Ana Krieger, MD and director of the New York University Sleep Disorders Center in New York City, says that sleep has a “huge effect on our personality and well-being because everyone has an individual need to sleep and if you are not able to meet your needs, you are not going to behave.” So, it’s important to find the right position for quality slumber.

Back to basics: If you’re the sort of person that likes to feel the sun on your face, you’re probably sleeping on your back. This is number one on our list and it should be on yours too. It’s the best sleeping position, but beware you might suffer from a little snoring.

Arms up!: Now, we’ve determined that sleeping on your back is good for you. So, what makes putting your arms up over your head any different from having them down by your side? When your arms are up, you put a lot of pressure on the nerves in your shoulders which could cause back pain. It’s still however, a better sleeping position than a lot of others.

Flat out: Now, if you’re the sort of person that can breathe through a pillow, there’s nothing wrong with this pose. Assuming that like most humans you need a little breathing space, sleeping on your stomach is going to cause wrinkles and lines as you will need to turn your head. In addition, your spine is not being supported, so it may cause some back pain. The one thing it is good for however, is improving your digestive system.

Like a baby: We all want to go back to our childhood at some point, but sleeping in a fetal position may be taking it too far. According to sleep specialist, Chris Idzikowski, PhD, a director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service in London, more than twice as many women as men tend to sleep in this position. The fetal position is bad for your back, unless you’re pregnant in which case it might help you sleep better. You may also find that you have trouble breathing if you sleep in this position too often.

It’s not right!: Sleeping on your right side may sound like it should be good for you, but you could actually be doing yourself a disservice by sleeping this way. You’ll probably get a lot of heartburn, and sleeping on your left side also isn’t great because you could be putting strain on your internal organs. The only exception is if you’re pregnant (doctors may advise you to do so).

Pile on the pillows: If you use a pillow to rest your body against, make sure that you know what you’re getting into. Worried? Don’t be – you’re actually doing your body a world of good. In whatever position you sleep in, if a pillow is helping you out, you’re going to wake up pain-free!

Another great tip for those who have back, hip or sacro-iliac joint pain, it can help if you sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees for support.

What position do you sleep in? Have you noticed any differences in how your body feels when you change sleeping positions?

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