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Sleeping Positions: The Ultimate Guide to Sleep Posture & Poses

Posted By: Layla

Do you sleep like a baby or a soldier at night? Or maybe you freefall like a skydiver into your mattress at bedtime. We don’t have any judgments, but we do have a few suggestions. There aren’t necessarily good and bad sleeping positions. If you sleep with one leg off the bed and your arm […]

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Do you sleep like a baby or a soldier at night? Or maybe you freefall like a skydiver into your mattress at bedtime. We don’t have any judgments, but we do have a few suggestions.

There aren’t necessarily good and bad sleeping positions. If you sleep with one leg off the bed and your arm across your face, that’s your beeswax. But some sleeping positions are better for back pain and easy breathing than others.

If you’re looking for a way to sleep better, choosing the right sleeping posture is step number one. The next step is finding the best mattress and pillow to support your preferred sleeping position (we recommend our copper memory foam mattress).

Let’s break down the pros and cons of common sleeping positions and how to use the right bedding to increase your REM.

Sleeping Baby

It turns out, some of us never grew up. About 40% of people sleep in the fetal position. For those of you who have forgotten what the womb was like, sleeping this way means laying on your side with your back curled and your knees tucked near your chest.

Sleeping in the fetal position could help your spine remain aligned and it also keeps airways open. Not only is it a comforting sleep posture, but if you have lower back pain, the fetal position may be a natural pain reliever. Curling over opens up your vertebrae and may relieve herniated disc pain. On the downside, people who have joint issues may feel achier in the morning if they sleep curled up.

TIPS

You can sleep better in the fetal position if you have a full pillow that keeps your neck straight. Consider falling asleep on opposite sides so you don’t consistently put stress on one side of your body.

BEST FOR

Of all the sleeping positions, this one is the most popular for a reason. It’s great for people who experience lower back pain or acid reflux. It’s also good for sleepers who simply can’t get comfortable sleeping on their backs.

Big Spoon

If sleeping positions could be related, the big spoon would be the cousin of the fetal position. Imagine being the big spoon in a sleeping pair. You’re on your side, but your legs are more extended than in the fetal pose and your arms may be extended outward. There is plenty of room for the little spoon. Whether or not you have a partner in bed with you, the big spoon position may be too comfortable to resist.

The big spoon position (sometimes called “The Yearner”) has similar benefits to the fetal position. It can keep your back aligned if you’re on a supportive mattress and it allows airways to remain open. On the other hand, if you have shoulder pain or strain, sleeping on the same side every night could exacerbate the issue.

TIPS

If you sleep on your side in the big spoon pose, putting a pillow between your legs can help keep your spine aligned during the night. A pillow will also support your hips. Try to sleep with your chin up to avoid snoring during the night.

BEST FOR

The big spoon position is good for people with back pain or those looking to reduce their sleep apnea. Sleeping on your side in an open position is also good for sleepers who tend to snore.

Starfish

Not too many people sleep like this (only an estimated 5%, actually), and if you do, your partner probably complains about it. But hey, it’s hard for you to control what you’re doing while you’re asleep. The starfish position involves laying on your back with your legs out and your arms splayed to your sides or above your head.

It’s like you fell asleep mid snow angel. In terms of sleeping positions, this one takes up a lot of space. Because you’re on your back, it could also push your neck forward and lead to snoring or sleep apnea.

TIPS

If the starfish is your sleeping pose of choice, there are ways to make it better for your body. Try putting a pillow under your knees. This could not only keep your legs from creeping into your partner’s space but support your lower back as well. To help combat morning soreness, you could try swapping out your old mattress for a new, firmer option to better support your back if you sleep sunny side up.

BEST FOR

People who don’t suffer from sleep apnea. It’s also the best fit for people who have a firm mattress that won’t let them sag down throughout the night. If your mattress doesn’t contour to your body, sleeping on your back will cause your butt to sink and your back to arch uncomfortably.

Sleeping on Duty

This position is all business. Sometimes called the soldier position, sleeping on your back with your arms and legs straight at your side keeps your body neatly tucked on your side of the bed. Like the starfish, it’s one of the sleeping positions most likely to aggravate sleep apnea. On the other hand, if you have your knees slightly elevated and your arms folded across your chest, this sleeping pose could also be easy on the joints.

TIPS

If you sleep like a member of the queen’s guard, try putting a pillow beneath your knees to better align your spine. A pillow beneath your lower back can also provide additional support. Make sure your pillow isn’t too high; when your pillow has too much fluff, it pushes your chin down and makes it harder for you to breathe.

BEST FOR

People who don’t have problems with snoring or acid reflux. It may also be the right choice for you if experience a lot of shoulder pain when you sleep on your side.

Belly Flopper

Do you flop onto your mattress like you’re trying to create the biggest splash at the pool? If you tell your chiropractor you sleep like this, she’ll know you’re going to need regular appointments since this is bad for your spine.

But seriously, sleeping on your stomach makes it difficult to align your neck and spine. Your back naturally arches when you sleep on your stomach. Most stomach sleepers also have their arms around their pillow, which can create a separate muscle strain. But, hey, it’s not all bad. If you’re one of the 16% of sleepers who snooze on their stomachs, it can relieve disc pain.

TIPS

Putting a pillow under your abdomen may help you avoid lower back pain when sleeping on your stomach. You should also use a relatively flat pillow. Lots of experts recommend sleeping with your forehead propped up against the pillow and your face toward the mattress… but that sounds uncomfortable for your nose. Try using a low memory foam pillow instead.

BEST FOR

People who haven’t been able to train themselves to sleep on their side like a normal person (we kid, we kid). Of all the sleeping positions, though, this one is only the best if you really can’t get cozy enough to doze off another way.

Layla Mattress for Comfortable Sleep in Any Position

No matter which of these popular slumber poses you consider the most comfortable sleeping positions, we have a mattress that will rise to the occasion. Or sink slightly as the case may be.

The Layla Mattress can be a firm or soft mattress, depending on what you need. The soft side of the mattress is more forgiving, and the firm side offers increased support. Both sides wick heat away from your body and contour to your exact shape.

You may also want to pair your Layla Mattress with our copper-infused pillow. You can remove some of the filler as needed, which is great news for back and stomach sleepers. Like Goldilocks, you can adjust the pillow fill until it’s just right and your neck is properly lifted.

The best news about our Layla sleep system is that you can try it all for 120 days to see if it’s a good fit. Get some sleep, try every pose you can think of, and decide if the mattress works for you (not to be cocky, but we think it will). Questions? Contact us today to find out more about the Layla Sleep lifestyle!

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