In an average night, most sleepers change position twenty to forty times, and remain in a particular position for an average fifteen minutes. In addition, we all have a repertoire of position and those that we seem to like best and we usually use them night after night. Poor sleepers generally turn or change position much frequently during the night than do good sleepers, though all sleepers must adjust their body position throughout the night.
The most common position for us to sleep in is on the right side, with the knees and hips slightly bent, and the second most common is the same position on the left side. Lying flat on your back with arms crossed in front of you is the next most common position, thought is has been noted that sleeping on your back throughout the night is generally associated with poorer sleep than sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your stomach with your head turned to one side or another is the least common sleeping position.
Many people find it difficult to change the positions in which they sleep for example, many wives know that their husbands tend to snore when sleeping on their backs and spend much of their night repeatedly jabbing and elbowing the sleeping husband into the appropriate position. Special pillow such as those designed for neck pain often reduce snoring, but success has also been achieved in changing people’s favorite sleeping positions by simply trying to effect the change over ten days or two weeks rather than over a single night. It works like this. Suppose you normally sleep on your back, but you’re aware that your snoring in this position disturbs your bed patter. Simply begin elevating one corner of your pillow with a folded towel, for example and sleeping on your back for a few nights with your pillow this slight angle.
Several nights later, increase the angle, so the pillow is now much higher on one side than the other. Your natural tendency will be to turn toward the side rather than remaining flat on your back. Simply repeat this process, gradually increasing the amount your raise the edge of the pillow, and in ten days or so you will be sleeping on your side naturally and your body will have easily adapted to the change. You must, of course, maintain the shape of the pillow to keep your head from falling back to the former position.