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Many side and stomach sleepers look at back sleepers and wonder, “how do they do it?” When people are forced to sleep on their back (due to a strained neck, surgery, etc.), some quickly find the position unnatural and uncomfortable to sleep in.
Nonetheless, it’s considered the best position to sleep in, and 13% of the population consists of back sleepers. When searching for the best mattress for back sleepers, consider the pros and cons of sleeping on your back and the kind of mattress support this sleep position requires.
Pros & Cons Of Back Sleeping
Benefits Of Sleeping On Your Back
There are several benefits of sleeping on your back. The biggest one is that it keeps your spine in alignment with your neck throughout the night. This perfect sleeping posture can prevent potential spinal injuries or pains since your body isn’t contorted and your back isn’t strained in this position. Keeping your spine aligned promotes better balance and mobility, which is very important to your overall physical health.
With the right pillow, this is also a great position to avoid and prevent neck pain. There is a much smaller chance that you will twist or hurt your neck when it is positioned upright.
The best pillow will be on the thinner side. This way there is not a drastic height difference between your neck and the rest of your body, but puffy enough that it lends support and doesn’t allow your chin to tilt too far down your chest.
Sleeping on your back also prevents acid reflux, as long as your stomach remains below your esophagus. This position can also reduce the risk of wrinkles or sagging since your face, breasts, and body are facing upwards, unobstructed all night.
Sleeping on your back also happens to be great for your back. When sleeping in this position your weight is evenly distributed and pressure points are minimized, so if you suffer from back pain then this is the best sleeping position for your health.
Drawbacks Of Sleeping On Your Back
While the benefits of sleeping on your back far outweigh the drawbacks, there are a few still worth mentioning.
If you want to stop snoring for good, this is a position you’ll definitely want to avoid. Lying on your back allows your tongue to block your airways, which is what creates snoring sounds. Sleep apnea, a serious disorder in which a person’s breathing is interrupted in their sleep, can also be amplified by this position for that same reason.
Different Back Sleeper Positions
Not all back sleepers sleep the same way. In fact, there are multiple ways someone can sleep on their back.
Most back sleepers sleep in what’s called the savasana or soldier position. The savasana position is probably what most people picture when they think of back sleepers. It is a person lying flat on their back, with their arms and legs resting slightly spread apart at their sides. The soldier position is just like savasana, but with one leg pulled up towards the chest at a bit of an angle.
The remainder of back sleepers usually lay in a position called starfish. The starfish position has both arms raised, elbows pointing outwards, hands resting on or near the pillow. The legs are spread apart and slightly angled, with one pulled up as in the soldier position.
Best Mattress For Back Sleepers
On the firmness scale, the best mattress for back sleepers is ideally somewhere between medium and medium-firm. This is best because your body’s weight is distributed evenly when you lie on your back, so you should have a mattress that provides even, consistent support without allowing you to sink in too much.
One recommended mattress for back sleepers is the Stearns & Foster Reserve No. 2 Plush Pillowtop Mattress. With layers of memory and gel foam, thousands of nano-coils for increased support, and a high-tech coil system, this mattress is perfect for back support. It ensures your spine, neck, and head stay aligned throughout the night. It provides both the comfort and support aid that back sleepers need.
We’ve Got Your Back
Ultimately, there is no singular mattress that will perfectly suit every person who sleeps on their back. Each body is different and has its own set of custom sleeping needs.
That’s why there’s bedMATCH™. Our team understands that there is no one mattress that universally works for everyone.
bedMATCH™ is our diagnostic sleep system that uses scientific data and mathematical calculations to determine the best mattress for your body and your sleeping habits. If you’re interested in finding not only the best mattress for back sleepers but the best mattress for you specifically, try our bedMatch™ quiz today.