Health

The Best Sleeping Position for Your Body, According to a Doctor

September 9th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

For a lot of people, sleeping is one of life's simple but great pleasures.

Getting effective rest is also important, as it allows you to feel comfortable and recharged long after you wake up.

Sleeping in a good position is one way to get such benefits of shut eye, according to Hooman Melamed, an orthopedic spine surgeon and the director of scoliosis at the Marina Del Rey Hospital in Southern California.

"Eighty percent of the population will have back problems at some point in [their] lives, oftentimes caused or aggravated by the way they sleep," Melamed told Medical Daily in 2014. Sleeping on your back is the ideal sleeping position for the body, he added.

When you sleep on your back, "you are in the best position, as your spine stays in natural alignment all night long," Melamed said. The position allows the spine, head, and neck to maintain neutral positions, and the back isn't forced to carry any extra pressure or weight.

Sleeping on your back can also prevent wrinkles.

That's what dermatologist Jaime Davis told Minnesota CBS affiliate WCCO in 2011. "If you fold a piece of paper enough times, you get an etched crease there," Davis said. "As far as wrinkles are concerned, you're probably best to sleeping flat on your back."

If you have acid reflux, you can also gain a lot from sleeping on your back if you keep your head lifted, according to Eric Olson, a physician who specializes in sleep at the Mayo Clinic's Center for Sleep Medicine.

"If the head is elevated, your stomach will be below your esophagus, so acid or food can't come back up," he told CNN in 2011.

What about snoring?

Sleeping on your back is widely considered the ideal position, but it's not 100 percent perfect, as it can present problems for those who snore or have breathing issues, Olson noted.

Using a puffy, supportive pillow can help resolve that issue without putting too much pressure on the head and neck to remain upright, CNN reported. An extra pillow may also be effective in preventing snoring, according to Harvard Men's Health Watch.

For light sleepers who live with loud snorers, the change will be much appreciated: