Which Body Position Will Allow You To Sleep The Longest?


Image source: Consumer Reports

By: Emily Lopez, UCLA Undergraduate Student

I am a full-on, free-fall, stomach-down kind of sleeper -- and I own it. As a martial artist, I must be aware of my body positions and move in a conscious manner to achieve ultimate results. The same goes for sleeping.

Recently, I realized that not everyone falls asleep and moves the same way I do. I began to wonder: Is there in fact a correct way to sleep in order to maximize a night of sleep?

As it turns out, everyone has their favorite position to sleep in. My sister likes lying flat on her stomach with her leg in a crisscross applesauce form. The guy walking through campus said he slept like a log facing up and not moving at all during the night. We all have our preference, but how does this affect the quality of our sleep?

In a study conducted by the Japanese Society of Sleep Research, investigators looked at four different sleep positions in adults without apparent obstructive sleep apnea: right, left, prone (on your stomach), and supine (on your back). Even though we all have our own creative modifications, we can generally relate to these four distinct directions.

Among the 20-40 age group, researchers did not find a dominant position. However, they did find that females slept longest in the supine (on your back) position and males slept longest in the right position.

So the next time I am rubbing the sleep from my eyes and remembering that zombie cupcake dream, I'll wonder if it was all because I succumbed to sleeping on my stomach again.

Want to learn more about sleep? Join the #SleepRevolution at the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative Annual Celebration on April 20 - with Arianna Huffington! Learn more and get free tickets here.