Four reasons why you should never sleep on your front

What position do you sleep in at night? Find out why sleeping on your front is not advised, and what you should do instead.

When it comes to sleeping, there are several different preferred positions. Some people like to sleep on their back, others their right or left sides, and some, like my husband, spread out like a bed-hogging starfish!

But what does your sleeping style matter? Research shows that around 8% of us sleep on our fronts at night – and these front sleepers can be storing up health problems as a result.

To help you understand what and why, Dr. Tony Nalda, who leads the Scoliosis Reduction Center, shares four reasons why you shouldn’t be a front sleeper.

1) It’s bad for your neck and back

Sleeping on your front strains your neck as you have to turn your head to one side to breathe. This can cause muscle tightness, inflammation, and pain. 

Front sleeping flattens the natural curve of your spine, which can cause lower back pain. If you already have neck and back problems, sleeping in this position is almost guaranteed to make them worse.

2) It can lead to breathing and spinal issues

Front sleeping can make it harder to breathe deeply because the position compresses your diaphragm. If this causes lower oxygen intake overnight, it’ll disrupt the quality of your sleep. Sleeping on your stomach also puts extra pressure on your spine, potentially straining your vertebrae and the surrounding muscles.

3) It can cause cardio issues

Front sleeping makes your body work more, including your heart, as by pressing on your chest, you make it harder for blood to circulate. Over time, this increases the risk of cardio issues, especially if you already have problems. If you struggle to breathe deeply, it can lead to higher blood pressure.

4) It can trigger migraines and more

Stomach sleeping forces your neck into a twisted position, which can lead to migraines, tension headaches, and other neurological issues. The unnatural angle can also pinch nerves, leading to discomfort, numbness, or tingling in the arms and hands. 

So what position SHOULD you sleep in?

According to Dr. Nalda, back sleeping is best as it maintains the natural curve of the spine and minimises pressure on the joints. Alternatively, side sleeping improves heart health and reduces snoring.

A body pillow can provide extra support for the back or side position, and discourage rolling onto your stomach. Choose a mattress and pillow that provide the right level of support for your chosen position.

The Scoliosis Reduction Center is focused on treating your scoliosis in the most patient-centred and effective manner possible. 

The key differentiation between Dr. Nalda and other types of scoliosis treatment is that he takes a conservative intensive approach, which differs from traditional treatment approaches. No other brand has specific guidelines outside of that currently.