What sleeping positions can help my snoring? What positions can actually make it worse? Here is a run down of the best and worst ways to fall asleep.
What Will I Learn?
Sleeping Positions and Snoring
The way you position your body during sleep can have a big impact on snoring. In general, sleeping on your back is the worst position of all.
Any time you do so you are pretty certain you or your sleeping partner will be destined for a sleepless night.
Although it’s easy to discount it as an old wives’ tale, don’t be too quick to do so.
The results of several research studies show the worst sleeping positions for snoring are the ones that place you flat on your back.
The best sleeping positions to use if you want to avoid snoring are any of those that involve sleeping on your side.
However, when your favorite sleeping position happens to be one that encourages snoring, adapting and learning to sleep differently can be very hard work.
Fortunately, it’s possible to adapt over time so, if changing your sleeping position is difficult try not to get discouraged too soon.
Sleeping Positions that Cause Snoring
Although there are only four options for sleeping—left side, right side, back, or front—there are several positions that are best seen as variations on a theme.
Let’s take a look at the three main options for back sleeping. If you are trying to control your snoring, these are the positions you will need to avoid.
Normal Back Sleeping (Supine Position)
The supine position is the most common form of back sleeping.
When you are in this position, you are lying on the bed with your arms by your sides but not pulled in tight to the body. Your feet will be slightly apart.
The Soldier Position
The soldier position is very similar to the supine position except the arms are close to the side of the body and the legs are together.
This position is very similar to the one a soldier adopts when they are standing to attention.
The Starfish Position
The starfish position is a little different from the other two back sleeping choices because the arms rest on the pillow above the head.
The arm position may be similar to the one Muslims use during prayer or it might be similar to a Mexican wave.
The legs are likely to be slightly apart and the overall appearance will be reminiscent of a starfish or some attempting to do a jumping jack in their sleep.
Sleeping Positions that May Reduce Snoring
Stomach sleeping positions are less likely to cause snoring than back sleeping. However, positions that involve sleeping on the left or right side are the best options of all so let’s look at them first.
Normal Side Sleeping (Lateral Position)
Side sleeping is by far the most common sleeping position of all.
Unfortunately, although it can be good for controlling snoring, this sleeping position has the potential to cause shoulder pain. Especially for heavier individuals.
The lateral sleeping position may also cause back pain but if this occurs don’t let it put you off.
It’s often possible to prevent or reduce back pain while side sleeping by placing a pillow between your knees.
The Fetal Position
The fetal position probably needs no explanation. It’s a form of side sleeping where the legs are pulled up towards the stomach in a way that resembles the position of a fetus in a womb.
This is a variation on the fetal position but its more intimate because you snuggle up against the back of your partner.
As with the fetal position, both partners pull their knees up towards their stomachs and the person at the rear places their upper arm around the sleeping body in front of them.
One of the least popular side sleeping options, the log is a position where the arms are held straight along the body.
The log is one of the worst positions for placing excess stress on the shoulders and causing pain.
When you sleep in the yearner position, you lie on your side with your arms stretched out in front of you.
It’s almost as if you are reaching out to embrace an invisible partner.
Again, this is a good sleeping position for reducing the likelihood of snoring but can be murder on the shoulder joints.
Normal Stomach Sleeping (Prone Position)
Sleeping on your stomach may stop you from snoring but it’s one of the worst positions for your spine.
If you can get away with it, all well and good. However, don’t be surprised if you wake up with pains in your neck or along your back.
Placing a thin pillow under your stomach may reduce the chances of backache but there are no guarantees.
The Freefall Position
The freefall position is a little different from the prone position. Instead of leaving your arms beside your body, you place them under your pillow or on either side of your head.
This position is reasonably popular but it’s another way of sleeping that may be good for reducing snoring while being very hard on the back.
There are also specially designed anti snoring pillows that allow us to sleep in a way that is likely to have a snore-free night.
What Sleeping Positions Can Help Snoring Final Thoughts
Sleeping position is just one of many factors that can influence snoring. Some positions may reduce it, others may make it worse.
The best thing to do is to avoid sleeping in any position that involves lying on your back. Unfortunately, this is not always easy to do.
Some people have joint problems and/or other issues that prevent them from sleeping on their sides.
Stomach sleeping could be an option but it may cause problems with the neck or back.
Try not to despair if you are one of the many people who can only sleep comfortably while lying on your back. There are other ways to control snoring.
CPAP machines are also very popular and, unless you want to invest in a special CPAP pillow, it’s impossible to use the machines unless you are lying on your back.