points with each position vary and lead to the negative impact on the spine alignment. Choose a mattress which suits your nap position as you might not be able to change your lying down posture.

Stomach sleepers prefer lying down on their stomach, so they need a firm mattress. Such mattress aids in providing minimal relieve in pressure over the knees but does not allow the individual to sink completely resulting in minimal stress over the back.

The medium-firm mattresses are considered as the best option for people who lie down on their back. These beds allow the spine of such individuals to remain aligned with no impact on pressure points.

The soft mattress is advised for people who take nap on their sides to allow their shoulders and hips to sink in. A plush bed offers a perfect spinal alignment with better support.

People who sleep in different positions and do not stick to one bedtime position are advised with medium-firm mattress. These mattresses provide excellent support to the individuals in every situation.

Related: Best Mattress 2024 For the Family

Best Pillows of Different Sleeping Positions

You should choose a pillow which cradles your neck and head, supporting the upper part of the spine.

  • For a back sleeper, the pillow should support the head and neck portion. The cushions for such sleepers should be thinner along with extra padding present at the bottom to provide support to the neck. Water pillow or memory foam are the best options for pads and mold precisely according to your neck. The water pillows are firm and provide complete support to such individuals who lie down on their back.
  • For a side sleeper, the thicker pillow should be used which maintains the head in an aligned position with the body. You need to buy ones which are firm and have an extra-wide base for allowing the space to remain intact between the shoulders and ears. For side sleepers, it is advised to place a pillow between the knees or use a rolled towel as an alternative.
  • For stomach sleeper, it is recommended to buy thinnest pillows or avoid using pads at all. If you have a habit of sleeping on your stomach, you can try sleeping on your side with a body pillow held in your hands, which makes you feel of something placed against the stomach. This position will help you keep your body aligned and straight in position.

Bear in mind to change the pillows after every 18 months of use. The pillow protectors serve as a useful barrier. However, they hold triggering factors for the growth of dust mites and molds.


There are various sleeping positions and many research along with studies to evaluate the relationship between sleeping posture and health. The back resting position is considered the best option, side sleeping posture ranks second amongst the comfortable posture while sleeping on the stomach is the worst position leading to neck strain, back pain and improper alignment of the body.

However, find a position in which you feel comfortable while lying down to rest at bedtime. Alignment is the critical feature while you rest at night. Keep your neck, head, shoulders, and back aligned. Fill the gaps between different body parts by placing the pillows and reducing the stress while asleep.

Experiment with different postures to enjoy the benefits of each resting position along with a refreshing good night nap. Keep turning your body as a whole maintaining the core pulled in which supports the spine in alignment.