It can be really hard—almost impossible—to regularly get enough good sleep. But no matter how busy we get, we need to give our bodies a rest. "Sleep is critical for general health, and the better sleep you get, the better you will feel the next day," says Helix co-founder and sleep expert Adam Tishman. "Additionally, a good sleeping position can do a lot toward reducing neck and back pain and improving REM sleep cycles."
It's also not enough just to find time to sleep; you have to sleep in the right position, too, to really reap those health benefits. We quizzed Tishman about the three common sleep positions and asked which ones really help our overall health (and which ones don't). Scroll down to see what he says are the best sleep positions for optimal sleep—and which one you should avoid at all costs.
The Best: Sleeping on your back
"It puts your body into neutral and allows your spine to naturally align, keeping you off of key pressure points. It's also the best position for your skin since your face isn't squished up in the pillow," says Tishman.
Good: sleeping on your side
This is the most common sleeping position, and according to Tishman, it helps increase circulation and help with digestion. He does warn, however, that lying directly on your shoulders and hips puts a lot pressure on them. That can all be solved with the right mattress.
The Worst: Sleeping on your stomach
While this sleeping position does help eliminate snoring, it's considered the least optimal sleeping position. "It causes your body to bow and means you need extra support at night to keep your spine aligned," Tishman says. "Often lower back pain results if you're sleeping on the wrong mattress."
Next up, read up on the coffee nap.