Side sleeping is the most common sleeping position, whether you’re exclusively a side sleeper or you change positions and spend some time on your side each night. There are some significant benefits to being a side sleeper, but you also need to be careful that your mattress is a good fit.
The Upside of Side Sleeping
Sleeping on your side takes pressure off of your back, keeps your joints in a neutral position, and can alleviate snoring. Plus, sleeping on your left side can reduce heartburn, making side sleeping a helpful position for those with acid reflux disease. Pregnant women should also consider adopting this position, as it encourages blood flow.
Choose the Right Mattress
While sleeping on your side can be easier on your back, much of the potential benefit depends on your mattress. Lying on your side will follow the natural alignment of your spine as long as your mattress provides the proper support. Softer mattresses generally conform better to hips and shoulders, but you should always take the time to figure out what feels comfortable for you. View some of the best mattresses for side sleepers.
Do It Right
There are a couple of ways to make side sleeping even more beneficial. By placing a pillow between your knees, you’ll prevent your upper leg from sliding down onto the bed and rotating your lower spine. This slight twist can lead to back and hip pain.
Don’t forget about your neck. Keeping your head elevated is important in ensuring that your neck is aligned properly, but if your pillow is too thick, then it can be just as bad as not having one at all. You’ll want a pillow that supports your head without putting your neck at an angle to your spine. Special contour pillows are designed to accommodate side sleepers.
Beauty Sleepers Beware
Side sleeping is not without a drawback, but – depending on who you talk to – it’s a minor one. If you’re a side sleeper, you’re more prone to premature wrinkling than someone who sleeps on their back. Why? Unlike the back sleeper, you keep part of your face smashed into a pillow all night. If you’re sleeping to look young, you may want to consider napping nose-up.
However you sleep, it’s important to be aware of how it impacts your body, and to take the necessary steps to get the most benefit from your time in bed. Combined with responsible sleeping habits, the right mattress for your side sleeping style will ensure restful, restorative sleep every night.