The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Different Medical Problems

There's nothing more frustrating than going to bed for a good night's sleep only to wake the next morning feeling even more tired than you did before you turned in.

Whether it's snoring, an over-active mind or digestive issues, there can be many causes behind a restless night - but they could all be cured by changing just one thing, according to sleep experts: laying on your side or change your position on sleeping.

If your position is bad on sleeping, then you might know what the causes are.

Here are the best ways to try other position to make you comfortable on sleeping:


If you’re waking up with severe shoulder pain, you obviously want to know how to make it stop. Oddly, simple things that didn’t used to bother your shoulder can suddenly cause severe shoulder pain after waking up. Some of the most common culprits include:

-Repetitive movements (such as cashiers or shelf-stockers perform at a grocery store)

-Medical conditions like arthritis and bursitis

-Sleeping on your arm, or on the same side every night (which pressures and pinches tendons deep in the shoulder, causing them to become inflamed or chafed)

-Poor shoulder mechanics (such as having weakness or limited range of motion in the back and ribs, and overcompensating with the shoulder)

Best way of position is to sleep on your back, try to use an orthopedic pillow and don’t put your hand under your head. These way it will improve your shoulder posture.


Back pain can make getting through the day hard, but it can make getting a good night’s sleep even harder. It can be tough to find a comfortable position so you can doze off. And you might not even be able to get in and out of bed without pain.

Try sleeping on different kinds of mattresses, either at friends’ houses, or in hotels, to see what feels best. If you think a harder mattress might help, put a sheet of plywood between your mattress and box spring, or try a few nights with your mattress on the floor to see if the extra support makes a difference in your pain.


When people wake up with a sore neck, they usually say they “slept on their neck wrong.” However, this may not be exactly the right way to think about this issue. Rather than sleeping with their neck twisted or in an awkward position, most people experience discomfort because they are sleeping in a position that strains the neck – often because of the placement of their pillow. In many cases, the problem is the use of too many pillows, or else a pillow that is too firm or that is too high.

This strain causes stiffening and minor pain in the ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the neck, which can take anywhere from one to three days to heal.


If you get into bed and cannot fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and return to another space in the house to do a relaxing activity, such as reading or listening to music. Lying in bed awake can create an unhealthy link between your sleeping environment and wakefulness. Instead, you want your bed to conjure sleepy thoughts and feelings only.

Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and evening, and alcohol close to bedtime. These can promote wakeups during the night. Also avoid mobile and other gadgets before bedtime because it will affect the sleeping cycle.


Snoring happens when you can't move air freely through your nose and throat during sleep. This makes the surrounding tissues vibrate, which produces the familiar snoring sound. People who snore often have too much throat and nasal tissue or “floppy” tissue that is more prone to vibrate. The position of your tongue can also get in the way of smooth breathing.

There are best way to prevent snoring such as:

-Change your sleeping position. Elevating your head four inches may ease breathing and encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward

-Sleep on your side instead of your back. Try attaching a tennis ball to the back of a pajama top or T-shirt (you can sew a sock to the back of your top then put a tennis ball inside). If you roll over onto your back, the discomfort of the tennis ball will cause you to turn back onto your side. Alternatively, wedge a pillow stuffed with tennis balls behind your back. After a while, sleeping on your side will become a habit and you can dispense with the tennis balls.


Cramps are more common at night and in older people. An estimated 1 in 3 people aged over 60 years experience night cramps, and 40 percent experience over 3 attacks per week.

To relieve the pain when cramps occur:

-Hold the toe and pull it up towards the body, while straightening the leg.

-Walk around on heels until the cramp eases off.


Heartburn is a symptom of the reflux of acidic stomach content back into the esophagus, and chronic gastroesophageal reflux can lead to inflammation of the esophagus, scarring, and even precancerous or cancerous changes within the esophagus. When heartburn occurs at night, it is considered to be suggestive of a more serious or advanced form of reflux disease. Heartburn during sleep can also cause nighttime awakening, sleep loss, and daytime sleepiness. This is common problem mostly in pregnant women.

Here are some more practical tips to help you avoid heartburn and indigestion:

-Don't eat big meals. Instead, eat little and often throughout the day.

-Don't eat close to bedtime. Give yourself three hours to digest food before you lie down.

-Raise the head of your bed using bricks, books or other sturdy objects. This way, you’ll still be able to sleep on your side, but gravity might give you a little relief from your symptoms.

-When heartburn does strike, drinking a glass of milk may help to relieve the burning sensation.
The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Different Medical Problems The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions for Different Medical Problems Reviewed by LVS Staff on September 18, 2018 Rating: 5
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