why do I sleep next to the wall?
Sleep Positions

Why Do I Sleep So Close To The Wall?

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Louise Carter

Choosing where to put a bed is often our first decision in a bedroom. Most beds are set against the longest wall at the back of a room, and some people also like to sleep facing a second wall.

This is primarily an evolutionary safety precaution, as a solid barrier reduces access to your space while you sleep. Facing a wall at bedtime can also reduce visual stimulation, aid with temperature regulation, and offer the convenience of electrical power sockets.

Feng shui practitioners don’t recommend sleeping beside a wall, as they believe it restricts energy flow around a room. Other issues with sleeping beside a wall include noise from a shared barrier, feelings of claustrophobia, and limited access in and out of bed.

If you prefer to sleep close to a wall, leave 6 to 26 inches of space between your bed and the partition. This allows you to enjoy the benefits of sleeping near a wall while minimizing the drawbacks.

Why Do I Like to Sleep Against the Wall?

Finding a comfortable position for a bed is vital for sleep. It’s uncommon to see a bed in the center of a room away from structural walls, so why do people sleep with their heads to the wall?

Feelings of Security

As we’re vulnerable while sleeping, a feeling of safety in bed is vital. This is why many people prefer to sleep close to a wall, as the barrier provides a sense of security from the outside world.

This is instinctive and may not apply to everybody. If you feel uncomfortable with your back to a door, you’ll likely feel just as exposed without several walls beside your bed.

Evolutionary Psychology believes this stems from a natural fear of predators that dates back to our ancestors. If a wall guards you, intruders have fewer avenues of attack.

If you sleep beside two walls, you’re theoretically even more secure.

what does it mean if you sleep facing the wall?

Absence of Stimulation

Clearing the mind and remaining calm at bedtime are the cornerstones of a good night’s sleep. This means sleeping in a position that doesn’t offer visual stimulation. A plain wall can be ideal.

Consider the color scheme of the wall you’re facing. If necessary, paint a feature wall a different shade. The following are considered the ideal colors for a bedroom wall to lull you into sleep:

BeigeWhile not an exciting color, beige is a simple, inoffensive, warm shade.
BlueBlue is widely regarded as a color of trust, security, neutrality, and serenity.
BlushLight blush shades are non-threatening and encourage feelings of tenderness.
GreenShades of green bring nature to mind, appealing to a quest for peace.
PurpleLight and warming shades of purple are considered elegant and peaceful.
WhiteMany people find an unadorned white wall calming and clean.

Avoid visually stimulating wallpaper or hues associated with high emotion on a wall you face while sleeping. According to the journal Color, gray, black, and brown inspire sadness and disgust.

Red and yellow walls are linked to feelings of danger and overstimulation, making them sub-optimal for bedroom walls. Use shades outlined in the tables for the best chance of restful sleep.

Convenience

A bedroom wall is the likeliest position for a power socket, which can promote convenience. While electrical appliances aren’t recommended, you may benefit from charging a cell phone, e-reader, or laptop.

Placing a bed next to a wall is especially useful if you use an electric blanket to heat your sleeping area before bedtime. This minimizes the need to trail cables across a bedroom floor.

Temperature Regulation

Maintaining the ideal temperature overnight is vital in falling and remaining asleep.

The Journal of Physiological Anthropology warns that excess heat or coolness can disturb rest. Placing a bed by a wall can assist with thermoregulation.

If your bed is beside a wall, especially one that doesn’t have a window, you’ll be protected from draughts that’ll circulate the room. This can help avoid chills and sudden falls in temperature.

Proximity to an external wall may regulate your body temperature and cool down during hot evenings. Placing the palm of your hand, the soles of your feet, or even your forehead against the solid barrier can provide a welcome cooling sensation.

Is It Good To Sleep Near The Wall?

Having established that sleeping close to a wall is many people’s preference, we now face arguably a more important question – should a bed be against the wall?

According to feng shui principles, a headboard should be placed against the longest wall in a room, ideally securely fastened, but a wall shouldn’t block the remaining three sides of the bed.

The theory is that energy needs to flow throughout the remainder of the bed. If you sleep with the left or right side of your bed against a solid wall, the energy in the room is unbalanced and disharmonious.

Not everybody follows the rules and suggestions of feng shui, and it is crucial that you feel comfortable with your bed position. Consider these issues with placing your bed alongside multiple walls:

Limited Access

One of the most significant issues with sleeping beside a wall, especially if you share a bed with a partner, is limited access to and from one side of the bed.

Imagine that your bed is positioned in the right-hand corner of the bedroom, against the back and right walls. You and your partner will have preferred sides of the bed for sleeping, and whoever is on the right will be boxed in for the night.

This may be a personal preference – somebody may experience feelings of comfort and security knowing that a wall protects them from one side and a partner on the other. However, it can also cause issues if the right-bed sleeper needs to get up in the night.

If you sleep alone, this is unlikely to be an issue. No emergency is likely so great that the time it takes to move to the open side of the bed is considered problematic.

Just be aware of the potential for disturbed sleep if your partner constantly wakes you by attempting to move around you to leave the bed.

Cramped Feeling

As explained by Open House International, the bed is considered the centerpiece furniture in a bedroom by interior designers. This is why most people prefer to place a bed against the middle of a back wall, as it creates more space and airiness.

If a bed is placed against a side wall, it can trick the mind and eyes into believing a room is smaller and more cramped than it is. This can create a sensation of unease in anybody prone to claustrophobia or any other discomfort in small spaces, which may disturb sleep.

This cramped feeling can also apply to the bed. If you’re tall or toss and turn in your sleep, you may relish allowing limbs to hang over the bed. If you’re boxed into a corner, movement will be restricted.

is it bad to sleep next to a wall?

Noise Through Shared Walls

If you share a wall with neighbors, especially in an apartment, consider that your bedroom will likely adjoin that of another home. If these walls are thin, you may hear the noise your neighbors make.

This may be problematic for anybody who prefers to sleep in silence. Your neighbors may listen to music or watch TV late into the night, and as long as they do so at a respectful volume, this is their right.

You could struggle to sleep if you place your bed close to a wall shared with a young child. Infants that cry at night will disturb their parents and wrench you from sleep due to the proximity.

Even noises associated with snoring or sleep apnea can disturb your rest if you are too close to a shared wall, and there will be little you can do about it.

You can use earplugs, listen to soft music, or get a white noise machine to mask external sounds.

Which Wall Is Best for A Bed?

The optimum position for a bed is against the longest wall in a bedroom, slightly away from the direct line of vision from the door or windows. This is known as the “power position.”

The benefit of the power position is that it allows you to see everything in the surrounding area without being seen yourself and without sacrificing feelings of privacy or security.

If you prefer to keep your bed closer to a wall, leave between 6 and 26 inches of space between your pillow and the wall. This is close enough to enjoy the benefits of sleeping near a barrier without sacrificing mobility, aesthetic appeal, or protection from noise.

Many people prefer sleeping with a head close to the wall. If it helps you enjoy restful sleep, adopt this position. If you struggle to sleep beside a wall, identify why and resolve the problem.