Sleep is a necessary part of living. When you get good sleep, not only are you resting and renewing energy, many other bodily processes are affected as well. A lack of a good night’s rest will have negative effects on your ability to focus and think clearly, stress levels, your immune system, cardiovascular health, appetite, breathing, and blood pressure. As such, missing sleep can lead to illness, heart disease, and weight gain. That is why sleeping and sleeping well is so important.

How We Should Sleep Versus How We Do Sleep

While a good mattress can help a person sleep better, that’s not the only contributing factor to sleep quality. In fact, one that may be more important and also more overlooked is sleep position. Most sleep specialists will agree that the healthiest position to sleep is on your back.

However, research shows that the majority of people, around three quarters, sleep on their side. It’s no wonder then that so many people also report only getting quality, restful sleep less than half the time.

Why Sleep Position Matters

Sleeping on your back allows for open posture and stretching out. This way, the weight of your body is evenly distributed across your frame without straining your neck. Sleeping face up also creates the most neutral position for your spine, head, and neck, not forcing curves that can lead to muscle tightness, cramps, and soreness in the morning.

On top of that, sleeping on your back can prevent wrinkles, as your face rests without anything pushing up against it. For women, the breasts are supported in this position, which will minimize sagging. On the other side of things, sleeping on your stomach can easily cause back and neck strain, leading to pain.

Snoring Changes Things

For those who snore or have sleep apnea, sleeping on your back is not a good idea. This population should sleep on their side instead. Side-sleeping can help reduce snoring while keeping the spine mostly elongated. Side-sleeping, unlike back-sleeping, allows the airways to stay open so it is easy to breathe, combatting these sleep conditions.

Sleeping with a pillow between your knees can help relieve some of the pressure on the back this positon can cause. Side-sleeping is not as good for bodily health as back-sleeping, but it is the next best thing.