Catch some Z's, recharge, hit the hay - whatever you call it, we all need sleep. And for some of us, it's even our go-to hobby! Waking up after a rejuvenating slumber can make us feel like a million pounds, ready to conquer the world. Yet, emerging from a restless night, or waking up with aches and pains, can make us feel like we're due for the scrap heap. As adults we average at 7 hours of sleep a day, so being still for this period of time can cause strain on our bodies. 
So, how do our sleeping positions impact us? Are there particular positions we should avoid for our health's sake? 
There's an extensive list of sleep positions, but which are detrimental to your sleep quality, posture, and potentially your overall health? Here's a quick rundown of the most common ones: 

Front or stomach position 

You might not realise that sleeping on your stomach can harm your neck and spinal health as it forces them out of a neutral position. This position places unnecessary stress on your neck and spine, leading to discomfort and potentially even nerve damage. That being said, for those dealing with respiratory issues, this position can help keep the airways unobstructed. 

Supine or back position 

This position presents a mixed bag of pros and cons. It can aggravate existing back issues or cause new ones. If you're a habitual back sleeper and struggle to break free from it, try placing a cushion beneath your knees to alleviate lower back pressure. The key advantage? It keeps your head and neck in a neutral position, minimising strain compared to other positions. 


A lesser-known, yet fascinating position where you sleep on your back with your arms flung above your head (often adopted once your bed partner makes an early morning exit!). It carries the same pros and cons as the supine position, but with an added tendency for snoring. 

Lateral or side position 

This one is the people's choice - the most popular position. It generally results in less snoring than the supine position and is often preferred by those suffering from back, neck, and shoulder pain. On the downside, it can leave you waking up sore if you're dealing with arthritis, and the curled up posture can limit deep breathing by adding extra pressure on the diaphragm. Notably, those with congestive heart failure are advised to sleep on their right side to avoid exacerbating their condition. 

Foetal position 

Imagine lying on your side with your knees curled up - a favoured position for many. Some studies suggest it's preferred by more women than men, though the findings remain disputed. Depending on whether the neck is aligned or not, it can cause significant neck strain and shoulder pain. But, for expectant mothers, this position, especially on the left side, can enhance circulation for both mother and baby. 
Remember, the type of mattress you use can also play a role in affecting your sleep posture, either positively or negatively. 
In the grand scheme of things, there's no 'one-size-fits-all' sleeping posture - it varies from person to person, based on individual needs and circumstances. However, it's clear that some positions can bring about undesirable effects. Given the importance of sleep, getting your sleep posture right is non-negotiable. 
If you're continually waking up feeling worse for wear, it might be high time to consider a massage. We're here to help identify and address potential underlying causes and suggest possible solutions. Feel free to book online with any of our qualified therapists. 
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