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Which Side Should You Sleep On For Better Sleep

Which Side Should You Sleep On For Better Sleep

Our sleeping position is important to our health, it affects our body functions such as digestion, gut health, brain waste removal, and even respiration. The more you know about the best sleeping positions, the better your sleep will be. If you’re wondering which side should you sleep on - this post will explain the best and worst sleeping positions to help you change your body posture to achieve healthy sleep.

A recent study was conducted on over 600 participants and it found that sleeping on your side was the most common sleeping position. The results showed that up to 54.1% of the participants are side sleepers, 37.5% are back sleepers, and 7.3% are stomach sleepers. It is difficult to come to a conclusive agreement on what the best sleep position is because this varies for different people.

Table of Contents

Different Sleeping Positions

There are three main sleeping positions, and they are, side sleeping, back sleeping, and stomach sleeping. However, there are also combination sleepers that combine more than one sleeping position throughout the night.

If you have a medical condition, like heart disease or sleep apnea - the right sleeping position can make all the difference in your sleep by alleviating some of the symptoms. Additionally, your sleep position can affect other aspects, such as heartburns, acid reflux, and body aches like back, neck, or shoulder pain. As a result, finding the best sleeping position for you is crucial.

1. Sleeping On Your Side

Sleeping On Your Side | Puffy

Side sleeping is a popular sleeping position because most of us are side sleepers, but some people sleep better on their stomachs or backs. There are multiple ways to sleep on your side, and they are, one arm under your head and the other stretched out, like a log with both arms aligned on your sides, or the most popular position - the fetal position. An average of 41% of side sleepers sleep in the fetal position, which is curling up and slightly having your legs bent towards your chest. This position can relieve back pain and reduce pressure on your joints.

Side sleeping offers the most health benefits, some major benefits include:

Which side should you sleep on?

Sleeping on your left or right side, are both healthy positions for sleep apnea, snoring, and back relief. However, experts suggest sleeping on your left side and then shifting between both sides throughout the night. Sleeping on one side may cause arm numbness as well as shoulder pain, so shifting between both sides can prevent this. If you still experience shoulder pain, then you may need to switch to another position. Sleeping on your left side relieves pressure from your organs, this is particularly beneficial for pregnant women or those who suffer from heartburn.

However, it is recommended for people with heart failure to avoid sleeping on their left side because it’ll be uncomfortable and can affect the heart functions. A potential con for side sleeping is that it can lead to sleep wrinkles because your face is pressed against the pillow all night. In order to avoid wrinkles, it is best to sleep on your back or regularly switch between both sides.

Tips for Side Sleepers

2. Sleeping On Your Back

Sleeping On Your Back | Puffy

Back sleeping is well-known for being the best sleeping position to keep your spine aligned. Sleeping on your back will promote your head, neck, and spine to be in a neutral position. It will reduce the pressure on your neck, shoulders, hips, and knees. This sleep position is ideal for eliminating pain from those pressure points. However, if you have an unsupportive mattress, your spine will curve inwards and you may experience back pain.

People with heart failure should avoid back sleeping because it’ll add pressure on their lungs, which can weigh on the heart - this can be uncomfortable. The same goes for those with sleep apnea - while sleeping on your back, your tongue can shift in your mouth and create a blockage of airways. This promotes snoring and makes it hard to breathe. It is recommended to sleep on your side if you have a heart condition, sleep apnea, or a snoring problem.

Tips for Back Sleepers

3. Sleeping On Your Stomach

Sleeping On Your Stomach | Puffy

Stomach sleeping is the least common sleeping position and the worst position for your health - if you’re a stomach sleeper, it may be time to consider changing this habit. There are many risks that come with stomach sleeping like neck, back, and hip pain. Your neck will be twisted in an awkward angle to breathe, which can strain your neck muscles and cause neck pain. As for your back, if your mattress is too soft, your midsection will sink into it, adding pressure on your spine and putting it in a harmful curve that will generate lower back pain.

Your spine won’t be aligned with the rest of your body. If you’re worried about wrinkles, stomach sleeping isn’t the best option. Your face is mostly pressed against a pillow which can stress your skin and lead to wrinkles.

One positive outcome of stomach sleeping is that it lessens snoring and helps clear the airways - reducing the chance of developing sleep apnea or another breathing problem. However, you can get this benefit from side sleeping, which is a healthier sleep position.

Tips for Stomach Sleepers

When To Consider Changing Your Sleep Position?

Is your mattress working for you? The support of a mattress is a big factor in making you comfortable in your sleeping position. The wrong mattress will give you back pain, no matter how often you change your sleep position. As a result, it is important to ensure your mattress is optimized for full-body support and conforms to your body.

The Puffy Lux mattress is a hybrid memory foam mattress that contours your body and targets key pressure points. This mattress includes a 101-night sleep trial to try it out in your home to make sure it’s a right fit for you.

Alternatively, which side should you sleep on? If your current sleeping position is giving you body aches and or causing you other health issues - you need to change your sleep position. For example, if you’re a back sleeper but wake up in the middle of the night gasping for air, you should consider starting to sleep on your side.

Switching positions isn’t going to be easy and it’ll require time to get used to a new position. You’ll need to train yourself to sleep in this position until it’s natural. Pillows can assist you in maintaining a new position. For example, if you’re a new side sleeper, you can place a body pillow behind you to prevent you from sleeping on your back or if you were a stomach sleeper, you can hug a pillow instead to get a familiar soothing effect.

Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep

Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep | Puffy

Now that you understand which sleeping position is right for you, what else can you do to get a better night’s rest? You may not notice what is disturbing your sleep, but you will notice the impact it has on you the next day. Here are a few tips to optimize your sleep quality in order to feel refreshed when you wake up:

You should also consider having your last meal at least 3 hours before bed to give your body enough time to digest the food. Instead, if you get hungry at night opt for sleep-inducing snacks that can increase melatonin and reduce stress levels.


What is the healthiest way to sleep?

Sleeping on your side is considered the healthiest sleeping position because it includes many benefits such as improving gut health, cleaning brain waste, reducing back pain as well as symptoms of sleep apnea, GERD, or heartburn. Sleeping on your back is also a healthy option that promotes spinal alignment.

Why should you sleep on your left side?

Sleeping on your left side is highly recommended, especially if you’re pregnant or suffer from acid reflux, because it relieves pressure from vital organs allowing them to function better. However, sleeping on your right side is recommended if you have a heart condition.

Which position is not good for sleeping?

Sleeping on your stomach is the unhealthiest sleeping position because it puts pressure on your spine and promotes spinal misalignment, which can lead to lower back pain. You’ll also need to twist your neck in an uncomfortable angle to breathe which will strain your neck muscles. It is recommended to try to shift your sleep position to sleep on your side or back.


Achieving a better night’s sleep is easier than you think! Now that you know which side should you sleep on, you can get the various health benefits of this position and enhance your sleep experience. If you’ve switched positions and are still experiencing body aches - it may be time to consider changing your mattress.

Check out Puffy mattress reviews from real customers and see how we compare with other brands.

Your Turn...

Which side are you sleeping? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.

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