People are arguing about what is the best position to sleep in

25 January 2020, 16:24 | Updated: 25 January 2020, 17:09

What position do you sleep in? There has been much discussion on social media about this controversial topic.
What position do you sleep in? There has been much discussion on social media about this controversial topic. Picture: Daly and Newton

Making sure you get enough shut-eye is very important for your health and wellbeing – but what is the best way to sleep? People have taken to Twitter to debate the best sleeping positions and we look at the four that are the most popular.

How you sleep can have a major impact on the quality of your sleep — as well as your overall health. Lying on your front, side or back are common positions but it's all a matter of personal choice as seen debated on social media.

An impressive eighteen sleeping positions were shared on Twitter, with the post achieving more than 13,500 likes and many comments.

Some of the positions people even compared to how murder victims may look, with one writing:

"7 is a murder scene. 16 is in the casket, 13 is probably what you did to the neighbours wife to get there".

Another wrote: "I'm a 10 sober, full corpse mode, no pillow.'

Meanwhile one user said: "They have no number for the way I sleep."

READ MORE: You can now buy an under-desk hammock that lets you fall asleep at work

With the debate raging on, we take a look at the four most common sleep positions and how they can effect your health.

1. On Your Back

Sleeping on your back allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position. This means that there’s no extra pressure on those areas, so you're less likely to experience pain. It is also ideal for warding off acid reflux and heartburn. Just ensure your head is slightly elevated with a small pillow.

However, on the downside, snoozing on your back can cause the tongue to block the breathing tube, making it a dangerous position for those who suffer from sleep apnea (a condition that causes periods of breathlessness). This position can also make snoring worse.

Sleeping on your back ensures a neutral position
Sleeping on your back ensures a neutral position. Picture: Tara Moore

2. On Your Side

Side sleeping also helps to decrease acid reflux, and since your spine is elongated, it helps to ward off back and neck pain. Plus, you're less likely to snore in this snooze posture as it keeps the airway open. For that reason, it’s also the best choice for those with sleep apnea. There’s one downside: it can lead to wrinkles as half of your face is pushing down against a pillow.

You're less likely to snore if you snooze on your side
You're less likely to snore if you snooze on your side. Picture: WestEnd61

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3. In the Fetal Position

This is the most popular sleep position. Side sleepers who sleep with their legs bent and curled toward their torsos are sleeping in the fetal position. It is especially good for pregnant people who sleep on their left side as it increases the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and the baby. To make it extra comfortable while pregnant, you can put a pillow between your legs.

Many people curl up like this to sleep. It is also especially good for those who are pregnant.
Many people curl up like this to sleep. It is also especially good for those who are pregnant. Picture: Flashpop

4. On Your Stomach

While this position is good for easing snoring, it’s not great for everything else. It can lead to back and neck pain, since it’s hard to keep your spine in a neutral position and it can put pressure on joints too.

It's best to choose another sleep position if you are a stomach sleeper. If you can't break the habit, prop your forehead up on a pillow so your head and spine remain in a neutral position so you have room to breathe.

Sleeping on your tummy eases snoring but can trigger other issues
Sleeping on your tummy eases snoring but can trigger other issues. Picture: Christopher Bernard