best worst sleeping positions effects health

On Your Back, Arms at Sides

Position: Lying down on your back with your arms resting at your sides. This position is also known as the ‘soldier pose’.

on your back arms at sides

Health Effects:
Pros – Sleeping on your back is usually considered the best position for your spinal health, as the back remains straight. It reduces pressure on the discs, thus preventing pain in the neck and back.

Also, sleeping on your back reduces acid reflux, helps maintain perky breasts and minimizes facial wrinkles.

On Your Back, Arms Up

Position: Lying down on your back with your arms resting beside your face and above your head. This is also called the ‘starfish’ position.

on your back arms up

Health Effects:
Pros – Back sleeping is considered the best position in terms of your spinal and neck health. This particular pose places less pressure on the discs, thus preventing spine and neck pain.

In addition, it helps reduce acid reflux because the head is elevated and the stomach is able to sit below the esophagus. This prevents the digested substances from coming back up into the esophagus.

This starfish sleeping posture also prevents facial wrinkles and skin breakouts.

Cons – On the downside, this position can result in snoring issues. Also, having your arms raised above your head can cause pain due to pressure on the nerves in the shoulders.


Avoid using a pillow while sleeping in this posture to allow your head, neck and spine to rest in a neutral position. This means there’s no extra pressure on those areas during your sleep.

On Your Side, Arms at Sides

Position: Sleeping on your side with both arms positioned downward in a straight line. This is also referred to as the ‘log’ posture.

on your sides arms a side

Health Effects:
Pros – This is an ideal sleeping position for the spine, as it receives complete support in its natural curve. The straight spine not only prevents back and neck pain but also reduces sleep apnea.

In addition, sleeping on your side also reduces snoring. This is the best sleeping position for pregnant women.

Cons – As the top leg does not get enough support in this sleeping position, chances are high that you may develop back or hip pain in the future. Also, side sleeping can lead to skin aging (facial wrinkles and sagging breasts) due to gravity. It can even cause neck pain.


As this position can cause neck pain, use a thick pillow to support your neck. For your pillow, always use a satin pillowcase to prevent facial wrinkles.

Also, place a pillow between your thighs to support your top leg.

On Your Side, Arms Out

Position: Sleeping on your side, with your legs slightly bent, arms outstretched and head slightly angled off center. This is also known as ‘the yearner’ position.

on your side arms out

Health Effects:
Pros – This sleeping position prevents back and neck pain. In addition, it helps reduce snoring and ease heartburn and acid reflux.

Not only this, this sleeping posture even allows the body to clear waste from the brain more efficiently and reduce the risk of developing brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Plus, people who sleep in this posture are less likely to wake up in the middle of the night. This is mainly due to the comfort your body gets during sleep.

Cons – Sleeping on your side restricts the proper flow of blood and puts pressure on the nerves, which may cause pain in the shoulders and arms. Nerve compression may place strain on internal organs like the stomach, liver and lungs, which can cause discomfort.

Side sleeping may also cause saggy breasts and premature skin aging, as placing one side of your face on the pillow results in facial wrinkles.


Sleep on a satin pillowcase to reduce the chance of facial wrinkles. To support your top leg, you can place a pillow between your knees. However, to reduce upper arm discomfort, it is recommended to switch to the log position, where you put your arms by your sides