Healthy Living (Wellness & Prevention)

Everything You Should Know About Sleep Positions and Directions

Written by
Dr. Sneha Kannan
and medically reviewed by Dr. Kumarshri Shriniwas Saraswat

Published on Jul 08, 2019 and last reviewed on Oct 12, 2019   -  4 min read



Did you know that your sleeping position and direction can affect the quality of sleep? To know more, read the article.

Everything You Should Know About Sleep Positions and Directions

Sleeping towards the east or west direction helps to get undisturbed sleep, as the blood circulation is believed to improve in these directions. A good night’s sleep is essential to improve concentration and reduce stress. It is very important as humans spend one-third of their life sleeping, and this is the time when the body repairs the organs.

Certain medical conditions, pregnancy, or snoring might influence your sleeping position. You sleep in a position that is most comfortable, but sleeping the wrong way might have adverse effects on your health. Some sleep positions can aggravate your neck and back pain, and a few positions are contraindicated during pregnancy. This article talks about the merits and demerits of all the sleeping positions, direction to sleep in, and sleeping positions during pregnancy.

What Are the Best Sleep Positions?

If your current sleep position is aggravating pain or is uncomfortable, then it’s time to switch to another position slowly. This change might be the secret to improving the quality of your sleep. The different sleep positions are:

Fetal Position:

  • Position - Lay down on one of your sides, and curl your knees towards the chest. Bend your shoulder slightly towards the knees. Keep alternating sides.

  • Pros - This is the most popular sleep position. It is best suited for people with lower back pain and snoring problem, and pregnant women. Make sure your posture is loose and relaxed.

  • Cons - Sleeping in a tight fetal position can limit deep breathing and cause joint pain and stiffness in the morning.

Fetal Position

The Freefall:

  • Position - Lay flat on your stomach and for better support place a thin and soft pillow in the pelvic and abdomen region.

  • Pros - It is said to be the most comfortable position, and helps relieve degenerative disc stress and sleep apnea.

  • Cons - Aggravates neck and back problems, and you might feel sore and tired in the morning.


The Soldier Position:

  • Position - Lay down flat on your back with the hands placed straight on your sides. Placing a pillow under your knee will provide extra support to the back.

  • Pros - The best position for your spine and helps relieve hip and knee pain. It protects you from wrinkles due to pillow and gravity.

  • Cons - Aggravates snoring, sleep apnea, and back pain.

Soldier Position

The Log Position:

  • Position - Lying on either of your sides while placing your hand on the hip. Sleeping on the left side is best. Keeping a pillow between your legs relieves pressure from your lower back.

  • Pros - Helps reduce snoring and improves digestion, thus reduces heartburn or acid reflux.

  • Cons - Might make your shoulder and jaw of that side stiff and tight.

Log Position

What Are the Best Sleep Directions?

Studies show that the direction of placing the head while sleeping also affects our health. There are benefits and disadvantages to each direction. The different sleep directions are:

Head Towards the South:

The direction of sleeping influences the flow of blood, because the iron in the hemoglobin is affected by the earth's magnetic field, which is oriented in the north to south direction. Sleeping in the north hampers with the proper blood supply of the brain and body. As a result, you will not feel fresh in the morning.

Never sleep with the head in the north direction.

East-West Direction:

The east-west direction is also considered to be a good direction. This direction allows positive energy to flow through your body, making you sleep peacefully. It is also known to increase memory and concentration.

What Are the Best Sleep Directions?

Which Is the Best Sleeping Position for a Baby?

Always place your baby on their back, unless told otherwise by the pediatrician. Never put a baby to sleep on their tummy as it increases the chances of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Once your baby starts to roll over, gently roll them over on their back for the first few days. After some months, the baby will start sleeping in the position they feel most comfortable in.

Subscribe to our youtube channel

Which Is the Best Sleeping Position for Pregnant Women?

It is best to sleep on your side while pregnant. It is believed that sleeping on the left side increases the amount of blood and nutrients to the baby through the placenta. To make you more comfortable, bend your knees and place a pillow between them.

Avoid sleeping on your back as the baby can push the uterus upwards and compress the vena cava, which is a major blood vessel. This will make you dizzy, nauseous, and short of breath.

Sleeping Position for Pregnant Women

For more information and doubts on ways to fall asleep faster and different sleep positions, consult a doctor now.

Last reviewed at:
12 Oct 2019  -  4 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Shall I take Lonazep and Sove for anxiety and sleep issue. Will it cause any side effect?

Query: Hi doctor, I have noticed two problems in me. I have these problems for three months. I have disturbed sleep on several days and erectile issues (sustaining erection during intercourse). I am a hypothyroid patient for two years (I take thyroxine Sodium 100 mcg). I have high myopia (-10 power in bot...  Read Full »

What is the treatment for inhaling drywall dust?

Query: Hello doctor, I have a question in regards to pulmonology and exposure to crystalline silica. I have done a ton of research on the internet regarding this subject and probably know as much as anyone can know based solely on internet information. So I am hoping someone with a more advanced knowledge ...  Read Full »

Obstructive Sleep Apnea - a Frequent Undiagnosed Condition

Article Overview: This article discusses the information regarding the symptoms, diagnostic test, and management of obstructive sleep apnea in brief. Read Article

Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
Sleep Medicine Physician

Do you have any symptoms like snoring, interrupted sleep, unrefreshed sleep, morning headaches, daytime sleepiness, etc? Are you obese with a short and wide neck? If yes, then you may have obstructive sleep apnea, which is frequently an undiagnosed condition and has multiple adverse effects on our b...  Read Article

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Sleep or Sleep Positions?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.
Enter Your Health Query
You can upload files and images in the next step.



Disclaimer: All health articles published on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.