Lying on your back with your arms at your sides (also known as “The Soldier”) is a common sleep position. The good news is that it’s a healthy position in terms of your spine and the alignment of your body. Your body will be in a neutral position without any unusual curves in your spine. Those who suffer from acid reflux will also enjoy this position, because the head is elevated by a pillow. If you enjoy looking your best during the day, you’ll be pleased to note that the back position is great for avoiding wrinkles (which you would get if your face was in prolonged contact with the pillow). The bad news about the back position is that snoring is a bigger problem in this position than in any other. If you snore, you may want to switch to another position. Even if your snoring isn’t eliminated entirely, odds are that it will be much less severe in a different sleep position. Another problem of the back position is that it is not suited to those with sleep apnea. Sleep apnea will be a much bigger problem when lying on the back than in other positions. Also, beware not to use more than one pillow if you sleep in the back position. You’ll want your head and neck supported, but not propped up too much. Overall, if snoring or sleep apnea isn’t a problem for you, then the back position is a very healthy one.
THE STARFISH Personality trait – good listener
A variation of the back position, The Starfish differs simply by sleeping with arms up near the head instead of down by the sides. The Starfish is also a healthy position, except that it can exacerbate snoring or sleep apnea, like The Soldier. Where The Starfish differs is that it can also lead to shoulder pain due to the pressure put on the shoulders by sleeping in this position. In summary, if you sleep in the Starfish position, you may want to switch to the back position by moving your arms down to your sides. This will avoid developing shoulder pain in the longer term.
THE LOG Personality trait – sociable
Sleeping on your side with your arms at your side is also known as The Log. It has the advantage of keeping your spine naturally aligned. It’s also a good position for minimizing snoring. Also, if you suffer from acid reflux, but don’t want to use the back position, then The Log is the next best option for you. If you sleep in this side position, then you should make sure your neck is properly supported by using a fairly thick pillow. The disadvantage of The Log position is that the top leg is not supported, leading to the knee coming down on the mattress as a point of support. This causes the spine to rotate, which can lead to back pain or hip pain.
A good one for keeping airways open, so if you snore then sleeping on your stomach may work for you. So unless you suffer from digestive issues or from snoring, you may wish to consider a healthier sleep position, such as on your back. If you do need to sleep on your stomach, please note that you’ll get a healthier sleep on your stomach if you omit the pillow or just use a very thin one. This is because it will keep your neck and spine from being as much out of line.
THE YEARNER Personality trait – suspicious
Sleeping on your side with your arms out in front of you (The Yearner) is a variation of The Log (see above). The Yearner has the same advantages as The Log of keeping the spine aligned. But like The Log, The Yearner can also lead to back or hip pain through the unsupported top leg causing the spine to rotate. A disadvantage specific to The Yearner is that its arms out position can cause additional pressure on the shoulders and arms, leading to soreness. If you sleep in this position, it may be best to switch to the related Log position (on the side, arms at sides) to avoid upper arm discomfort.
THE FOETUS Personality trait – slow to reveal emotion
Sleeping on your side curled up into a ball can seem so cosy doesn’t it? Yet you may be surprised to hear that this is actually one of the worst sleeping positions you can have. The reason for this is that your back is curved into a non-neutral position during sleep, which is not good for your spine. The other problem with the foetal position is that it can actually restrict the breathing movements of your diaphragm, meaning you don’t breathe as well or as deeply as you would in a healthier sleeping position. If you wish to sleep on your side, instead of curling up into the foetal position, consider one of the alternative side-lying positions. Of the two, The Log is better than The Yearner, but either one is better than the foetal position.
THE FREEFALLER Personality trait – friendly
(The Freefaller) can help if you suffer from digestive issues. However, in other respects it is not a good sleeping position. This is because your neck will have to be turned at a big angle in order to breathe (since you obviously won’t be able to breathe lying face down). This extreme turning of the neck can result in strain and in neck pain. The other problem with sleeping on your stomach is that it does not align the spine properly, and can lead to stiffness or soreness in the back upon waking. However, the stomach position is actually a good one for keeping airways open, so if you snore then sleeping on your stomach may work for you. So unless you suffer from digestive issues or from snoring, you may wish to consider a healthier sleep position, such as on your back. If you do need to sleep on your stomach, please note that you’ll get a healthier sleep on your stomach if you omit the pillow or just use a very thin one. This is because it will keep your neck and spine from being as much out of line.
– Source – European bedding