Survey: Back-Sleepers Are More Likely to Wake Up Feeling Motivated

updated Jul 30, 2020
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(Image credit: Sarah Crowley)

People can be opinionated about sleep positions, and we don’t blame them—plenty of evidence shows physical and mental health are directly linked to our quality of sleep. And according to one survey, some ways of sleeping may even more profoundly affect quality of sleep, mood, and even motivation levels in the workplace.

A survey of 1,021 people from The Sleep Judge shows that those of us who sleep on our backs win the sleep lottery in more ways than one. Not only do back-sleepers report a better quality of sleep, but they’re also among the most likely to say they wake up the next day feeling motivated and content.

Sounds good, right? Before you make plans to switch up your go-to sleep position, know that sleeping on your back isn’t for everyone—snoring can increase when your back is flat, and it’s best to avoid this position altogether if you have sleep apnea. Some sleepers also report more frequent nightmares in this position.

For neck and spine health, experts tout side sleeping as the next best bet, since it places less stress on your cervical area than stomach sleeping. Interestingly, though, survey respondents seemed generally unhappy about their side-sleeping position: 35 percent of side sleepers said they typically slept poorly—that number goes up to 40 percent for side sleepers who sleep with their pillow vertical—and these people were also the most likely to wake up feeling grumpy the next day.

(Image credit: Margaret Wright)

It’s common knowledge that sleeping well is key for general health, a positive mood, and daytime energy levels, but quality of rest also directly impacts work performance. Forty percent of people who said they wake up content also claimed they were extremely motivated at their jobs.

So if you want to sleep better and reap the benefits of more motivation at your job, it might be time to start re-thinking how you sleep. Though stomach sleeping might not be the best move for those who suffer from headaches—twisting your neck may cause tension headaches—57 percent of stomach sleepers said they slept soundly, while 36 percent said they woke up in a good mood.

However you sleep, the consensus is that some quality sleep is better than none. So find a pillow and set of sheets you love, cozy up in your favorite sleep position, and get some quality Z’s. You’ll thank us later.