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Worst Sleeping Postures You Must Avoid

Updated on October 3, 2012

Ever wonder why you had a bad headache, back ache or neck pain when you woke up in the morning? And this pain will continue to hurt you all day long. Thank yourself for sleeping in one of the worst sleeping postures one can sleep. As much as a good sleep is necessary to maintain good health, a good sleeping position is also necessary for having a healthy body without ailments. Research has shown that your sleeping posture not only dictates your physical health condition but also your personality. It is also found that a bad sleeping posture not only leads to physical ailments, but also skin problems such as early skin aging.

Here are some of the worst sleeping postures you must avoid.

Bad position 1: Sleeping on your tummy

This position ranks top on any doctor’s list of worst sleeping positions. Sleeping on your tummy with your head to the left or right side puts immense tension on your neck, shoulders and spine. This can easily lead to dizziness, and straining of your ligaments as well as spinal joints. Sleeping on your tummy will exaggerate your spine curve. This position also affects your dental structure due to the pressure it puts on your lower jaw.

Bad position 2: Fetal Position

If you are sleeping to your side with your knees curled up towards your stomach and chin tucked into your chest, you are sleeping in a fetal position. Experts say that this is one of the least recommended positions. According to doctors, this can easily show up in the form of joint pains in the morning. This is especially bad for arthritic patients, says Dr. Olson. Doctors also say that the curved position also restricts diaphragmatic breathing. Sleeping in this position regularly also results in early age wrinkles on skin and sagging of breasts.

Bad position 3: Head and Shoulders on Pillow

This is my favorite position when we talk about bad sleeping positions. If you woke up in the morning wondering why you have such a terrible neck pain or upper back pain, it is possible that you were sleeping in this posture all night. The right way to sleep is to rest only your head and neck on the pillow and the shoulders on the bed. Placing both your neck and shoulders on the pillow causes an imbalance in the spinal curve from your neck downwards. This can easily lead to spinal misalignments and upper back pain as well as neck pain.

Bad position 4: Sleeping on your stomach with pillow under your body

Whoever told you that it is a good way to sleep, was seriously messing with your health. First of all, sleeping on your stomach itself is bad for your health. Putting a pillow below your body adds on to the negative aspects of this position. Sleeping on your tummy hurts your spinal curve. Keeping a pillow below your body may provide you initial comfort, but in reality, it is actually adding to your spinal degeneration by curving it more.

Bad position 5: Sleeping on the same side

While this may not be a really bad sleeping posture, sleeping on the same side all night long especially to your right side, reduces body oxygenation. Shifting your body position once in a while during the night helps your body maintain optimum oxygen levels and healthy blood circulation. Some doctors recommend that sleeping on your left side is healthier as optimum levels of oxygen reach the heart and lungs. However, some doctors also recommend shifting your sleeping positions during the night.

Many people follow one of these worst sleeping postures without knowledge. Now that you know what the wrong sleeping positions are, it may be a good time to correct your sleeping posture.


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    • profile image

      Eileen G Pelletier 

      4 years ago

      Sleeping on your side with the correct knee pillow, aligns hips to prevent back pain, and is sooo comfortable :)

    • karthikkash profile imageAUTHOR

      Karthik Kashyap 

      6 years ago from India

      thank you sleepguru :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I never really had any idea about posture in sleeping. Well, this has entertained me and gave me knowledge in my boring times like now, keep it up!

    • Rfordin profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      LOL should you create the next hub in this series let me know...... I'd love to learn more about it :). Best wishes on your hubventures'

    • karthikkash profile imageAUTHOR

      Karthik Kashyap 

      7 years ago from India

      Becky: lol!! thanks :) I will try to find some good articles which will give you guidance about strapping yourself to the bed so that you don't toss and turn :D

    • Rfordin profile image


      7 years ago from Florida

      Ok I'm guilty of tummy sleeping. I must admit I know how horrible it is but I can't seem to retrain myself to sleep any other way. I always start out on my back but I end up turning over to my tummy. Where's the Hub on the best ways to sleep or the best way to strap yourself into that sleeping position ;). Good article, thanks for sharing!


    • karthikkash profile imageAUTHOR

      Karthik Kashyap 

      7 years ago from India

      curevaricoseveins: thanks for commenting :) I am right now researching about the best sleeping postures and I have found two. Let me see if I can find more.

    • karthikkash profile imageAUTHOR

      Karthik Kashyap 

      7 years ago from India

      thanks a lot radhapriestess :)

    • radhapriestess profile image


      7 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Well done article and very informative. I did not know much of the information in the article. I will definitely share this one.


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