Dr. Rebecca Robbins is a sleep researcher whose work examines the link between sleep and performance, as well as strategies for optimal rest and recovery. This year, she is partnering with Beautyrest to put a renewed focus on sleep performance—noting the importance of how high-quality sleep can give everyone an edge to perform more effectively throughout their day and in their waking life.
Our waking behavior is classified in various ways. You may have an extraverted or introverted personality, and similarly, we may also have a classification for our sleeping behavior. We typically distinguish between side, stomach and back sleeper positions.
A true side sleeper (although they will move frequently at night and we all do!) generally prefers starting the night on their side and will spend the majority of their sleep in this position.
A study conducted by the UK Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service found the most common sleeper type was on the side in a ‘fetal’ position, and approximately 40% of respondents selected this answer.
A stomach sleeper likely will start their night on their stomach and spend most of their time asleep in this position.
There are individuals who transfer from one position to another, yet prefer reverting on their back for the majority of the night.
There are small caveats for each sleeping position within these broad classifications. For instance, some back sleepers sleep with arms at their sides (often termed ‘soldier sleeping’), while others sleep with their arms crossed (often termed ‘mummy sleeping’).
While there is no ‘best’ position for sleep, according to the Mayo Clinic, those who suffer from back pain can benefit from transitioning to a back sleeper position (if they are not already one). Nevertheless, these sleeper positions can be helpful in selecting proper pillows and mattresses to support you and your unique position at night. For example, the Beautyrest Black Hybrid mattress incorporates the latest sleep technology for conforming back support and cool, pressure relieving comfort. Trying out many different options is always the best approach to finding the right solution, but starting with a trusted brand is a great way to narrow the search.
What does all this mean when it comes to choosing a mattress? Fortunately, Beautyrest has a handy Mattress Selector that will help you identify your sleeper position and reflect upon on your preference for a plush or firm mattress. After receiving your results, it’s always best to visit a store and try out a variety of mattresses in person. Find a store near you, lie down in your sleeper position, and test out the firmness to make sure it matches your unique needs and preferences.