lenetstan/ShutterstockTossing and turning until the wee hours of morning should be the exception, not the rule. But if you’re among the 50 to 70 million American adults who suffer from sleep or wakefulness disorders, you’re all too familiar with this nightly routine. While it’s tempting to blame your mattress for your troublesome sleep problems, the real culprit might be your position, experts say. And it could take just one simple tweak to discover the secret to a better night’s snooze.
For most people, the healthiest way to sleep is on your left side, curling your legs and placing a pillow between your knees. This position can ease any back pain and prevent loud snoring, according to Dr. Josh Axe. He says it can also help acid reflux. Not suffering from any of those ailments? These are the best sleep positions for every health problem.
By contrast, “sleeping on your right pushes on blood vessels, preventing maximum circulation,” Dr. Michael Breus, clinical psychologist and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan: Lose Weight Through Better Sleep, told Shape. To compensate for the lack of circulation, your body will shuffle around as you snooze. That’s bad news for your overall quality of sleep. All the more reason you should snooze on your left side tonight.
As for the sleeping positions that harm your health? According to WebMD, you might want to avoid sleeping on your stomach, which can strain the lower back and neck, and your back, which could make snoring worse. Health advantages (and disadvantages!) aside, you might be curious to learn what your sleep position reveals about your personality.