What is a side sleeper? Anyone who sleeps on their right or left side is called a side sleeper. If you conduct a survey on sleeping positions, you will find out that most people sleep on their side. According to a study, 60% of people prefer to sleep on their side. It’s not just a comfortable sleeping position but a healthy position too. Side sleeping position is excellent for relieving back pain, reducing snoring, improving gut health, and more.
As a side sleeper, you might know many things about the position. But, there is more to know about this popular sleeping position.
Benefits to Sleeping on Your Side
Side sleeping is considered a healthy sleeping posture for many reasons. Here are some benefits of side sleeping.
Back Pain Relief
Many people suffer from chronic back pain. When they sleep on their stomach, the pressure on the spine increases and it worsens the pain. By sleeping on their side, they can observe back pain relief.
Reduced Risk of Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Around 90 million Americans are suffering from the problem of snoring. Back sleepers are more likely to snore than side sleepers. Sleeping on your back makes it easier to snore.
It’s easier to breathe when you sleep on your side as the airways remain open. If you have sleep apnea or a snoring problem, it’s highly recommended to sleep on your side.
Better Brain Health
Your mind is getting rid of toxins throughout the day, but it does the major cleaning at night while you sleep. Side sleeping position allows faster waste removal than other sleeping positions.
Improved Gut Health
Your body position can affect your gut health. Sleeping on your back doesn’t let the gas clear quickly. People with problems like heartburn, constipation, or other related issues can find comfort from a side sleeping position.
Sleeping on the side is considered the best position during pregnancy. In this position, it’s easier for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Side sleeping doesn’t let the baby put much pressure on the vein that carries blood back from the mother’s legs to their heart. These two reasons make this position safe for pregnant women.
Drawbacks of Sleeping On Your Side
Is it bad to sleep on your side? Sleeping on your side is undoubtedly a good position, but it also has drawbacks.
Side sleeping is suitable for people with back pain, but if your chin placement is not correct, it can cause a strain on your neck. Keeping your chin on the pillow while sleeping is a good practice, but tucking it towards your chest can cause neck pain the following day.
Side sleeping can lead to pain in the corresponding shoulder and misalignment. When you sleep on your side, your shoulder can collapse into the bed, leading to misalignment and pain in the morning.
You can use a firm mattress and a firm pillow to reduce the risk. A firm pillow and mattress will ensure your head is straight in line with your shoulders.
More Pressure on Heart
This disadvantage is for left side sleepers. Sleeping on your left side makes your chest cavity press against your heart. This pressure can influence your cardiac output and your heart rate. A study found that congestive heart failure patients avoid sleeping on their left side.
Can Develop Bad Posture
By sleeping sideways, you can quickly adapt to bad posture. As a side sleeper, it’s easier to twist your body and move your spine from its neutral alignment.
Your head should be between your shoulders, and your body should feel relaxed. Most importantly, your chin should not be tucked towards your chest.
Body pillows and knee pillows can help you keep a good posture while sleeping.
Risk of Acne
Pillows collect dirt, sweat, facial oils that can cause acne. Your face is in direct contact with the pillow for 7 to 9 hours daily. Sleeping on your side increases the risk of acne.
To prevent acne, wash your pillowcases every week and have a good skin routine.
Which Side Should You Sleep On?
Which side is best to sleep on? Sleeping on your left or right side is good for sleep apnea and lower back pain relief.
If you are looking for a single answer, the perfect side for sleeping depends on your health condition. If you are unsure about your side of sleeping, observe your sleeping position when you wake up or it may sound disgusting, but check for saliva on the pillow.
Sleeping on left side is recommended during pregnancy as it increases blood flow between the heart, fetus, kidneys, and uterus and keeps doesn’t put pressure on the liver.
Although the left is the best side to sleep on during pregnancy, you can switch to the right side for a while if uncomfortable.
People with GERD should sleep on their left side. Sleeping on their left side will help them experience a few cases of heartburn. It’s common to experience heartburn during pregnancy. Sleeping on the left side also aids in relieving heartburn during pregnancy.
People with heart failure prefer to sleep on their right side. Echocardiograms of these patients clearly show that sleeping on the left side impacts the way the heart functions and causes discomfort.
Types of Side Sleepers
There is more variety to side sleeping. Here are the main sleeping positions.
The fetal sleeping position is similar to the position of the fetus in the womb. If you lie on your side and bring your knees up to your chest, you are sleeping in the fetal position.
It can imply many things such as introversion, sensitivity, shyness, and a desire to be warm.
Sleeping on your side by placing your hands together is called the prayer position.
Prayer position keeps your fingers warm and alleviates your head. It’s a common position among people with neck pain or old pillows.
Sleeping while hugging pillows or blankets is one of the most common and best sleep positions. It means you need extra warmth and support to sleep properly.
Like logs, log sleepers sleep in a straight and stiff position. You rest on your side, extend your legs and place your arms parallel to your body. This sleeping position is considered the second most popular position across the sleepers.
As a reacher, you stretch your arms away from your body while you're sleeping on your side. It is the most sprawled position among these side sleeping positions, and it is as comfortable as it sounds.
How to Sleep On Your Side: Important Tips
How to properly sleep on your side? As a side sleeper, you can use these tips to reap all the benefits of your sleeping position.
- Use a medium-firm mattress and a firm pillow beneath your head.
- Use additional pillows to be comfortable while sleeping.
- Make sure your head, shoulders, and spine are in a straight line to avoid ruining posture and pain.
- Keep your arms or hands below your neck and face.
- Place a pillow between your knees for alignment in your spine.
- Avoid keeping your face towards your chin while sleeping.
- A proper way to sleep on side is to keep your knees towards your chest to reduce pressure on your back.
These tips for side sleeping will help you sleep comfortably throughout the night.
How to Switch to a New Sleeping Position
There is no best sleeping position. If you cannot sleep comfortably or wake up with pain every morning, it’s time to try a new sleeping position. The process depends on your current sleeping position and the sleeping position you want to switch to.
Switch to a Back Sleeper
The easiest way to switch to a back sleeping position is to use many pillows. Before lying down on the bed, place many pillows around, so you don’t roll over during sleep. Another tip is to keep a pillow between your legs to prevent rolling even more.
Switch from a Right Side Sleeper to a Left
If you are experiencing heartburn or stomach ache, you can switch to the left sleeping position.
Sleep on your left side on the couch for a few nights with your back against the back of your couch. This will diminish the risk of flipping to the right side during sleep. In a week, you can shift back to your bed. Use additional pillows to help you remain sleeping in the left position. Gradually remove the pillows.
Best Mattress for Side Sleepers
Side sleeper mattress should be a medium-firm mattress. A too-firm bed doesn’t provide the required cushioning for the pressure points. Consequently, it can lead to spinal misalignment and discomfort.
A too-soft mattress will let your hips and shoulders sink into the bed. It can cause aches in the morning. That’s why it’s best to get a medium-firm mattress. If you wish to get the best sleep of your life every night, DreamCloud mattress offers you that. It’s a perfect fit for side sleepers due to the following reasons.
- SOFT-TO-THE-TOUCH COVER
Keep cozy and cool with quilted foam and cashmere on top.
2. PRESSURE-RELIEF COMFORT LAYER
Get relief wherever you need it with gel memory foam that contours your shape.
3. SINK-IN-JUST-RIGHT LAYER
Sink in, but don’t get swallowed alive - this layer ensures it.
4. TARGETED-SUPPORT COIL LAYER
Get custom relief with innerspring individually wrapped coils that adapt to your body.
5. ESSENTIAL BASE LAYER
This layer ensures everything above it performs at its best.
Best Pillow for Side Sleepers
Like mattresses, the best side sleeper pillow is medium-firm with an adequate height. The pillow should be supportive as well. With Dreamcloud pillows, you can have sufficient firmness, contour, and support required for side sleepers. It’s important to have the correct height of the pillows as a side sleeper; Dreamcloud offers variety so that you don’t have to make any compromises.
Believe it or not, we spent 1/3rd of our lives sleeping. Your sleeping position matters more than you think it does. If you are a side sleeper, you don’t have to switch to any other sleeping style as it’s a healthy position. However, if you wake up with aches and pain, consider different sleeping positions and find out your best position to sleep.