Does Sleeping Position Matter? Pros & Cons of Popular Positions

Photo by Lucas Andrade on Unsplash

It’s no secret that good quality sleep is essential for health and well-being, but did you know that the position we adopt during slumber can have a significant impact on the quality of our rest? While personal comfort is certainly important, there are also advantages and drawbacks to each posture that are worth considering. Learn about the pros and cons of three popular sleeping positions to help you determine which one is right for you.


Pros: Sleeping on your back is beneficial for spinal alignment, as it enables your body weight to distribute more evenly than in other positions. This reduces your chances of waking up with pain such as a stiff neck or tension headache. Back sleep is also best for minimizing wrinkles caused by prolonged contact with a pillow.

Cons: Without proper support under the knees, back sleeping can cause pain and discomfort in the lower back. It has also been shown to worsen snoring and sleep apnea symptoms, and even increase episodes of sleep paralysis in those prone to it. 


Pros: Side sleeping, particularly on the left, can promote better digestion and is the best position for reducing acid reflux. It also enhances airway circulation, making it beneficial for individuals with sleep apnea.

Cons: Without adequate support, side sleeping can potentially lead to shoulder and hip pain. In certain individuals, it can also compress the lungs and make breathing difficult. Sleeping on the same side every night may also cause facial asymmetry and wrinkles due to prolonged uneven pressure.


Pros: Sleeping on the stomach, sometimes called the prone position, can alleviate snoring by keeping the airway open. It may also ease symptoms of sleep apnea in some cases. This position can also reduce the likelihood of acid reflux episodes that may be exacerbated by back sleeping.

Cons: Stomach sleeping often leads to neck and back strain due to the stress it puts on the spine. Over time, this pressure can reduce our quality of sleep and leave us feeling less than well-rested in the morning.