TikTok advice should be taken with a grain of salt — we all remember when NyQuil chicken was being recommended. However, this recent viral video on the worst sleeping position may have experts’ stamp of approval.
James Leinhardt, founder of Levitex and self-proclaimed sleep posture specialist, posted a TikTok saying sleeping on your stomach with one slightly bent leg extended out is the worst position to sleep in. “You’re rotating your neck, you’re twisting it, you’re putting your head up, you’re fighting all the natural curves of your spine,” Leinhardt explained.
The TikTok has since received over 53 million views, with the majority of commenters shocked and in denial about their favorite sleeping position. Leinhardt goes on to point out that this position isn’t actually comfortable; it’s just what people are used to. At the end of the video he brings out a skeleton, demonstrating the position and asking the question, “Does this look comfy to you?”
People were quick to note their disapproval of his advice, with one user commenting, “Then why does it feel so good,” or answering his question saying, “It is comfy. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t have gotten used to it in the first place.”
One of the top comments asked, “Fine. Then how SHOULD I sleep,” to which Leinhardt made a response video explaining how to switch from sleeping on your stomach to your side. His solution is to use pillows to your advantage, specifically three, one for your head, one in between your knees and ankles, and one to hug.
Once again people were quickly expressing their dislike saying, “but the audacity to think I have three pillows,” and calling him the “gordon ramsay of sleeping.”
Despite Leinhardt not winning the hearts of the comments section, we asked our experts if his advice is worth listening to.
Dr. Ramit Singh Sambyal agreed with Leinhardt’s advice, saying, “The worst sleeping position is undoubtedly sleeping on your stomach with your legs up.” Just like in the video, Sambyal explained the position puts strain on the neck and lower back because it’s an unnatural position for your spine and neck, plus having your head turned for too long can cause discomfort and pain.
Sleepopolis expert and physical therapist Dr. Keith Poorbaugh explained there’s three major components to consider for quality sleep: alignment, breathing, and comfort. You first want to ensure your spine is in a neutral line from shoulders to the hips which will help to open nasal and air passages. Once you’ve figured these out, comfort is key. If your current sleep position doesn’t check all of these boxes, it might be time to try a new approach.
What’s the best way to experiment with a new sleeping position? Sambyal’s advice is to use a body pillow or wedge that can support your neck and back in different positions. Investing in a mattress with multiple layers of foam can help increase comfort when trying new positions or using an adjustable bed frame to adjust the incline or height can also help with this transition, Sambyal explains.
The most important thing to remember is to listen to your body: if a sleeping position is causing pain or discomfort, switch it up until you find the right position for you.