If back-sleeping is your position of preference, you’re scoring more benefits during shut-eye than you’d think. “Your head is facing straight up and weight is evenly distributed on your spine,” making it the most orthopedically sound position, says Dr. Michael Breus, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep. And unlike when your face is buried in a pillow, sleeping on your back allows gravity to pull down on your face and chest, which is beneficial for those suffering from acid reflux. With your head slightly elevated, your stomach sits below your esophagus so acid and food are far less likely to come back up.
But snorers, beware: Supine is the worst of all the sleeping positions if you suffer from sleep apnea. “Your throat happy wheels demo and belly are being pulled down by gravity, making it harder for you to breathe,” explains Dr. Andrew Westwood, assistant professor of clinical neurology at Columbia University Medical Center. “If you [lie on your side or] get pushed by your bed partner, that snoring goes away.”
Score Better Sleep: Congrats, you’re rocking that bed! (We’ll skip the dirty pun…this time.) Unless you’re a habitual snorer, back-sleeping is your best bet for optimal health and day-to-day physical comfort. Oh, and it helps prevent wrinkles—a beauty bonus we’re definitely in favor of.