This page has been robot translated, sorry for typos if any. Original content here.

Is it dangerous to sleep on your stomach? The most useful and harmful postures for sleep according to scientists

Полезные и вредные позы для сна

Most of you are probably familiar: in the morning, that way, 9-10 hours in the conditions of ringing silence, I woke up in a state like I hadn’t rested at all. The reason, in most cases, is the wrong posture for sleeping.

In a state of sleep, we spend 1/3 of their lives. Sleep is the time when the body is at rest. Breathing and cardiac activity slow down, relax muscles, turn off consciousness. But in order for the body to rest and gain strength, you need to sleep in the correct posture. Pros and cons of the most popular options later in the article.

On the back

Полезные и вредные позы для сна

The position “on the back” with the arms extended at the seams or hands folded on the stomach is called one of the best for a good rest and most beneficial to health.

“When we sleep on our backs, our spine is in a natural“ alignment ”position, without curvature. In addition, sleeping on the back is the best position for the neck and head, because in this position there is almost no pressure, and there is an even distribution of weight, ”explains Dr. Melamed Mehmet of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

At the same time, according to the physician, the pose “on the back” will not work for people suffering from bronchial asthma, as it will provoke attacks.

According to the dermatologist from the University of St. Louis, the pose “on the back” is ideal for those who seek to preserve the youthful skin, since in this position the face almost does not touch the pillow, which means it does not risk wrinkles.

In turn, therapist Steven Diamant from New York adds that a night rest on the back (in this position, the stomach is below the esophagus) is best suited for those suffering from heartburn - the probability of its occurrence is reduced.


  • Sleep in this position is recommended for people suffering from scoliosis.
  • In case of back injuries, it is the most comfortable to sleep in such a pose - all muscles are relaxed and tension is relieved.
  • The most useful pose for the skin. Lying on our backs, we do not touch the face with the pillow.
  • Sleeping on your back is the best option for hypertensive patients. In this position is a uniform load on the heart.


  • This position is contraindicated for those who snore and suffer from sleep apnea.


Полезные и вредные позы для сна

Next on the safe list is a posture on the back with arms spread out to the side or raised up. It is often called the "starfish".

“This position is good for the back, but in this position people also often snore (especially those who are predisposed to this phenomenon),” says neurologist Dickont Jim from Norwood Clinic in Birmingham.

Also, according to the doctor, because of the upturned arms, pressure on the shoulders may occur, which can lead to discomfort and pain in the morning.

On the side

Полезные и вредные позы для сна

In general, physicians refer to sleep on the side of the group as safe, but this method has several important features. For example, regardless of the chosen side, rest in this position is fraught with wrinkles on the face and neck (if you constantly sleep on the same side).

Sleeping on the right side can cause heartburn in people with this problem. And on the left - to cause an increased load on some internal organs. At the same time sleeping on the side reduces the likelihood of snoring. Pregnant women doctors recommend to sleep on the left side to maintain optimal blood circulation (this posture increases blood flow to the uterus).

By the way, neuroscientists from the University of Rochester in New York, as a result of a recent study, concluded that sleep on the side is most effective for getting rid of metabolic waste (beta-amyloid protein, which leads to Alzheimer's disease) accumulated during the day. In other words, scientists argue that the position "on the side" makes it possible to best unload the brain and prepare the body for new feats.


  • This position is suitable for those who have lower back pain. When we lie on the side, our spine acquires natural curves and the back rests.
  • Pose helps to reduce discomfort during indigestion and heartburn.
  • Also this position helps to cope with snoring.


  • After sleeping, pain in the side of the spine may appear on the side.
  • People suffering from hypertension, it is undesirable to sleep on your left side. This position exerts an extra burden on the heart.
  • When we sleep on the side, we risk wrinkles on the side of the face, which touch the pillows during sleep.

In the fetal position

Полезные и вредные позы для сна

The position on the side in the fetal position (with the knees tucked in) is most often chosen by people who experience a feeling of cold during sleep. Sleeping in such a position best allows you to keep warm. However, this is probably the only plus position.

Rest with knees pressed to the chest can lead to pain in the back and shoulders in the morning, as it implies an increased load on the joints, says Dr. Melamed Mehmet of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Also, posture of the embryo can cause respiratory failure, which in turn will lead to inadequate supply of oxygen to the brain during sleep.

On the stomach

Полезные и вредные позы для сна

Doctors call this position the most dangerous. When resting on the abdomen, the spinal column first suffers. Without receiving any support at all, he bends, which leads to a violation of his natural position. In addition, sleep on the stomach is fraught with circulatory disorders, numbness and tingling in the shoulders and neck, as the head in this position is always turned to the side at a right angle, explains the orthopedic surgeon from New York, Jonathan Fitzgordon.

If the “abdomen” position is the only one in which one can fall asleep, doctors recommend placing a small pillow under him (in the pelvic region) in order to correct the position of the spine and thus reduce the load.


  • It is easier to fall asleep on the stomach. Therefore, this position is considered the most convenient, but not the most useful.
  • Doctors believe that it is worth sleeping in this position if you are experiencing an uncomfortable condition in the digestive organs. Sleeping on your stomach helps reduce discomfort.


  • If we lie on the stomach, we turn our head to the side. At this point, one of the vertebral arteries is bent and compressed. Because of this, the blood supply to the brain is impaired.
  • During sleep on the abdomen, the lungs are not able to fully straighten out, the chest is compressed. This makes breathing difficult.
  • Sleeping on your stomach can cause problems of a sexual nature. And in women and men. This happens due to the fact that its own body weight puts pressure on the internal organs. It impairs blood circulation in the lower abdomen. And blood circulation directly affects sexual health.
  • Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended not only by sexologists, but also by cosmetologists! Because of this position in the dream, wrinkles appear on the face (often in the nasolabial region). Also, women risk acquiring unwanted wrinkles and wrinkles on their breasts, which are difficult to get rid of. Those who like to sleep on the stomach often show swelling of the face in the morning.