HEALTH CHECK: Your Sleeping Position Can Affect Your Health


Have you often wondered why some times you wake up happy and other times, you wake up feeling so depressed and sad? You try to wrap your head around it and you conclude that it’s because of the previous day’s events, which most times do not have anything to do with it. Some have accepted it as a natural thing and seem to move on with their day’s schedule, giving little nor no attention to the way they feel when they wake up. But wait a moment… Will be true that your sleeping position has something to do with the way you feel when you wake from sleep?

What if you are told that something as irrelevant as your sleeping position can affect your health? It is true that everybody has their favorite sleeping position. Yours may seem to enable you enjoy sleep more, but in the interest of your health, you should rather look out for those sleeping postures that are healthy and boosts your skeletal system instead of clinging to “your favorite sleeping position” when it only does more harm to your body system.

According to Wikipedia, a sleeping position is the body configuration assumed by a person during or prior to sleeping. It has been shown to have health implications, particularly for babies.

Let’s look at 7 sleeping positions and how they affect you health:

1. On Your Back, Arms At Sides (Soldier Position)

Soldier position

Sleeping on your back with your arms at your side is also referred to as the “Soldier Position.”  It gained its nickname because sleepers in this position seem to be on guard. It is also considered to be the ideal sleeping position for spine health and it is good for the neck too, as long as you don’t use too many pillows. That said, it should be pointed out that this position encourages the tendency to snore more than all the other positions and sleep apnea is a dyssomnia (sleep disorder) strongly associated with the soldier position.

Sleep Apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow or infrequent breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last for several seconds to several minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more in an hour.

2. On Your Back, Arms Up (Starfish Position)


Sleeping on your back with your arms up is also referred to as the “Starfish Position” and it is good for the back too. Your arms may just be around your pillows and not up, but whatever way you choose, sleeping on your back helps to prevent facial wrinkles and skin breakouts, True! However, just like the soldier position, the sleeper has the tendency to snore because the face is lifted upwards and breathing is not very smooth. Plus , having your arms pushing up will put pressure on the nerves in your shoulders causing you pain when you wake up in the morning.

3. Face Down (Free Fall Position)

Free Fall position

Sleeping with your face to the bed is also called the “Freefall Position.” This sleeping position aids the digestion process a lot. That is a great benefit but it has disadvantages. Unless you can breathe successfully through your pillows, you will find out that you have to be moving your neck sideways from time to time in order to find air to breathe. This is a very stressful adventure and it does not only disturb the sleeping process,  it also causes a lot of strain to the neck.

The free fall position can also cause back pain because the curve of the spine is not supported.

4. Knees and Body Curled Up (Fetal Position)

Fetal position

Sleeping with your body and knees all curled up together to almost form a ball is so beautiful especially in the cold. This position can also be called the “Fetal Position” because of its striking resemblance to a fetus in the womb of a pregnant woman. As beautiful and comfortable as this position may seem, it has an adverse effect on the neck and the back. The “curl” can also hinder the free flow of air through the windpipe thereby restricting deep breathing.