Sleeping Position:10 Mistakes You should Avoid

Types of sleeping position Do's and Don't of sleeping position


Medically reviewed by Dr.Tunde Olagunju

Ten Sleeping Position Mistakes You Should Avoid

  • Have you ever wake up feeling tired, numb, and restless and you wonder? Do you know that mistakes in your sleeping positions can influence that? I’m sure you are surprised!  I will tell you a short story about my mum, my mum is a prone sleeper(face or stomach down), Each time she wakes up in the morning she complains of having back pain,
    African mixed-race woman waking up sitting on bed feel low back pain after sleep caused by the uncomfortable mattress, wrong position during night rest, premenstrual syndrome, violation of posture concept

    then I suggested she change her sleeping posture to supine(back), she did and she never complained of neck and back pain to me again.

    Asian woman suffering from neck and shoulder pain after wake up in the morning on the bed…you-should-avoid/

Types of sleeping position

There are different types of sleeping position, Knowing the  Right posture can go a long way to improving your general body functions and also reducing your risk of pains, muscle cramps, headaches, sleepless nights, impaired breathing, sleep apnea, heartburn, tummy troubles, premature wrinkles, sleeping problems, or disorder and many more.

This Image illustrates a baby sleeping prone(face down)…you-should-avoid/

According to a research, a study was carried on all infant dying suddenly and unexpectedly, 3days later, parent of the infant dead was interviewed and information was collected on their bedding(bed), sleeping posture, heating, and recent signs of illness index (first) control infant, the result showed that approximately 95% of infants who has died from sudden infant death syndrome were more likely to have been sleeping prone (face down). These articles will be explaining the Ten position mistakes to avoid when sleeping click on these to read more:…you-should-avoid/

Types Of Sleeping Position

  • Supine(back): this involves lying the back on the bed with the face looking up at your ceiling, while doing this your spine, neck, and the head is in a neutral position which is not harmful to your body, it is one of the best sleeping postures to use when having heartburn, back pain, neck, and shoulder pain, although sleeping on your back is also one of the positions that breeds sleep apnea(snoring).

Do’s: when sleeping on your back always attached a pillow to your head (I.e to raise your head a little) to balance out the body in a neutral position, it is advisable to use a pillow that suits your body size to prevent damages and injuries to the spine.

Don’t: your back comprise so many delicate organs like the spine and they are interconnected with the brain using items like planks or any harmful materials as a guide on your back put the organs at risk of getting injured, avoid the use of arms as a pillow to your head when sleeping to avoid neck and shoulder pain, making use of too much pillow on the head stresses your shoulder.

  • Prone (face down): This is the worst part of sleeping, it involves lying face down with the stomach on the bed, this position put the back, neck, shoulder, and joint in a very uncomfortable position.

Newly born mothers shouldn’t use this should for their babies, It is usually difficult to maintain a neutral position, it strains the neck, back and joints, some studies showed that prone sleeping eases sleep apnea (snoring) and it also helps in easy digestion.

Do’s: to sleep on your stomach you have to turn your head to your side either right or left to allow air and avoid obstruction in your airways if you are used to this position put a pillow under your stomach to put your spine in a better position.

Don’t: if you are used to this position you should change it and try other positions, pregnant women shouldn’t try to use it as it may put the mother and baby in danger.

  • Starfish position: this is done where the body is lying the back flat on the bed with the legs wide apart from and the arms are raised over the head, 70% of sleepers that uses these position suffers from sleep apnea( snoring),

it helps to prevent facial wrinkles, sagging breast and also reduces your chances of having a headache, it also avoids stomach acid and things from slippery into the esophagus when sleeping.

Do’s: place a pillow between your knees to reduce the pressure on the nerves and also place a pillow in your head to maintain balance, also add in a pillow in between your upper back and lower back.

  • Spooning: It is a romantic position, it is usually done by lovers or couples, In this position, we have the big spoon and the small, most times the bigger person holds the one in the front close to their body, the couples usually on their side, it influences cuddling, it aggravate bonding by producing a hormone that releases oxytocin, decreases stress, couples usually feel safe to each other, it usually makes couples to get to sleep more quickly

Do’s wedge a pillow underneath your limbs to avoid aches and pains.

Don’t: avoid putting your arms under the waist to avoid your arms to go numbs and pains when you wake up.

  • Side(lateral): studies have proved it to be one of the best positions for all, it helps the brain to remove waste more quickly and efficiently than any other postures, it can be uncomfortable if you are having shoulders, neck, and arms pain, reduces sleep apnea(snoring).

Do’s: place a pillow in between the knees straight down and also use a pillow to raise your head a little.

Don’t: don’t use a pillow that is big beyond the head size to avoid pains in the neck and to maintain an unbiased position

  • Soldier: when using this you lie on your back and your arms are down and close to your body, facing the ceiling,

This posture encourages snoring and prevents you from getting restful night, it is common among the American, it looks like a standing soldier when sleeping.

Do’s: place in a pillow to raise the head and also in between your back to maintain a neutral spine.
Don’t: don’t try it if pregnant.

  •  Log: sleepers lie on the side with their arms down next to their reduces snoring but you might wake up in pain, it is a good position for the spine.

Don’t: Those with arthritis should avoid it because it may worsen it.

  • free-fall:…you-should-avoid/

    this position involves the stomach facing down with the head to one side, arms are the pillow, this position strain the spine, it put pain on the neck, lower back enables wrinkles, there is usually stress on the internal organ.

Do’s: placing a pillow under the stomach reduces the tension on the neck.

Don’t: do not place a hand under the pillow when sleeping, To avoid pain in the arms.

  • Fetal:…you-should-avoid/

    this involves you curling up on your side on the bed with your knees bent inward towards the torso.

it is also a good position for pregnant women, it helps to improve the circulation for both the mother and fetus (baby), is mostly used by women, and it prevents your uterus from pressing against your liver, which is on your right side. This pose is also good for snorers.

Do’s: if sleeping in this way hurts your hips, place a pillow between your knees to help relieve pressure on the hips, and straightening out your body.

Don’t: getting your knees too curled may strain or pressure your lower back and the abdomen, Getting too curled may also restrict breathing in your diaphragm, if you are having arthritis or joint pain try to straightening your body rather than curling it to avoid pain and soreness when you wake up.

  • Yearner:
    Picture of the lady sleeping in the yearning position usually on the side with arms outstretched…you-should-avoid/

    this involves sleeping on your side with your arms out and stretched in front of the body, this position may be good for breathing problems,

it is bad for those with arthritis as it may enhance prevents back and neck pain reduces sleep apnea (snoring), eases heartburn, reduces the risk of developing the disorder like Alzheimer and Parkinson( memory loss and loss of movement)

Do’s: place a pillow between your knees and under your head.

Don’t: do not place an oversized pillow to avoid neck pain and maintain an aligned spine.

Does sleeping position affect a patient with cardiovascular disease?

There are several cardiovascular diseases such as Heart failure, heart attack, coronary artery disease, periphery artery disease, cardiomyopathy, congenital heart defects.

Studies have shown that 50% of patient with heart failure suffer from a sleeping disorder, insomnia, breathing problems, such as sleep apnea(this is the obstruction or blockage in the upper airway which leads to snoring),

There are two types of apnea obstructive apnea(OSA) and central sleep apnea(CSA). A lot of sleeping position aggravate sleep apnea such as the supine, starfish e.t.c.

Patients with heart failure should use a lateral (side) sleeping position either left or right it decreases sleep apnea.…you-should-avoid/

Heart failure is an important health issue that needs to be given utmost attention to reducing the mortality(death) and morbidity(illness) rate of patients with heart failure.

Summary: This article emphasizes different sleeping positions, the effect on the body. Sleep studies believed that supine (back) and side are the best positions and healthiest of all due to fact the there isn’t enough pressure on this position.

Nevertheless, most people are adapted to some position but knowing the correct way about it helps and prevent sleeping disorder, patient with heart failure should use the lateral sleeping position.…you-should-avoid/

On health: sleeping position The best sleeping position.
Webmd, journal of pediatrics and child health.
Medical journal: impact on heart failure on quality of sleep.


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